Elevate Difference

It Doesn’t Count If… It’s the Last One: And 204 More Reasons Why You Can Eat That

Fat is not just a feminist issue; it’s everyone’s concern. We’re in an age where good health equals happiness—not a bad philosophy, but for our society's increasing problem with the relationship we have with our food. What we consider to be fat is often misguided; bodies come in all shapes and sizes. Yet, people go on unnecessary diets and eating obsessions to attain that "perfect" Western body sold to us by the higher powers.

The word diet itself has negative connotations: to not eat, to lose weight, to lose something of the self. The body doesn’t wish to be deprived, so nine times out of ten, the diet will fall short. That’s why Daisy Westmoor’s It Doesn’t Count If… It’s the Last One is a refreshing alternative to media-saturated messages of holding back being the key to self-worth and success.

In this anti-diet hardback, Westmoor provides over 200 reasons to eat those forbidden foods we all crave. It’s a humor book—and it succeeds. Among the funniest excuses to consume are, it doesn’t count if… "it’s raining and you’re sad," "it’s sunny and you’re sad," and "it’s past its expiration date."

The content is very much a rebellion against conventional ideas of feminine delicacy. It’s okay to put on the pounds, seems to be the message, but it also gives the illusion that there aren’t any adverse consequences of indulgence. Paradoxically, telling women to "eat that" does not give back their sense of power or control over their bodies.

What makes It Doesn’t Count If… It’s the Last One sparkle are its illustrations by Mary Lynn Blasutta. Without these quirky images Westmoor’s lines wouldn’t hold as much humor: "It doesn’t count if… your scale is broken" is accompanied by a sketch of a woman standing on a broken scale (no surprises there) with the speech bubble "Sweet." And "It doesn’t count if… it comes on top of lettuce" is complemented by the portrait of a woman ready to tuck into a super-large burger.

It’s a bit unusual that the publishers chose to pick an illustrator known for her designs of thin women; it is almost as though the book is speaking more to slim women who are trying to maintain their figures. Regardless, these pictures grant the book its fun and edge. Pages are splashed mainly in red, white, and pink, which gives this creative work the feel of a sugary treat itself.

It’s a pleasurable break for those who battle everyday temptations to resist nutritionless food, and of course, Westmoor’s 204 reasons to indulge in a cake or two shouldn’t be words to live by; eating with regard for health does matter, especially if you lead a sedentary lifestyle. It Doesn’t Count If… It’s the Last One makes an ideal gift for someone who’s always roller coaster dieting, giving them a humorous relief and release from the prison of guilt.

Written by: Payal Patel, March 22nd 2009