Tuesday, April 15, 2008

the skinny

So here's the deal. Yesterday I spent some time flipping through Skinny Bitch, a book that's published by a sister imprint of ours, and whose skyrocketing success speaks volumes, I think, about what women want, or maybe what others want for women. This book, after all, is all about how to become a skinny bitch by cutting out sugar, meat, and dairy from your diet.

Skinny Bitch is published by a sister imprint, and so naturally it's a success story. And naturally I'm not going to get into all the ways in which this book is problematic for those of us who are trying to promote female-positive messages. The stratospheric sales rate of this book, to me, is sort of like watching your way prettier more popular sister score a 1600 on her SAT test. It's just unexpected.

Meanwhile, this week we have two books hitting bookstores that touch upon body image in wholly different ways, both of which feature our two beautiful authors on their respective covers. In Sex and Bacon, Sarah Katherine Lewis finds out that her Bacon Quotient is four pounds of bacon in a single sitting. I love this woman. The last few times I've seen her she's insisted on ordering more desserts than are necessary and trying the most outlandish things on the menu. She's a lusty eater, and being around people like that always makes me wonder if they don't just have a thing or two more figured out about the world than the rest of us. The other one, Half-Assed, is a weight-loss memoir, and yes, that's Jennette, showing us the pants that she used to cruise around in. Now the woman is running 15Ks and training for a marathon. But Jennette's book isn't just a rah-rah memoir about a quest to shed pounds. It's really about the lessons learned, and finding out that there's a lot more to happiness and loving yourself than the numbers that flash when you step on the scale.

I love these books and I hope they find a readership. Maybe we can figure out a way to place these books in the hands of famous people who will unwittingly contribute to huge sales. Don't blame me for dreaming big. And we'd love to hear your thoughts!



Rachel said...

I am looking forward to reading both these books - I skipped around a bit in Sex and Bacon cause I had to read about Britney first. But what made me hop onto Amazon and order Half-Assed, aside from an interest in the subject matter, is Fulda's blog and site. I think they're amazingly well-done and think it's great that Seal is publishing books about things like weight loss (and I saw a recent eating disorder memoir sale) that are not about why one must lose weight in order to be "womanly," but still acknowledge this is something many women, feminists included, deal with.

I read Skinny Bitch a while ago, before the Posh Spice thing, and wasn't completely offended, but wasn't really sold. Then again, I was actually on a carnivore diet for a while, and now am just trying to eat a range of foods and get as many fruits and veggies into my diet as I can.

PastaQueen said...

rachel, thanks for buying my book! I hope you enjoy it. Thanks, Brooke, for writing such a nice post about it. And wow, I've eaten a lot of weird stuff, but I've never eaten 4 pounds of bacon in one sitting. Sarah's got me beat on that one! I think "Sex and Bacon" is a fab title.

Cherry Ocean said...

The back cover of "Skinny Bitch" reads:

"They may be bitches, but at least they're skinny bitches."

I was so wholly offended when I read this.