Thanks to NetGalley and Doubleday Books for the digital review copy – all opinions are my own.
This book made me want to laugh and cry at the same time! Janey Sweet is put on sabbatical by her business partner, and forced to lose thirty pounds if she wants to keep her job. What follows is a satirical look at the ridiculous trendy fads that our beauty and fitness industry seem to be so obsessed with over the past couple of years. Janey tries them all, and in the end, she realizes that she never really was fat – she just had a jerk for a friend and business partner.
I’m not immune to the seemingly endless reminders that, as a woman, I should look a certain way. And as I’ve gotten older, I’ve noticed it gets harder and harder to keep up that image. It frustrates me (and my friends) that we have a double standard in our society; there is definitely more pressure on women to look like they did “on their wedding day” than there is on men. It pains me to hear some of my friends’ husbands ridicule their wives with passive aggressive remarks like, “Do you really need another one?” Or, “No wonder your workouts aren’t giving you the results you want.”
I am thankful that my husband doesn’t speak to me this way – my pressure is self-inflicted. I feel the heat from my Instagram feed, the beauty magazines in the checkout line at the grocery story, and whenever I put on my swimsuit. As my daughter gets older, I notice these pressures even more and my heart breaks for her. We are creating an unrealistic standard, yet the industry doesn’t seem to care. I applaud models and actors that have spoken out against photoshopping and retouching pictures (you can read more about that here and here), but still, the industry doesn’t listen. I consciously watch the way I talk about my body and the reasons I chose to workout when I am in the presence of my children, and I hope I’m instilling healthy body images in both of their minds.
Overall, the book was ok. I liked that the authors, Lucy Sykes and Jo Piazza, emphasized how unrealistic and stupid most of these fad diets and workouts are, but after awhile, the story just started to fall flat and became quite boring. The ending wrapped up a little too nice and quick – almost like the goal was solely to write about as many of these fads as they could and when the time ran out, the book abruptly ended as well. If you’re just looking for something quick and entertaining to read that doesn’t require a lot of thought, this one will work!