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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 – September 21, 2010
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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
ROBYN J.A. SILVERMAN, PhD, is a leading expert in body and self-esteem development who appears regularly on national television and radio, including The Tyra Banks Show, Fox & Friends, Nightline and NPR. An award-winning columnist and writer, she lives in New Jersey with her husband and children. Visit her website at www.DrRobynSilverman.com.
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Another great aspect of this book is all of the "pocket knowledge," i.e. information in handy lists and bullet-pointed tips that you can start acting on right away, especially as a parent. Also lovely is the whole chapter on Dads (including the fun-to-read "bad dad" typology), who are often under-focused upon in all of the mother-daughter body image literature. Some other reviewers have commented that Dr. Silverman's solutions border on breezy or pat, and I agree somewhat, but maybe some of that is because many of the adult examples are so awful that the "correction" is too easy. I would have liked Dr. Silverman to one in-depth study, for example, of a family where the parents are not totally clueless but despite their best efforts, the kids (or adults) still suffer from "normative discontent" (great term of Dr. Silverman's), "disordered eating," or otherwise unhealthy lifestyle or patterns of thought and feeling. I think the environmental influences outside the family -- which Dr. Silverman does address -- can often trump the best parents, especially when it comes to peer-to-peer bullying or exclusion, media distortions, school atmosphere, and whichever circle of friends your middle-schooler happens to be stuck or drawn to.
Also, while I largely agree with the "HAES" movement (Health at Every Size), I'd like to see Dr. Silverman address more specifically how parents who have unhealthy, medically obese children (and there are many of them) should balance trying to implement a weight loss/nutritional/exercise program for their children without damaging their body self-esteem or triggering a negative relationship with food, etc.
Overall though, I highly recommend this book for parents and will use it as a resource over time. I am looking forward to Dr. Silverman's next book already!
Good Girls Don't Get Fat is not only an incredible resource, it is also a clarion call to take action and use these solutions to help girls gain the confidence and love for their bodies that they deserve. Many people do not realize how much of an impact body image has on all aspects of our lives. Dr. Robyn points out this connection and uncovers the triggers that wreak havoc on girls' self-worth. From decoding fathers' influences to shining a bright light on the importance of having classrooms that do no accept humiliation and degradation, Dr. Robyn covers everything on the vast body and self-esteem development spectrum. And she does so with clarity and optimism.
I enjoyed every page of this book, from the candid conversations with girls to Dr. Robyn's personal insight. I am a woman now in my last twenties, but it still feels like yesterday that I was a 12 year-old girl struggling with her identity and body image. Dr. Robyn's book is a beacon of hope and inspiration, not only for my inner girl and outer woman, but also for all the mothers, fathers, daughters, friends, teachers, brothers and sisters out there.
Dr. Robyn Silverman's book Good Girls Don't Get Fat focuses on the topic of young girls and their obsessions with their bodies and weight. As the father of three daughters, I found Silverman's book as one of my best reads of 2010 and have recommended the book to my daughters, family members, friends, and colleagues.
At first, I thought the book was just for mothers of teen girls and maybe their daughters; I quickly changed my mindset after reading only a few pages of this highly informative book. Dr. Robyn Silverman's Good Girls Don't Get Fat should be read by every father, mother, teen (both sexes), educator - everyone!
Silverman's statements on the role of fathers resonated in my brain long after I read the book. This book will reach into your heart and make you quickly assess your own interactions with others and begs to answer the question, "How do we teach our youth to love their bodies?"
Silverman brought up a question which is still bouncing around in my brain, "What if the young girl is both a bully to herself as well as a victim due to this obsession?" That may be one of the best descriptions of this travesty.
I will leave you with this quote from Silverman, "Don't ever give anyone permission to make you feel anything but the beautiful person you are."
Thank you Dr. Robyn Silverman for making a difference in the lives of our youth with this exceptional book!
Most recent customer reviews
I LOVED the first 2/3 or so of this book - the author is extremely knowledgeable about her topic, she has a wealth of experience to...Read more