Fat a Fate Worse Than Death?: Women, Weight, and Appearance

Ruth Raymond Thone, Author, Ellen Cole, Author, Esther D. Rothblum, Author Routledge $59.95 (232p) ISBN 978-0-7890-0178-8
Thone, a self-described ""fat and old,"" white-haired, 65-year-old feminist, rails against a society that values youth and slenderness above all else, sparing no one from her radical language. Her palpable outrage certainly strikes a chord--""We surround ourselves with images of starving women, bottom ribs removed, anorexic, bulimic, skeleton-like, reminiscent of extreme starvation, protruding pelvic bones, gaunt, gorgeous we think""--but it can sound rather extreme, especially when Thone deems Naomi Wolf's work ""foolish and retrogressive in spirit and fact,"" or when she repeatedly calls on doctors to cease linking ill health with obesity and to stop weighing their patients. Her haphazard, stream-of-consciousness style lacks organization; her tendency to lapse into lengthy lists of favorite feminist works further detracts. The alienation intensifies as Thone whines about her rarefied political social circle that parties at the White House, complains about her visit to a French masseuse, and advocates taking ""time to be naked in front of a mirror."" By the time she announces that all this anger has been for naught--""I know I am making a scapegoat of being old and heavy to avoid insecurities that I have carried for a lifetime. That is one of the truths that can make me free, once I emotionally get hold of it, and face the insecurities, and not rail about our appearance-obsessed culture""--she has already lost her readers. (Aug.)
Reviewed on: 12/30/1996
Release date: 08/01/1997
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