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Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The…
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Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating…

by Courtney E. Martin

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Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
Great ideas! ( )
  inkcharmed | Apr 18, 2011 |
One of my favorite books of all time. This book speaks for generation X and Y, Martin articulates body image and eating disorder issues from a unique, real perspective that leaves the reader thinking.
  mamaVISION | Jan 31, 2009 |
An interesting look into the lives of young women within our society, from the perspective of a "healthy" (i.e., non-eating-disordered) journalist.
Martin speaks of food obsession and the need for perfection. She paints a picture of the all-too-familiar super woman. The book contains thorough interviews with those suffering from eating disorders, and those who have dodged these illnesses but are still deeply affected by self hatred. The feeling of never being "good enough" seems to be universal.

I can't say that I agree with everything she had to say. For example, her conclusions about the development of eating disorders were overly simplified ... it didn't seem as though she understood the complexity of the illnesses. I also found that the quality of her writing diminished significantly as the book progressed. I was so annoyed with the chapter on spiritual hunger that I had the urge to tear out the pages and shred them into tiny pieces. The final chapter, which seemed to resemble fantasy more than reality, made me want to scream.

Still, the well-written portions of this book are definitely worth reading. ( )
  solitude1984 | Nov 5, 2007 |
This is one of the first few fiction books I read cover to cover. At Warped Tour (a summer concert) it was on a recommended reading list for one of the women's rights/feminist booths. It sounded good, and I borrowed it from the library. It was full of facts, statistics, and explorations of the body image (mostly female) in the modern world. It opened my eyes to my own bad habits, and made me feel a little more normal. ( )
  RosesAreRed | Sep 16, 2007 |
About: The obsession girls have with being thin

Pros: Moving, sad, nice use of both interviews and statistics, wonderful resources section.

Cons: Last chapter reads like a stream of consciousness laundry list

Grade: A- ( )
  charlierb3 | Jul 12, 2007 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743287967, Hardcover)

Why does every one of my friends have an eating disorder, or, at the very least, a screwed-up approach to food and fitness? writes journalist Courtney E. Martin. The new world culture of eating disorders and food and body issues affects virtually all -- not just a rare few -- of today's young women. They are your sisters, friends, and colleagues -- a generation told that they could "be anything," who instead heard that they had to "be everything." Driven by a relentless quest for perfection, they are on the verge of a breakdown, exhausted from overexercising, binging, purging, and depriving themselves to attain an unhealthy ideal.

An emerging new talent, Courtney E. Martin is the voice of a young generation so obsessed with being thin that their consciousness is always focused inward, to the detriment of their careers and relationships. Health and wellness, joy and love have come to seem ancillary compared to the desire for a perfect body. Even though eating disorders first became generally known about twenty-five years ago, they have burgeoned, worsened, become more difficult to treat and more fatal (50 percent of anorexics who do not respond to treatment die within ten years). Consider these statistics:

Ten million Americans suffer from eating disorders. Seventy million people worldwide suffer from eating disorders. More than half of American women between the ages of eighteen and twenty-five would pre fer to be run over by a truck or die young than be fat. More than two-thirds would rather be mean or stupid. Eating disorders have the highest mortality rate of any psychological disease.

In Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, Martin offers original research from the front lines of the eating disorders battlefield. Drawn from more than a hundred interviews with sufferers, psychologists, nutritionists, sociocultural experts, and others, her exposé reveals a new generation of "perfect girls" who are obsessive-compulsive, overachieving, and self-sacrificing in multiple -- and often dangerous -- new ways. Young women are "told over and over again," Martin notes, "that we can be anything. But in those affirmations, assurances, and assertions was a concealed pressure, an unintended message: You are special. You are worth something. But you need to be perfect to live up to that specialness."

With its vivid and often heartbreaking personal stories, Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters has the power both to shock and to educate. It is a true call to action and cannot be missed.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 14:03:46 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

Draws on original research and more than one hundred interviews with patients, psychologists, and nutritionists to analyze the pervasiveness of eating disorders and body-image-related emotional challenges in today's generation of young women.

» see all 2 descriptions

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