Wednesday, August 17, 2011

A Wednesday Book Review

The Bigger The Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women On Beauty, Body Image, and Other Hazards Of Being Female. 

This collection of essays was not what I was expecting; but I did find, even in the essays that didn't resonate on an extremely personal level did have moments that stood out.  In order for an essay to be enjoyable doesn't mean I have to be able to relate to it from personal experience either.  Scrambled Eggs by Molly Watson is one of the essays that stood out; it was well written, which always helps, and is about the difficulties of trying to get pregnant, something I have not experienced myself.  I don't know anyone else who has read this collection, but in the reviews I have found on goodreads, either women loved the essays or were not that impressed.  It seems more of the younger readers felt the collections focused more on aging and babies, and while I can understand that complaint since I'm in that strange period of my life where I can still relate to the agony of my teenage years and at the same time continue to move more into adulthood, surrounded more and more by baby conversations.  

There were several essays that really stood out, and what I love about reading a collection of essays is it's great nighttime reading.  It was easy to read an essay a night before bed to help unwind from the day.  Some of the essays actually made me laugh out loud.  Here are some of the excerpts I underlined while I read:

"Kind lovers have told me I have an hourglass figure, and, it's true, my ass is up to the task of balancing out my belly.  I've spent my life hiding the part of my anatomy that magazines command me to smash, squeeze, or starve into pancake submission.  Usually I wind up with gas instead of anything approaching a washboard."  Navel Attire, by Jennifer Munro

"I didn't have a Big Dramatic Moment, like they do in the movies.  I did not fire off a snappy string of self-assured zingers to someone who insulted my big-boned self amid a chorus of applause and shouts of "You go, girl!"  I did not don a dirndl and twirl around on an Alp, marveling at the majesty of life and my place in it.  It wasn't an instant epiphany.  It was more a quiet, gradual acceptance of who I was, regardless of the fact that my body had decided to weigh whatever it damn well please (the nerve!)."  Battleships, by Jennifer Carsen

"Beauty pageants are comical.  They are also tragic, because nothing so stupid should ever be taken so seriously."  More Than Pretty, by Tara Bray Smith

"Why did it matter so much about fatness?  The shame passes down from parents to children, projected, denied.  Perhaps it is our very appetites, our desires and needs that shame us."  The Ugly Prize, by Laura Catherine Brown

"For about two months, I liked my body just the way it was.  I didn't think about what I ate (not trying to gain or lose, just being okay) or think about exercise or how certain light looked on my skin."   Feels Like Teen Spirit, by Marie "Riese" Lyn Bernard

Have you read this collection? What are you reading right now? Please comment below! Or, as always, feel free to email me:

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