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Fatlash!: Food Police and the Fear of Thin--A Cautionary Tale Paperback – October 16, 2012
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"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
"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."
Top customer reviews
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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.
This book will no doubt be a comfort and a help to countless young people in understanding their own complex relationships with their bodies and the food they eat. I hope it will also send a wake-up message to "stage mothers" who see only dollar signs and glory in their children, and overlook their pain.
And, just in case you were thinking that this serious cautionary tale might be a dry or difficult read, think again. It is a gripping story, told with honesty, forthrightness, and humor.
A great read, and an important one!
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
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.
She walks us through painful, discouraging years, in enough detail to make us feel we are right there with her, yet she doesn't give us so much detail that we want to run away.
She keeps sanity in the midst of insane behavior, and eventually turns it all into good by facing truth, and choosing to learn how to help others in their struggles.