Ask an anthropologist from the year 2508 what today’s North American women are most concerned about and body image will probably be near the top. It’s hard to escape: between warnings of an obesity epidemic, overly plentiful and calorific food and a cultural obsession with being thin, we’re constantly under pressure.
If you want a new perspective on weight loss, you should pick up Thin Is the New Happy by American writer Valerie Frankel, who once worked at Mademoiselle magazine and contributes to Self, Glamour and Parenting—and went on her first diet at the ripe old age of 11. Frankel shares her history of constant yo-yo dieting and alternating between self-recrimination (at gaining) and elation (at losing) and her new mission to Not Diet.
Through her journey we read of the sources of Frankel’s discontent, her discovery of real food (butter!) and how shopping for clothes can be fun, not torture. And above all, we learn along with the author that we’re all responsible for our own body image and how we deal with our demons.