No Fat Chicks: How Big Business Profits by Making Women Hate Their Bodies--and how to Fight Back
- Three-quarters of the women in North America think they're fat, though only a third of them are
- More than 11 million American girls and women are afflicted with anorexia or bulimia
- The average weight of a fashion model, 8 percent below that of the average woman in 1967, has fallen to more than 25 percent below that of the average woman today
What is behind these disturbing statistics? Money. In this passionate, provocative book, journalist Terry Poulton explores exactly how big business glorifies emaciation -- and why women have become willing to pursue the mirage of the "perfect" body even at the cost of their lives.
Poulton once became a women's magazine cover story by losing 65 pounds in six months, only to regain all the weight. The experience sent her into hiding . . . led her to have her stomach stapled and to embark on a liquid-protein diet that destroyed her gall bladder . . . and finally ended in the realization, compellingly documented in this book, that her lifelong battle with fat -- and with the crippling self-hatred and self-denial that stayed with her even in her "thin periods" -- was fostered by a $50-billion industry devoted to the proposition that a woman is worthless unless she's thin.
In No Fat Chicks Poulton traces the evolution of antifat ideology and of the businesses that profit from it, and explains how the health-care and fashion industries, among others, have become complicit in promulgating an image of the ideal body, that's impossible for 95 percent of women to achieve. She shows how the mass media's vicious vilification of "fat chicks" guarantees that women will frantically keep spending money on products that promise escape from the stigma.She demonstrates how the cultural pressure to be thin can constrain a woman's life -- economically, sexually, psychologically, "emotionally, and physically -- whether she is fat or not.
Passionately argued and meticulously researched, No Fat Chicks is certain to interest the readers who made bestsellers of Fat Is a Feminist Issue, The Beauty Myth, and Hunger Pains, as well as people recovering from eating disorders, chronic dieters, and any woman who's ever felt like a failure for being fat.
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