This book is a haunting look at what our culture does to girls with respect to body image. To look at a healthy, young girl and tell her, "You can be...moreThis book is a haunting look at what our culture does to girls with respect to body image. To look at a healthy, young girl and tell her, "You can be a super star, but you'll have to lose weight first," simply opens the door to self-destructive behaviors. Each of us has a different body type and should be celebrated for who and what we are.
By way of critique, I found it distracting that Renn (or rather Marjorie Ingall, who actually wrote the book) quickly switches from a chronological telling of the story to telling the themes of the story years ahead and back to a chronological telling. It was hard to follow, and I kept having to reread or just guess what year we were talking about.
SPOILER: Also, once Renn embraces being a plus model, she writes a lot about how each person's body has a set point weight. She says that dieting never works because we are trying to force our bodies below our designed set point weight. She also discusses the "obesity epidemic" in the United States. While I don't dispute her point that the parameters of obesity have changed, thus pushing millions of Americans, including professional athletes, over the edge, I do think that it is unhealthy to be too far into that category. After reading her book, it appears that Renn is saying that you are "healthy" or at your "set point" regardless of what size you are, if that's where your body has settled and a weight that you don't have to work too hard to maintain.
I think that this is also the wrong body image. I do agree that some women who are 5' 9" should naturally weigh 140 pounds while others are naturally their healthiest closer to 175. It's hard to believe, though, that 225 pounds would be the natural set point for a woman of that height. I wish that Renn would have focused more on eating healthfully and exercising and letting that determine your body's healthy weight. Once she gave up her anorexia, she naturally fell into a healthy pattern of eating and worked to regain healthy exercise habits. For many women (and men) in America, healthy eating is the problem. either we fall into anorexia or we fall into binging. Neither one will give you a healthy body.(less)