Elevate Difference

Bitchin' Bodies: Young Women Talk About Body Dissatisfaction

Another day, another book exploring women and their bodies is published. The media is saturated with literature surrounding the female figure—just take a look inside any Barnes and Noble and prepare to be overwhelmed. And sure, we've read them all, so what could possibly be so appealing about Bitchin' Bodies? How can an author tread ground that is already so well-worn? Is this book even worth bothering with? The answer may surprise you.

Bitchin' Bodies explores the various mindsets and struggles of young women with ease. Terri Russ, the author, writes with remarkable clarity that informs without coming across clinical. To put it frankly, Russ makes a topic that has become borderline trite feel fresh. It is almost impossible not to devour this book.

Through interviews with numerous college-aged women, Russ illustrates the issues that impact the thinking of nearly every women in today's culture. Every chapter focuses on a different aspect of body dissatisfaction, from internal food struggles to the effects of the male gaze on the female perspective. Each page is like a reflection of the reader's private thoughts, as if Russ has identified an interview technique illuminating the trends in the collective mind of the 18-24 female demographic.

Even the appendixes offer helpful activities designed to help the reader develop a more positive body image through personal reflection and journaling. While the initial idea of Bitchin' Bodies may present itself as lackluster, sitting down with this book is probably one of the best literature-based decisions a woman (or man) can make. I know this text will be a staple on my bookshelf for years to come.

Written by: Corey Janssen, March 20th 2009