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Body Wars [Paperback]

by Margo Maine Ph.D., Margo Maine
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)

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Book Description

August 1, 1999 0936077344 978-0936077345 1
In this ground-breaking study, Margo Maine declares war on a culture that dismisses, devalues, and disempowers women by making them hate their own bodies. This book covers issues from dieting and weight prejudice to concepts of beauty and ageism to sports, fashion advertising, and propaganda. With practical strategies for activists, educators, and parents, this book also contains extensive references and appendices. Body Wars takes its place alongside The Beauty Myth and Reviving Ophelia in recognizing the constant assault women face, but goes further by giving them practical tools with which to fight back.

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Body Wars + The Body Project: An Intimate History of American Girls
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Editorial Reviews


"Body Wars both teaches us the terms for engaging our opponents and that united efforts will win the war." -- Mary S. Pabst, M.S.W. President, Eating Disorders Awareness and Prevention

"Here is basic ammunition for all of us caught in the crossfire of Body Wars." -- Rita Freedman, Ph.D. author, BodyLove

"I highly recommend this book to anyone who cares about better health for women and men." -- Michael Levine, Ph.D. co-author, Preventing Eating Disorders

From the Inside Flap

Each chapter addresses an issue that contributes to women’s discontent with their bodies within a sociocultural perspective. The topics will help you to question the culturally-endorsed assumptions that support Body Wars, such as our misguided and misinformed beliefs about weight, dieting, and obesity. A number of chapters focus on aspects of the beauty industry, including the role of fashion, modeling, beauty pageants, plastic surgery, and media influences via magazines and advertising.

The book also addresses the impact of violence against women, ageism, and a healthcare system historically biased to meet men’s needs and not women’s. Special influences on children are also examined, such as the pressure to diet, the impact of the Barbie doll, and how schools, sports and activities such as dance can contribute to Body Wars. Finally, a chapter is dedicated to men, who are increasingly the target of industries promoting Body Wars and who are desperately needed as teammates in the fight.

Each chapter concludes with strategies and resources for both personal and political change. I hope you find these both useful and inspiring.

Every day, this issue becomes more urgent. Body Wars are now a global problem. No one is safe, as western media and information technology become integral influences in less developed countries. The damage to the human spirit and potential is growing exponentially. We must fight back.

Product Details

  • Paperback: 224 pages
  • Publisher: Gürze Books; 1 edition (August 1, 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0936077344
  • ISBN-13: 978-0936077345
  • Product Dimensions: 8 x 5.7 x 0.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #587,701 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
13 of 13 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Body Wars June 10, 2002
A clinical psychologist, Margo Maine, Ph.D. is also known for her accomplishments as a lecturer, consultant, researcher, and author. Additionally, she's the Director of the Eating Disorder Program at the Institute of Living and is on the boards of numerous other advisory boards. In the course of her work, she realized that "a new war was being waged: an assault on women's bodies by an economic system and culture intent on keeping them in their place."
She wrote Body Wars: Making Peace with Women's Bodies as an activist's guide for helping women overcome the self-hatred and body dissatisfaction that lead to eating disorders.
How their bodies look is brought to their attention at a very early age for women. Even quite young hildren learn that their ppearance is not satisfactory, and they are taught they must change it, usually by restricting their food intake...<P...Dr. Maine says that the quest for thinness has become so pervasive that "dieting has become a moral imperative of utmost significance; many who fail to lose weight feel they have failed at life."
She emphasizes repeatedly that women truly do have more to offer than their appearance.

Dr. Maine also devotes chapters to plastic surgery, violence against women, ageism, sports, and ballet. She includes a special section for teachers and how they can help their students develop a healthy attitude toward their bodies. The final chapter is for men and the unrealistic standards for appearance that they are facing on an increasing basis.<P Dr. Maine doesn't just talk about the dangers of body dissatisfaction--each chapter includes "Strategies for Change," which are dozens of practical steps individual women can take to help themselves and others.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Really Great Book May 23, 2001
As a PhD student in the biological sciences, I have access to all of the scientific articles referenced in this book, most of which are from very reputable sources. Being obese and having been told my whole life that I am unhealthy for carrying a few extra pounds, I checked out many of these articles and found that the author's statements about how harmful dieting is, and how a little extra weight isn't necessarily unhealthy, were completely accurate. One reviewer complained that this book was too factual, but for me it was the fact that it was so accurate that made it very therapeutic and encouraging. It gave me the power to be mad at those who are actually causing our society to be so harmful to women, rather than being mad at myself.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A must read book for all women June 6, 2000
`Body Wars' is both an excellent reference and an interesting book. It reads like a collection of essays with a unifying theme and is a must have particularly for young women. This book is not only for overweight women but for women who feel like they do not measure up to the supermodel ideal. It has chapters that delve into magazine advertising and its effect on women, weightism, which is the politically correct form of prejudice among other things. But unlike most books of this type it does not only tell us what is wrong but it tells us how to change what's wrong. The author Margo Maine, Ph.D. does this through her resource lists at the end of each chapter that has phone numbers, addresses and names of places like the MS. Foundation and the Center for Media Literacy among other things.
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Don't get mad, get Body Wars January 31, 2000
I have many issues with my weight and overall apperance, while this (or any) book can't give me magic solutions it is a wealth of insight and inspiration. The author encourages women to focus on our inner selves and social change instead of frivolous wieght and beauty goals pushed on us by advertisers. I reccommend it for all women especially parents and teachers.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars READ THIS BOOK RIGHT NOW! October 21, 2003
By A Customer
For yourself, for your children, for the women and girls in your life. Read this book! It was like having the wool pulled from eyes. I can finally see the lies for what they were. I was angry about these "ideals" for so long and the pressure to get thinner. Now I know why, because it was all a lie to kepp women in their place, make money, and destroy the self esteem of nearly every woman in the Western world.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars How to Enter the Fray of the War on Weightism October 31, 2002
Margo Maine has done it again in her book Body Wars. I learned how to connect myself with various groups working for a better community, to recognize examples of brainwashed thinking in myself and to do something about it. Margo Maine is an intelligent and empassioned researcher and activist and I am glad she continues to regale us with her comprehensive style and life-changing material.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Easy but Intelligent Read November 19, 2000
This book is intelligently argued, thoroughly researched, and simply written. If you hate your body (and most of us do!), this book will help.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars So Far So Good
This was recommended to my by my therapist who is also a dietician. She said the author makes some very good points, and she does. Read more
Published 7 months ago by Nellie in Jax
2.0 out of 5 stars Once again the rating system fails me... I want to give this book a...
This isn't a bad book... I don't want to say that this is a bad book. I just didn't like it. If you have read 1,2,3 books on the subject of body image Body Wars will not offer... Read more
Published on April 25, 2008 by Flannery
3.0 out of 5 stars a workbook
This book read more like a personal workbook or discussion book for small self-help groups, with short, superficial chapters followed by questions. Read more
Published on July 25, 2006
2.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, great disappointment.
This book should be applauded for pointing out things about today's media and culture that many people overlook. Read more
Published on May 23, 2006 by R. Chelminski
4.0 out of 5 stars Get the Skinny on the War Against Weightism
Margo Maine has done it again in her book Body Wars. I learned how to connect myself with various groups working for a better community, to recognize examples of brainwashed... Read more
Published on October 31, 2002 by Catherine Wardner
2.0 out of 5 stars purely factual
I think this book would be good for a parent or teacher- it is basically a reference guide. In fact, it seemed to me to be nothing more than a compilation of "facts" and... Read more
Published on December 17, 2000
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is excellent!
This is a great eye opening book! Great for resources and information about how we as a society harm our bodies and our lives. Read more
Published on March 9, 2000 by Laurie.
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