Monday, June 8, 2009

Does This Book Make Me Look Fat? Edited by Marissa Walsh

Body image is an issue many people struggle with, but teens can be especially afflicted because of peer pressure and an over saturation of celebrity-focused media. It seems that at least once a week some celebrity, like Lindsay Lohan or Jennifer Love Hewitt, is being attacked for being “too fat” or “too skinny.” Society’s influence on what is beautiful has caused both teen boys and girls to go to extreme lengths to fit into an unrealistic mold.

Does This Book Make Me Look Fat? stories about loving – and loathing- your body
, edited by Marissa Walsh, is a collection of short fiction and non-fiction writings addressing body issues. The book features the work of Ellen Hopkins (Crank, Impulse, & Identical), Sarra Manning (Guitar Girl, Pretty Things, & Let’s Get Lost), Matt de la Pena (Mexican Whiteboy & Ball Don’t Lie), Megan McCafferty (Perfect Fifths, Fourth Comings, & Charming Thirds), and many other young adult writers. Much of the writing focuses on the issues young girls may face, but Barry Lyga (The Astonishing Adventures of Fanboy and Goth Girl & Hero-Type) and Daniel Pinkwater provide a male perspective.

This collection demonstrates the common and often silent struggle teens go through and the effects it can have on their physical and emotion health. The book has a personal touch to it based on honest autobiographical contributions of some of the writers, which relays to the reader that they are not alone. Certain works are stronger than others, but overall the collection brings the message home that we are not alone with the struggle to feel “normal” and accepted.

In addition to appearing in this book, several of these authors are featured in the Moore Memorial Public Library Young Adult collection.

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