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Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters: The Frightening New Normalcy of Hating Your Body (Englisch) Taschenbuch – 7. Juni 2007

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'Great news! The vexed knot of eating disorders, body image, and self-esteem gets updated with fresh analysis and new examples for a new generation. Courtney Martin's takewill bring insight to a whole new group of teenagers and young women.' NAOMI WOLF, author of THE BEAUTY MYTH 'An engaging and heartbreaking account of the tragic circumstances girls and women find themselves in today as they struggle to find a body they can feel secure with.' SUSIE ORBACH, author of FAT IS A FEMINIST ISSUE '...a smart and spirited rant that makes for thought-provoking reading.' THE NEW YORK TIMES


Based on extensive research and in-depth interviews with women from various socio-economic backgrounds, "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters" lays bare a stark new world culture of eating disorders, food and body issues that affect virtually all of today's women. Though eating disorders first came to be recognised about 25 years ago, Martin's book shows how the issues surrounding body image have only become more complex, more dangerous and more difficult to treat: we now live in a world where over half of young women between the ages of 18 and 25 would prefer to be run over by a car than be fat, and the single group of teenagers most likely to consider a suicide attempt are girls who worry they are overweight. The current 'epidemic' of obesity is simply the flip side of the same coin. Drawing from interviews with sufferers, psychologists, nutritionists, and other experts, Courtney Martin's book reveals a whole new generation of 'perfect girls' who have been conditioned from a young age to over-achieve, self-sacrifice, and hate their own bodies - this, despite being raised by a generation of mothers well-versed in the lessons of feminism.

Filled with vivid and often heartbreaking personal stories, "Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters" is both a shocking expose and call to arms, offering hope for a new beginning, one young girl at a time.

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Amazon.com: 4.5 von 5 Sternen 31 Rezensionen
27 von 30 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen This book will rock your world and rip open your heart 27. April 2007
Von Kimberlee Auerbach - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
You know about eating disorders. Who doesn't? You might have a friend who eats every other day. Another friend who throws up after lunch. You, yourself, might eat a whole pint of ice cream late a night while watching Buffy reruns and hate yourself for it afterwards. So, what will Courtney Martin's book do for you? Why this book? Why now? Well, I'll tell you. Courtney is the first non-expert, non-psychologist, normal girl, outraged and passionate, to write about the subject. Reading her book feels very insider. She got the real dirt, the stuff people don't talk about or admit, and it never, not once, feels exploitative. She interviews her subjects with love, compassion and empathy and gets to the bottom of this very real, very dark phenomenon in our culture today. In order to change, we have to make the dark light (not to butcher Jung). That is what Courtney Martin does. She makes the dark light and urges women not to settle for self-hatred. If you do hate yourself, don't worry. She won't judge you. Reading her book feels like the hug you never got, like the "you're beautiful no matter what you weigh" that you never heard. I guarantee you will feel beautiful by the end of this book and be inspired to change.
19 von 21 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen We are not immune 9. Juni 2007
Von Diane K. Danielson - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
I have to disagree with the reviewer who disliked the author's youthful perspective. While I'm an older Gen X'er, I understand that the world has changed since I was young and each generation rebels in different ways against the one before. I happen to prefer books about young women written by young women, as it gives insight to their generation that I could never have.

I also didn't think that the author blamed older feminists for their eating disorders, or claim that Generation Y is the first generation to truly suffer from issues with food. She acknowledges the rise of male eating disorders as well as in older women, but explicitly states that she was focusing on young women and all the factors that they process which may or may not be attributable to the fact that there are many more young women and girls starving themselves, than we (the older generations) know about. I personally found the feminism discussion interesting and hope to hear more from the author on this topic in the future.

I was particularly interested in the book because the group that seems to be most susceptible to eating disorders are the very same over-achievers that many of us are hoping will finally trample on the remains of the glass ceiling. But, how can they do that if they don't eat????

I actually liked the anecdotes about the author and her friends. I found these at times to be even more engaging than the focus group results. As noted, the author is a wonderful writer, which helps the book unfold as more of a story than a chronicle of a disease. And, despite the fact I can't relate to the world she grew up in, I saw many parallels and even recognized a few of my own unhealthy attitudes about food.

I urge anyone who has as daughter or a friend, or who personally may have either flirted with (or battled with) an eating disorder pick up this book.
20 von 23 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen A Brilliant, Vital, Raw and Compassionate Look at "the ugliness underneath all of our prettiness" 22. Juni 2007
Von Rachel Kramer Bussel - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
To say I was blown away by Courtney E. Martin's Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters, would be a huge understatement. I've read lots of books on eating disorders, having gone through a bout of anorexia and bulimia in college, and struggled with "disordered eating" and body image issues ever since. Martin's tone hits the perfect edge between journalistic and compassionate; one never gets the sense that she is talking down to her readers or has conquered all these issues and is now looking at them from a distance. By including her own stories and those of her peers, she personalizes the issue, as both someone who's been "on the edge" of developing an eating disorder as well as someone caring for people with eating disorders. One of the most poignant moments here, in fact, is when a friendship ends over one woman confronting another over her eating issues.

Martin is angry, but also hopeful, and, most of all, non-judgmental. Clearly, she doesn't like what she sees but rather than direct her wrath against her subjects, she takes a more nuanced, helpful approach. She feels for her subjects even as the culture (including families, friends, peers, coaches, and media) around them pushes them forward. She wants them to succeed, but not at all costs. In fact, in the last chapter, she praises these starving girls for their strength, albeit a twisted kind of strength. By highlighting the ways girls cut each other down and size each other up, Martin brings some needed honesty to the ways women try to please each other, and how harsh we can be about our own kind.

There are so many brilliant insights here, I cannot document them all. Sometimes, I was just swept away by the passion of her prose; Martin doesn't let any element of flow or storytelling slide even as she works in statistics and original research. There's a continuity to the book that allows her to connect "Sex as a Cookie," her chapter on sexuality and body to "Spiritual Hunger." Also, she wisely looks beyond the minutiae of eating disorders and their technical classifications to a broader problem that still needs addressing, whether the medical profession chooses to do so or not. By linking the urge to be "perfect" with body issues, Martin also explores other ways women push themselves to the brink, whether at work or school or in sports.

Martin talks about "the ugliness underneath all of our prettiness," and it's precisely because so many of the behaviors and feelings she documents are so hidden that we may think we're better off than we really are. It's not only about the ones who wind up in clinics, who are visibly ill. As Martin shows, it's about the hours spent obsessing, the ways that dieting and desiring to be thin are so normalized that Martin even faced doubt that she had something worthy to explore in her book.

To prove how powerful her argument is, even while I was reading this book, tabbing up pages as if to memorize them, I was still berating myself in exactly the ways she describes. I went to get an omelette for breakfast at a deli, and ordered a Western one, not realizing it had ham. Only after I got it did I notice I could've had one with spinach or a garden omelette with vegetables. Part of me was horrified that I "chose wrong," and I made a stern mental note next time to order one of the veggie ones. In part, yes, I love spinach and would eat it at every meal if I could, but the other part of me was ready to pick out the ham lest I have something too fatty, too gross, too not me. And the guy taking my order, who doesn't know me at all, even says, "She's on a diet," when I order my food with plain dry wheat toast on the side. "But she doesn't need to be, she looks good the way she is," he tells the cook.

This is also the message of Martin's book but, and it's a huge but, one we can only learn for ourselves, from ourselves, for it to truly sink in. Martin's voice is so vital and necessary, close to her subject and close to her subjects in age. The vulnerability she shows, the tension between her strong feminist self and the voice(s) in her head, is real and relatable. The message here is not that Martin has all the answers, but rather that we need, individually and collectively, to look at "eating disorders," "body image," and "perfection" much more broadly. "What practices do *you* need to adopt in order to feel less weighed down by the burden of your own self-loathing?" Martin asks. For me, I am left with the task of trying to figure that out, something that may take a lifetime. This book is not only one of the best books I've ever read on eating disorders, it's one of the best books I've ever read and takes readers inside this "issue" without patronizing them. Martin knows there are no easy answers, but she doesn't let that stop her from fighting for the not-so-easy ones, and dreaming of and working toward a future not consumed by consumption.
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Faciliated my recovery - the only thing that has EVER helped me! 24. Februar 2008
Von C. Beggs - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
The only thing I can say is that this book has changed my entire mindset and has been the only thing that has ever helped me in my struggle with anorexia and binge + overexercising tendencies. Written by a woman of OUR generation, I have never heard from someone who truly understands the mindset of the girls of today - the girls I have grown up with - how much pressure is put on girls nowadays to be perfect. Throughout reading the book (which I finished in 1 day), the author's words gave me chills because never have I encountered words that so accurately describe EXACTLY what goes on in my mind. I have struggle with anorexia for over 7 years now, been in and out of therapy, antidepressants and various treatments - and nothing has ever truly helped. But THIS book, has! If I could, I would spend all my savings to buy copies of this book to give to every girl who has ever struggled or is struggling with body image or an eating disorder. I soo urge you to buy Perfect Girls, Starving Daughters. Learn to no longer be enslaved by eating disorders and to disconnect who you are from how you look, because even if you WERE perfect - you will not be happy. Life is full of choices and messiness that many of us try to avoid by restricting our food or narrowing our world to encompass only our looks and the word NO - but inevitably, we cannot control the world, we cannot control everything and honestly, some of the world's greatest gifts - love, fun, spontaneity, relationships - are worth the risk of shedding our perfect girl mentalities!
8 von 8 Kunden fanden die folgende Rezension hilfreich
5.0 von 5 Sternen Beautifully Rendered, Deeply Moving 4. Mai 2007
Von Theo Gangi - Veröffentlicht auf Amazon.com
Format: Gebundene Ausgabe
Let me begin by introduction-- I am a relatively large man with little personal connection to young girls with eating disorders. However, I found this book remarkable. As a college professor, at times I observe young girls who seem to waste away. In an effort to understand how to deal with a particular student, I picked this book up and was enthralled. Ms. Martin, in vivid, aching prose, puts you in the experience of this vulnerable psychology. She approaches the issue with an analytic yet deeply empathic eye, able to both understand and offer solutions.

I found Ms. Martin's age to be a crucial advantage when reading this book. Not only does it put her closer to the experience of her subject, but offers a fresh take. Most of the literature I have read on this topic is cold and detached, making girls who suffer from eating disorders seem like aliens deserving quarantine. I feel that this condescension by the older generation is part of the problem. Martin`s perspective is one of understanding and hope. Her solutions are universal, and offer girls who suffer from this damaging problem a chance to feel human.
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