Twenty intensely personal essays on physical and emotional self-image by women writers from a wide range of ages, races, and conformity.
The era of birth control pills and legalized abortions is a golden age of freedom compared with our grandmothers' times. Yet, as this collection of fiction and nonfiction suggests, many women's relationships to their bodies are complex and sometimes baffling. So many women hate their bodies, often as a manifestation of a media-influenced body consciousness that exalts a narrow range of physical proportions including ultraslender hips and large breasts. The same media that facilitate such self-loathing also minutely document excessive forms of body awareness (anorexia, bulimia, purging), although rarely the complicated interplay of thoughts and emotions that exacerbates those conditions. The writings at hand generally dissect women's obsessions with media-manufactured body ideals that turn women's bodies into sexual bargaining chips. As they do, they bring new meaning to the notion of selling and being sold and to the term sexual politics
. Whitney Scott
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