valerie frankel — thin is the new happy

Frankel’s memoir is filled with sass. She uses her battle with her weight to frame a hiliarious honest romp through her youth and young adulthood, describing the ways in which her weight impacted things like her relationship with her mother and her burgeoning sexuality. This is actually a memoir within a memoir — Frankel uses her reflections on her weight to guide her grown-up self on a journey towards body acceptance. This fun, quick read includes cameos by Stacy from What Not To Wear and other awesome folks Frankel met while working at Mademoiselle.

Frankel honestly reflects on the ways in which her mother’s fatphobia, her desire for male approval, and her own self-hate all molded her into a neurotic yo-yo dieter. The steps she takes to resist this, and to gain more body acceptance, all vary, and include using a clicker to count the number of times she indulges her “Inner Bitch” as well as her embarking on a not-diet, where no food is off limits. While these are not necessarily the most enthralling parts of her memoir (I was personally LOLLERSKATING over her youth as a punk rocker and her days of “slutitude” (we’ve all been there, amirite? no? just me? well then!)) they might be the most useful for a reader looking for some tools against self-hate.


  1. Catherine T. Shores says

    I read the book and her experiences mirror mine.
    In fact, weight anxiety and yo yo dieting and living in Southern California still makes for dating hell and still is the very reason why I am still single. (Divorced nearly 14 years).

    I was fairly plump moving from the East Coast and most “pretty rugged surfer boys” never prefered chubby
    I diet and excercise but am no triathlete.

    I am a beautiful looking woman and am still getting
    rejection by men dictating bodily physical attraction.

  2. Catherine T. Shores says

    It was marvelous to find that the authir found love
    online. Yet still, because of my above comment, it continues to be hopeless and self destructive because of the dictation of men.

  3. Jennifer Kesler says

    I haven’t read the book (thanks for the review, Maria) but responding to Catherine’s comment:

    In my experience SoCal has the highest concentration of men who turn up their noses at attractive women who don’t fit Hollywood’s beauty standards. Which is bizarre and totally their loss. It must be miserable to be that thoroughly brainwashed.

  4. Catherine T. Shores says

    Dating online is still a struggle, a pretty head shot is not enough, unless there are “full frontals”.

    At the end of the memoir, the author emerged as a very beautiful woman.

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