Last week I was on a radio program to discuss Skinny Bitch, the vegan/animal rights manifesto wrapped in chick-lit veneer that became a bestseller after Posh Spice was photographed holding it.
Yep, thanks largely to this photo, Skinny Bitch has become one of the only books with an uncompromising animal rights message to break into mainstream culture.
And with its success has come a slew of criticism – primarily focused on the mean-spirited tone and relentless focus on becoming skinny. The endless chastizing, critics say, mirrors the self-hatred and inner judgment many people – especially girls and women – already experience when it comes to food and eating.
I get it. I'm intimately familiar with eating disorders and the endless inner judgments when it comes to food choices. The problem is, that's not the whole story. We also live in a culture that breeds outright denial and refusal when it comes to examining our food and eating choices in a broader context, which makes dismissing books that confront people with politicizing their food choices all too easy.
Skinny Bitch sucks on many levels – I'm not denying that. But there aren't a lot of books out there that even attempt to break through the misinformation foisted upon us by the food industry. And for that, I give authors Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin credit.