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Fatlash!: Food Police and the Fear of Thin--A Cautionary Tale Paperback – October 16, 2012

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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Informative, funny, and personal . . . Do yourself a favor and get this book. It might lead you to make a new friend--your own body." --Laurelee Roark, cofounder, Beyond Hunger

"Karen's story sheds new light on an area which is in tremendous need of greater understanding." --Marilyn Van Derbur Atler, author, Miss America by Day

"Fatlash! is a beautifully written, witty, and boldly personal perspective."  --Julie Gunlock, senior fellow, Independent Women's Forum

"Karen puts a human face on food restriction and gives a powerful example of what not to do." --Bernard J. Baars, PhD, coauthor, Cognition, Brain, and Consciousness, 2nd Ed.

"A brave story of how Karen moved past being a prized show-pony living her mother's dreams and having been sexualized at an early age." --Nita W. LaFontaine, the first Miss Louisiana who was black; author, Finding My Voice: Living with the Loss of Don LaFontaine

From the Author

Press Release:  Denver, Colorado (PRWEB) November 27, 2012
Princess by Proxy: New Memoir Introduces Term to Explain Extreme Beauty Pageant Moms

With the phenonomena of Toddlers and Tiaras and Honey Boo Boo comes a breed of parent that has been around for decades but has never had a name. Now, the behavior of "pageant moms on steroids" is termed "Princess by Proxy" by Martina Cartwright, PhD, RD in a new memoir, Fatlash! Food Police & the Fear of Thin--A Cautionary Tale by Karen Kataline, MSW
 
Programs like Toddlers and Tiaras and "Honey Boo Boo" have reignited controversy about "pageant moms on steriods," who live vicariously through their children, but there has never been a name to describe it until now. The syndrome has been termed "Princess by Proxy" by Martina Cartwright, PhD, RD in a new memoir, Fatlash! Food Police & the Fear of Thin--A Cautionary Tale by Karen Kataline, MSW
 
"Princess by Proxy" Syndrome, a subcategory of Achievement by Proxy Distortion (ABPD), is a pattern of adult behaviors that occurs when an adult's pride and satisfaction are achieved through a child's activities. It starts with the best intentions. Parents and adults who lovingly and compassionately support children's activities are normal. Those with ABPD objectify their children, seeing them either consciously or unconsciously as a means to obtain financial or social gains for themselves. Studies show that sexual objectification can put a child at risk for abuse and neglect.

Princess by Proxy is rampantly evident in the child pageant circuit and programs like "Toddlers and Tiaras" and their spinoffs like "Honey Boo Boo" where the most extreme pageant moms are rewarded with exactly the kind of financial gain and recognition they seek.
 
Kataline grew up with just such a mother. Put on the stage at the age three, she was exposed at an early age to being stared at and inappropriately displayed wearing skimpy outfits in front of audiences. Her tale warns against this kind of sexualization, not by banning pageants, but by educating parents and audiences alike about the dangers of exposing children in a way they are not prepared for. "I wrote my story in part, to illustrate in human terms, how this kind of sexualization affects normal development. While it doesn't take a pageant to sexualize a child, I believe pageant moms and these child "glitz" pageants will fall out of favor when more people are better informed about the consequences," Kataline said.
 
By recognizing the characteristics of Princess by Proxy Syndrome, and working to protect children from it, only then will those same children be able to develop normally so that they can enter into a healthy adulthood.
 
 
Karen Kataline, MSW, received her master's degree from Columbia University and has practiced in a variety of non-profit and corporate settings. She has taught communications and public speaking at the New School for Social Research, Parsons School of Design in New York, New Jersey's Montclair State College among others. Fatlash! is her first book.
 
Martina Cartwright, Ph.D, RD., wrote the Foreword for Fatlash! She is a registered dietitian with a Ph.D. in Nutritional Science and Biomolecular Chemistry from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has written extensively about child pageants and eating disorders and is credited with coining the term, "Princess by Proxy."
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 244 pages
  • Publisher: K. M. Ette Publishing, Ltd. (October 16, 2012)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0985967900
  • ISBN-13: 978-0985967901
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.6 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 10.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,916,998 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Author and speaker Karen Kataline received her master's degree from Columbia University and has practiced in a variety of non-profit and corporate settings. She has been an assertiveness trainer and public speaking coach for a Manhattan communications firm and has taught communications and public speaking at the New School for Social Research, Parsons School of Design in New York, New Jersey's Montclair State College, and Fairleigh Dickenson University, among others. She also lends her operatic voice to a variety of fundraisers and community events. Fatlash! is her first book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Maggie on October 20, 2012
Format: Paperback
I just finished FATLASH! and was happy to have someone put a voice to what I think is the insanity of parading young girls in front of the public as if they were pieces of meat, and making them think that unless they win that pageant or contest, they are worthless. What a horrible way to raise a child.

Ms. Kataline hit very close to home for me when she described how being overweight was protection from having to deal with men sexually objectifying her. It IS easier to hide behind a fat suit than to have to deal with some men's attention.

If you're a naturally shy person, as am I, there's comfort in the label of being fat and hence ignored.

To read all that Ms. Kataline endured, experienced and overcame on her road to achieving a comfortable weight was uplifting to me in my daily struggle with the scale.

Brava to Ms. Kataline for having the bravery to share her story with the world.

Maggie, Denver, CO
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Frederick Cookinham on October 22, 2012
Format: Paperback
Karen's book is a pleasure to read. Eloquent, funny, and filled with insight about problems shared by millions: Should I be ashamed of my weight and torture myself to look thin? Should a mother help her daughter achieve glory on the stage...even if it kills her? Do I dare lose weight -- if every pound that comes off reveals frightening childhood memories the weight was intended to bury? This book should be read by Mother BEFORE she pushes her daughter into child beauty contests that force her to look and act more grown up than she really is.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Brenda Wilson on November 26, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Kataline makes the book easy to read, eloquent and funny! I don’t usually like to read anything serious but found this book to be interesting and entertaining. The books presents a serious topic, which I recognize in many people, and presents it with charm and humor.
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Format: Paperback
FATLASH, by Karen Kateline provides us with "food for thought" and "thoughts for food!"

Although Karen makes many points in her book, I believe the most important point is parents and adults affect children FOREVER. What is not healed in one generation passes to the next generation. When emotional needs are not met at home, children seek to meet them in other ways. Every child deserves to be loved, cherished, guided, and protected as a unique human being.

What I so like about FATLASH is Karen's ability to look and think about her past, healthily mourn for her lost childhood, and still understand she is the only one who can change her future. Rather than become a martyr to her past, Karen chooses to live in present reality. She fully understands every day of life is filled with boundaries, choices--- and not just food choices.

For me the "stand-out" moment in Karen's book is when her mother is making Karen show her grandfather how much weight she lost. Karen's grandfather says Karen looks too thin but her mom disagrees and indicates Karen is expected to lose more weight. At this point, Karen realizes no matter what she weighs or how she looks she cannot please her mother. I respect Karen for having the "chutzpah" to write about her personal experience in such an open way.
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Format: Paperback
I just finished "FatLash." The most amazing element of this memoir is that, with her childhood and background, Karen has grown into a rational, productive -- and delightful -- person. This book really is about abnormal parents, a dysfunctional family, and psychological elements so complex it's difficult for those of us who never experienced anything like her upbringing to understand. How can this book cause the reader to laugh out loud and bring that same reader nearly to tears only pages later? It's all evidence of the horrific roller-coaster ride forced on the talented and beautiful little girl that was Karen. The mix of emotions the story causes in the reader are only a pale shadow of the emotional mix of reality of Karen's young life. Food police, "fear of thin" and related topics are actually tangential to the main meaning of the book: how can a child, striving to just be a little girl growing up, face the odds Karen faced, and succeed? A must read for 2012-2013. The title includes the tantalizing phrase "Volume 1" leading to a sincere and impatient longing for Volume II soon.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
I had the wonderful privilege of knowing Karen in high school. I was one of those many wonderful friends who played "Truth" (never take a dare from this group :-D). Karen was an inspiration to me then, in the way she dealt with adversity and a situation that would have left many of us in much horrible shape. I am inspired by her today as well, she is a woman of many talents and wonderful passions.
Fatlash is a brilliant book, disturbing in it's insights, most of which will be issues that most women can identify with regardless of their specific situations, at the same time, sometimes funny, and frequently inspirational. At times, I felt uncomfortable reading it, because so much of it was so close to home. Other times I wanted her to "get to the happy ending", but the journey was worth every page. We all have our own masks, our own rebellions, and our own little secrets, and Karen does a brilliant job of putting those into perspective and transforming it into something that empowers both herself and her reader.
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