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Hunger Pains: The Modern Woman's Tragic Quest for Thinness

3.73  ·  Rating details ·  234 ratings  ·  16 reviews
We live in an appearance-obsessed culture. Fashion ads, magazine covers, TV shows, and movies idealize a body type that is impossible for most real women to achieve. In this comforting, liberating book, Dr. Mary Pipher, bestselling author of Reviving Ophelia, offers advice, counsel, and practical solutions for understanding our needs, our fears, and our many hungers. She s ...more
Paperback, 138 pages
Published January 21st 1997 by Ballantine Books (first published 1988)
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3.73  · 
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 ·  234 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gender-studies
Mary Pipher has such clarity and insight to her research and her writing. There were parts of this book were quite disturbing and difficult to get through because of the subject matter. That and a very hectic month is why it took so long to finish this, because let's face it I can and have read a book this slender in about 2 hours of uninterrupted reading. The part I found most enlightening was the last chapter having to do with changing our culture, the reasons why our culture has bought into l ...more
Jan 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Eye opening. Fresh perspective on how culture has affected the way we view our bodies, being "over weight" and obesity in America. I will never see weight the same way again (mine or others) and I will raise my children differently. Being more aware of our culture's prejudice against the over weight and better understanding eating disorders gives me more compassion and personal body awareness and where I use food in an unhealthy way as well.
Stephanie Chambers
Dec 21, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016-reads
I've been reading a lot of body image books and this seems to be where they got some of their research. I really loved the stuff about how your body has a weight point where it always goes back to.
Dec 30, 2007 rated it really liked it
This book was recommended to me by a friend when I mentioned a niece of mine struggling with anorexia. The author is a practicing psychologist who mostly treats women and girls with some type of eating disorders. I thought it was a well done book, easy to read, especially useful for helping us have better attitudes about our bodies and about food. Pipher discredits the old school methods of calling people with eating disorders "weak" or "lazy," or placing blame on their families, and puts the re ...more
This is another book on the nonsenseness of dieting all the time. It is better to live life to the fullest, no matter what the scale says.

Uno de los muchísimos libros que he leído sobre el sinsentido de hacer dietas y regímenes para amoldarse a un ideal de belleza que solo aparece en las revistas, y que solo unas pocas pueden alcanzar porque nacieron genéticamente diseñadas para ello. La autora de este libro consigue su objetivo de describir la angustia de aquellas niñas que se sacrifican detrás
Oct 22, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: anyone
Recommended to Jeneah by: my counselor
I read this during and after my struggle with an eating disorder. Hunger Pains helped me to put into perspective what I was dealing with psychologically and emotionally. I recommend it to anyone because I am sure most of us can relate to either having/had or knowing someone with an eating disorder. I recommend this to parents, it will give you great insight into your children's phyche and it also provides a comprehensive list of symptoms you may not otherwise think about. Overall it is a great r ...more
Oct 22, 2011 rated it liked it
Also a bit dated, but interesting. The book seems to lack focus. I kept really wondering why she wrote the book, as it's not about treating eating disorders, body dysmorphia, obesity, raising children, changing society - although all of these are brought up.
Mar 04, 2008 rated it it was amazing
In one of the high schools I used to teach in, a woman came in to do a workshop on eating disorders and she brought this book with her and I've referred back to it time and again when I have a student in need of it. Very powerful stuff.
I love Piper. In this book she matter of factly talks about eating disorders and how to deal with them. Some of her information seemed very out of date, which isn't a surprise because this book is not new. It was an easy, thoughtful read.
Jul 01, 2015 rated it really liked it
Excellent tutorial for those of us who work on a daily basis in the trenches with young adults. It elicits very helpful suggestions in dealings with middle and high school students facing conflicts with weight and body issues.
Sep 17, 2010 rated it it was ok
Pipher is great at exposing serious, depressing problems but providing little practical advice about solving or dealing with them.
Gayle Noble
Interesting book but obviously dated now as written almost 20 years ago. Good introduction but there has been a lot of development in this academic field since this was written. Rating: 3 stars.
Laura Blabac
Apr 29, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: psychology
A great read for anyone dealing with eating disorders, or raising girls today.
All teens girls should have to read this book.
Sep 04, 2008 rated it really liked it
Mary Pipher is an excellent author for those seeking understanding regarding emotional issues that effect women and girls. This book was no exception, and I highly recommend it.
Amaris Ross
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