Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Weight Loss Books: What's Your Opinion?

“Two women are complete opposites: one’s round, short, and sometimes even called ‘fat’ The other’s tall, slim, and girls want to be just like her. But both are wearing the same pair of jeans, even in the same size.”

Does this make sense to you? Can two women look totally different and still be exactly the same? Sometimes, it offends me. For an example, The Perfectly True Tales of a Perfect Size 12. Look at the cover:

Does she look fat to you? In the book, everyone around Delilah (the girl on the cover) thinks her weight is an issue but Delilah herself doesn’t think much of it unless someone across the room is staring at her body. I don’t think the girl on the cover is fat. In fact, I think she is the perfect size (a perfect size 12). Even in her biography, Robin Gold the author states that she was only one size smaller than her protagonist.

In the first chapter of Giving Up the ‘V’, it was written that the main character was ashamed of her size: 13 junior. The author even shared her exact weight: 162 lbs. Now that’s a way to bring in readers, right? To make the reader feel bad about themselves?

I think author Justina Chen Headley was very thoughtful when writing North of Beautiful. She didn’t point out the mother’s weight in the book, though it was portrayed as an issue. That is the perfect example of how not to turn readers away while having a weight issue in a book. Thanks for that, Justina!

Now that I think of it, there are a lot of weight loss books out there (a topic that I think is a little overused nowadays). What do you think of this topic? Do you think the books should be selling? I understand that people need to have a book in their own terms so they can relate but do you think sometimes it may be a little specific?

There have been a lot of weight loss books written. In your opinion, is that good or bad?


  1. I think if written well, weight loss books can be great. I just hate it when the author goes the wrong way about it.

    And I don't get the "two women wearing the same size jeans" thing either. Unless there's a big discrepancy in the jeans sizes for two different brands.

  2. I've thought a lot about this issue, as well. It's tricky because there are a lot of aspects to the generic term "overweight." I think books that overly focus on becoming model-perfect-beautiful can be quite dangerous for young people to read. However, I also believe that being truly (not just culturally or whatever) overweight can be a serious health issue, so I understand an author hoping to encourage young people to be healthy by writing a book about healthy weight loss. Ultimately, this type of book can be as effective as any book about overcoming a weakness, although I think it is very very difficult to have a book about weight loss ever be as profound as one, say, about friendships or love or grief. If weight loss is actually the heart of the book, it's likely to fall short, in my book.

  3. Priya, it's hard to explain that example. Yes, the pants are from the same company and everything but the pants just fit each girl differently ... but it still fits.

    I've seen it in real life so I guess maybe you have to see it to believe it? I'm not sure.


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