We are a fat-obsessed society. Four out of every ten Americans are clinically overweight. Being fat, especially for American women, holds a special significance and is laden with symbolism. Low-fat foods, dieting programs, and diet books, few of which make a lasting difference, are the basis of a multibillion-dollar industry.Yet, despite this obsession with weight control, there is little serious discussion of the deeper meaning of obesity. In a way, obesity is as powerful a taboo as sexuality was for the Victorians.This book argues that the effort to lose weight should be secondary to an understanding of the mythology of fat. Being fat is seen as much more than a physical condition. Fat women are stereotypically viewed as unfeminine, either in flight from sexuality or sexual in some forbidden way, intentionally antisocial, out of control, hostile, aggressive.Using case studies, moving, sometimes painful, autobiographical accounts, and observing such organizations as a fat rights society, Overeaters Anonymous, and a children's diet camp, Marcia Millman reveals how people live with the burden of these stereotypes and explores the truth or falsity of them.This book proves the humanness, the defiance, vulnerability, self-doubt, courage, and even the beauty of those who violate our arbitrary standards of physical beauty. It sees them as whole people, to whom attention must be paid.
In this warm, funny, thoroughly candid novel, acclaimed author Cathy Lamb introduces an unforgettable heroine who’s half the woman she used to be, and about to find herself for the first time... Two years and 170 pounds ago, Stevie Barrett was wheeled into an operating room for surgery that most likely saved her life. Since that day, a new Stevie has emerged, one who walks without wheezing, plants a garden for self-therapy, and builds and paints fantastical wooden chairs. At thirty-five, Stevie is the one thing she never thought she’d be: thin. But for everything that’s changed, some things remain the same. Stevie’s shyness refuses to melt away. She still can’t look her gorgeous neighbor in the eye. The Portland law office where she works remains utterly dysfunctional, as does her family—the aunt, uncle, and cousins who took her in when she was a child. To top it off, her once supportive best friend clearly resents her weight loss. By far the biggest challenge in Stevie’s new life lies in figuring out how to define her new self. Collaborating with her cousins to plan her aunt and uncle’s problematic fortieth anniversary party, Stevie starts to find some surprising answers—about who she is, who she wants to be, and how the old Stevie evolved in the first place. And with each revelation, she realizes the most important part of her transformation may not be what she’s lost, but the courage and confidence she’s gathering, day by day. As achingly honest as it is witty, Such A Pretty Face is a richly insightful novel of one woman’s search for love, family, and acceptance, of the pain we all carry—and the wonders that can happen when we let it go at last.
With stories by acclaimed and exciting new YA writers: Louise Hawes J. James Keels Ron Koertge Chris Lynch Norma Fox Mazer Lauren Myracle Jamie Pittel Anita Riggio Mary Ann Rodman Ellen Wittlinger Jacqueline Woodson Tim Wynne-Jones A stellar line-up of young adult writers examines our relationship with beauty in stories that haunt, amuse, stir, and fascinate. A beauty queen with a chin-hair problem, an aspiring model who would rather take pictures than be in them, a boy in love with the gorgeous nurse he’s never seen, a girl named Beauty who feels like anything but—the teenagers in these dozen stories feel the power of beauty, whether it’s to trap, save, torment, or comfort. In an era when image seems to have triumphed over virtue and reason, this timely, discussion-provoking collection asks young readers to think about what is truly beautiful.
Have you struggled with obesity, poor self-image, weight-related health problems, or simply a feeling of inadequacy or meaninglessness? Are you tired of feeling left out of the active world around you? Have you ever contemplated weight-loss surgery? It's an option many consider, often after trying and failing over and over again with diet and exercise. But what about the side-effects? The pain? The financial burden? The emotional toll? Kelley Gunter found herself dealing with all of these issues and many more as she weighed the decision to undergo bariatric surgery. Finding very few personal accounts from those who had gone through the same struggles, she decided to write about her experience in an effort to help others facing the same decision. Gunter struggled with her weight from an early age. Always self-conscious of her body, she endured the taunts of her classmates, rejections from boys, and painful nicknames such as "Richter" and "Tree Trunk Legs." A natural athlete and a high-school cheerleader, she attempted to remain positive as well as physically- and socially-active, but her weight constantly thwarted her efforts to achieve the fulfillment she craved so desperately. As an adult, her demons followed her into her professional life, where co-workers and even supervisors perpetuated the hurtful body-shaming she had come to know so well. Her personal relationships suffered as her constant craving for love and acceptance caused her to make poor decisions in romantic partnerships. Gunter knew it was time for a change. Mustering all her strength, courage, and faith, she undertook the monumental task of preparing herself for weight-loss surgery. She attended workshops and meticulously researched various procedures until she found one that was right for her. She worked to obtain the necessary funding, taking out loans to make her goal a reality. She even endured unexpected life-threatening complications that left her not only bedridden, but saddled with additional debt and recovery time. Gunter leads the reader through her entire weight-loss journey in vivid detail. The reader will follow her as she copes with the early stages of recovery, where even the simplest tasks such as walking to and from the bathroom became nearly impossible struggles. Readers will journey with her as she works her way back to wellness, cry with her as she wrestles with the barrage of emotions that come with rapid weight loss, and rejoice with her as she begins to realize her goal of physical and emotional wellness. Whether you have grappled with personal body image, yo-yo dieting, lifelong weight issues, or even morbid obesity, you will find personal inspiration through Gunter's compelling personal story of pain, struggle, and ultimate personal triumph. For those contemplating bariatric surgery, Gunter offers guidance, words of wisdom, and personal examples from beginning to end. For those seeking inspiration, she offers her personal story of spiritual faith, family, and friendships that served as a guiding force in her ongoing recovery and personal growth. For those seeking motivation, she offers the triumphant story of a desperate, but determined woman who takes matters into her own hands and reclaims the life she deserves. "When the world says, 'Give up, ' hope whispers, 'Try it one more time.'"
A memoir by a disability rights activist Such a Pretty Girl is Nadina La Spina's story—from her early years in her native Sicily, where still a baby she contracts polio, a fact that makes her the object of well-meaning pity and the target of messages of hopelessness; to her adolescence and youth in America, spent almost entirely in hospitals, where she is tortured in the quest for a cure and made to feel that her body no longer belongs to her; to her rebellion and her activism in the disability rights movement. LaSpina’s personal growth parallels the movement’s political development—from coming together, organizing, and fighting against exclusion from public and social life, to the forging of a common identity, the blossoming of disability arts and culture, and the embracing of disability pride. While unique, the author's journey is also one with which many disabled people can identify. It is the journey to find one's place in an ableist world—a world not made for disabled people, where disability is only seen in negative terms. La Spina refutes all stereotypical narratives of disability. Through the telling of her life’s story, without editorializing, she shows the harm that the overwhelming focus on pity and on a cure that remains elusive has done to disabled people. Her story exposes the disability prejudice ingrained in our sociopolitical system and denounces the oppressive standards of normalcy in a society that devalues those who are different and denies them basic rights. Written as continuous narrative and in a subtle and intimate voice, Such a Pretty Girl is a memoir as captivating as a novel. It is one of the few disability memoirs to focus on activism, and one of the first by an immigrant.
A major, stand-alone thriller from Mystery Writers of America Grandmaster Lawrence Block, author of the acclaimed Matt Scudder books. A beautiful young woman called Marilyn picks up a stranger in a bar and takes him home to her Manhattan apartment. The next morning her housekeeper discovers Marilyn's body. Marilyn's life and death have far-reaching effects on others, even people she has never met: a charismatic former police commissioner on the verge of a breakdown; a struggling writer; a folk art dealer plumbing the depths of her own fierce sexuality; a lawyer who prefers murder trials because there's one witness fewer. And in a city reeling from 9/11, an unlikely mass murderer wages a one-man war against everyone. In this gripping, multi-faceted story, Block not only brings to life in brilliant detail the city of New York, but proves he is one of the most talented, innovative and surprising crime writers in the business.
The girls' guide to giving the cosmetics industry a makeover. Lead in lipstick? 1,4 dioxane in baby soap? Coal tar in shampoo? How is this possible? Simple. The $35 billion cosmetics industry is so powerful that they've kept themselves unregulated for decades. Not one cosmetic product has to be approved by the US Food and Drug Administration before hitting the market. Incredible? Consider this: The European Union has banned more than 1,100 chemicals from cosmetics. The United States has banned just 10. Only 11% of chemicals used in cosmetics in the US have been assessed for health and safety – leaving a staggering 89% with unknown or undisclosed effects. More than 70% of all personal care products may contain phthalates, which are linked to birth defects and infertility. Many baby soaps are contaminated with the cancer-causing chemical 1,4 dioxane. It's not just women who are affected by this chemists' brew. Shampoo, deodorant, face lotion and other products used daily by men, women and children contain hazardous chemicals that the industry claims are "within acceptable limits." But there's nothing acceptable about daily multiple exposures to carcinogenic chemicals-from products that are supposed to make us feel healthy and beautiful. Not Just a Pretty Face delves deeply into the dark side of the beauty industry, and looks to hopeful solutions for a healthier future. This scathing investigation peels away less-than-lovely layers to expose an industry in dire need of an extreme makeover. 15 percent of the purchase price of each book sold benefits the national Campaign for Safe Cosmetics, administered by the Breast Cancer Fund, through December 31, 2012.
Your Guide to Plus Size Modeling by Yvette Ray Pinfield, is a must read book for the woman of size, and the aspiring plus size model! Yvette takes you on a personal journey of her life. The pendulum has swung in her life from popular cheerleader to plus size model extrodinaire! Your Guide to Plus Size Modeling is also a guide to Plus Size Living! This book will enrich the curvy population with positive affirmations for the 'More Beautiful' soul." Cynthia Michaels CEO and Founder More Beautiful Woman Magazine Yvette Ray Pinfield is a working mom and plus size model with a New York City and Miami based agency. Her portfolio of work spans over 7 years and includes the Today Show, Good Morning America, Good Housekeeping Magazine, Motherhood Maternity and many more. As an author, Yvette has been featured on various Web sites including Authspot, Beyond Jane and Webmad. Yvette holds the title of Mrs. Manhattan 2008 and is also an active member of a number of professional organizations including International Size Acceptance Association (ISAA).
Meredith was promised nine years of safety, but they only gave her three. Her father, who was sent to prison for sexually abusing Meredith and other children in the small town, has been released early on good behaviour. He was supposed to be locked up until Meredith's eighteenth birthday, when she would be free of her abusive father and her delusional mother, who dwells on a fantasy that the three of them will be a happy family once more. But Meredith is only fifteen, and her father is out of prison…and her mother is bringing him home. And Meredith won't let him hurt her, or anyone else, ever again. No matter what the cost. Lyrical, suspenseful, and emotionally shattering, SUCH A PRETTY GIRL is the compelling story of one young woman's painful fight for survival - and her journey back to herself.