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Good Girls Don't Get Fat: How Weight Obsession Is Messing Up Our Girls and How We Can Help Them Thrive Despite It Paperback – October 1, 2010

4.5 out of 5 stars 37 customer reviews

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

In this straightforward guide, Silverman explores weight obsession in teenage girls, outlining ways that parents can help their daughters succeed in a "thin-is-in" world. Silverman had previously compiled "The Good Girls' Weight Rules" list of negative beliefs that society pushes on girls, such as "my emotions should depend on how fat I feel" and "I strive for size zero." She believes that girls should be taught to swap these harmful ideas for positive mottos (which she calls "Asset Girls' Ten Commandments) stressing confidence and achievements. Silverman outlines the causes behind an unhealthy body image and what parents can do to combat it, interspersing her advice with quizzes and stories from teens she's interviewed. Focusing mainly on mothers and daughters, Silverman also explores ways that fathers can reinforce a positive body image. Although the book contains plenty of sound advice, the breezy messages can border on hokey, with suggestions to declare one's home a "Fat Talk Free Zone" or to limit girls to two minutes of "grumbling and groaning" about imperfections. The author concludes with a helpful guide to resources promoting a healthy body image and self esteem, and a list of shops that carry plus-sized clothing. (Oct.) (c)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

DINA SANTORELLI has been a freelance writer for over 15 years and has written frequently about entertainment and pop culture topics. Voted one of the Best Long Island Authors for 2013 ("Long Island Press"), Dina has collaborated on a variety of book projects, including "Good Girls Don't Get Fat "(Harlequin, 2010), "The Brown Betty Cookbook" (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2012) and "Bully" (Weinstein, 2013), the companion book to the acclaimed documentary. Additionally, Dina's debut novel, "Baby Grand", is a Top Rated Mystery & Thriller on Amazon Kindle. Dina currently serves as the Executive Editor of "Salute" and "Family" magazines.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Harlequin; Original edition (October 1, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0373892209
  • ISBN-13: 978-0373892204
  • Product Dimensions: 5.3 x 0.8 x 8.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (37 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #147,465 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
As a writer for Plugged In Parents website, I can say with complete honesty that this book is a MUST read for all women (of any age). Before I start my review, I need to be upfront with you. This book really hit home, and I cried several times while reading it, because I've been struggling with an eating disorder for the past five years.

While pregnant with my first son, I gained 50 pounds. I ate and ate and ate, having no idea the weight wouldn't magically come off after I had my son. Now, I'm not a petite person at all. I'm 5'8" and I've always been a size medium. There was no reason for me to gain 50 pounds. So when my son was 8 months old and I was struggling to lose the last 10 pounds, I started something I never thought I would do. After overeating, I would make myself purge (throw up).

Just typing that brings me to tears. Feeling completely out of control of your own body is an awful place to be.

The thing is, I looked great. I had a bit of a baby belly, but good grief, I had just given birth 8 months before! I was just too self-conscious that I freaked out. I needed to see that pre-baby weight number on the scale.

Fast forward a few years and I have yet to see that number on the scale. I still struggle with overeating and, every once in awhile, purging. I'm ashamed of this, and I'm working on getting past it. I'm trying to see myself as a beautiful woman, no matter what size I am. I know we're not all made the same, and I will never be a size 2, nor do I want to be. I want to find the beauty in ME, not base my beauty on a number or a size.

Why is there so much pressure for girls to look a certain way in our society today?
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Format: Paperback
I think the title of Dr. Robyn Silverman's book (Good Girls Don't Get Fat) really says it all. We've trained our girls to think they are bad or less of a person if they are fat. Whether it's through magazines, television, the internet or ironically, the people who are supposed to love these girls the most (parents, siblings, "friends," and teachers - yes teachers!!), girls are beginning to worry about their weight at younger and younger ages. While talk radio programs air news stories weekly extolling the dangers of obesity (which is, of course, also an important health issue), Dr. Silverman sees countless girls in her practice with only minor weight problems or none at all. However, these girls have convinced themselves they are fat and therefore "bad."

The book provides excellent information of how aspects of a young girl's life can send her the message of to be thin is to be happy, healthy, loved. The author takes the discussion from the "inside out" starting with what a girl thinks about her weight in her own head and continuing to cover how the various relationships in her life can exacerbate the issues. Including how powerful words can be in these various relationships (mother, father, step-parents if applicable, other family members, teachers and other adults).

Dr. Silverman uses a lot of tools, tips and worksheets throughout the book and are an excellent supplement to the information. Readers get examples of weight issues that may arise with girls and can read "Say What" boxes to give guidance on "what not to say" and "what to say" -- (dads take note of that please). "Overheard" boxes appear throughout the chapters as well which share stories and quotes from girls she interviewed.
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Format: Paperback
Good Girls Don't Get Fat / 978-0-373-89220-4

I was pleased to receive this book from NetGalley for review; I'm a strong believer in HAES (Health At Every Size), and this book is exactly the sort of valuable study that can benefit parents hoping to raise happy, healthy daughters who are not constantly encumbered by the "skinny or else!" messages that bombard them constantly.

Broken into nine chapters, "Good Girls Don't Get Fat" explores the potentially near-constant sources of criticism and denigration that can occur in childhood and can extend detrimentally into a lifetime of eating disorders, self-abuse, and poor self-esteem. Chapter 1 covers self-criticism and the importance of banishing negative internal thoughts and the constant visceral awareness of weight at all times. Chapter 2 covers the impact that mothers have on their daughters, and carefully explains the difference between teaching your child to value good health and just popping off with criticism thoughtlessly (for instance, spontaneously popping off with "Are you going to eat all that?", teaches less good eating habits and more that eating in public will invite judgment and criticism from others). Chapter 3 explores the sometimes-hidden effect of fathers on their daughters: how to be active in raising healthy, happy women, and how not to inadvertently encourage your daughter to remain a child. Chapter 4 covers the impact of the family at large, and how brothers and sisters play an important role in either creating or preventing unhealthy attitudes towards eating.
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