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Kaz Cooke knew women needed a book that cut through the confusing and cruel messages about body image, beauty, eating disorders, diets, and cosmetic surgery. "Mostly, we needed a book that wasn't trying to sell us anything except self-confidence and the truth," says Cooke. "I couldn't find one so I had to write one." Written in the spirit of life, liberty, and the pursuit of body acceptance, Cooke playfully challenges some of the most oppressive misogynists of the 20th century: the beauty, fashion, and diet industries. Simultaneously funny and reassuring, Cooke boldly asserts her opinions and research on push-up bras (they dig and hurt), cellulite (it's a cosmetic company-induced condition, not a medical condition), and fashion models ("some of the most insecure, tortured souls around"). The cartoon illustrations offer comic and compassionate accents to this poignant discussion.
Australian filmmaker and newspaper columnist Cooke shoots as straight from the hip as Dr. Ruth when discussing body image. Although her jocular tone and clever cartoons often make this book more appropriate for young teens than adults (e.g., "Like a little old caterpillar programmed to become a butterfly, our grown-up shapes are already decided before we are born."), her no-nonsense pronouncements on the ultimate uselessness of moisturizer and the eating disorder- inducing tactics of the fashion industry are wonderfully refreshing. Some of this ground has already been covered, but Cooke's irreverence is all-inclusive: she reels off statistics and examples (particularly damaging are quotes from fashion magazines); doesn't wince from explaining why, scientifically speaking, "No cream or lotion in the world will firm or shape or enlarge or reduce your breasts"; and even supplies practical advice on how to deal with (or answer back to) people who feel compelled to comment on others' bodies. Cooke tries to be funny and very often succeeds, but she is never coy or condescending, and there is plenty of serious stuff mixed in with the cheery advice. Dissections of advertisements and their phony techno-speak are priceless, and her cartoons have the same mordant wit. A complete list of resources rounds out this hefty, funny reference.
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.
This book is cute in spots. It seems designed to placate adolescent fears about the developing female body. It is obviously not directed toward an American audience. Read morePublished on March 16 2003 by Ingrid M. Miller
This book is loaded with lots of info. I enjoyed reading his book, lots of info.
I am now wise beyond my years. No really, you learn a lot.
It was good over all. But I didnt like how they kept on dissing on skinny girls. They could have been more universal if they had written "There isnt a certain way to be. Read morePublished on Nov. 17 2002
I just started reading Real Gorgeous, and I already can't wait to post my rave review -- it's THAT good! Read morePublished on Aug. 15 2002 by Krista L. Hamilton
This book is absolutely-without-a-doubt-fabulous. I have been having some body image issues lately. Read morePublished on June 20 2002
I Loved this book. Nicely demonstrates the affect society has on a woman's self image, and helps to combat that. Plus, it's just a fun read. Read morePublished on Jan. 9 2002 by C. K. Ogi
What a wonderful and very needed book! I spent most of my teenage years feeling quite awkward and ugly. Read morePublished on March 21 2001 by Heather D