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.
From Publishers Weekly
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.
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