Does This Pregnancy Make Me Look Fat by Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei
Most women in America spend their lives trying to be the somewhat thinner version of themselves, or at least attempting to maintain their weight and body composition. Still other women have serious eating disorders or body identity disorders compelling them to attempt to be ever thinner, to the point of endangering their lives. What happens, then, when they get pregnant? Suddenly it is okay, even good, to be ‘fat’ – but not too fat, mind you, unless you want jokes about twins.
According to Claire Mysko and Magali Amadei, the disconnect between how women feel their bodies are ‘supposed’ to be when they are not pregnant, and how they feel the are ‘supposed’ to be when they are pregnant is not only a huge disconnect, it can also be a huge problem for many women, particularly first time moms who do not know what to expect Even more so because it is something that people don’t really talk about: you’re supposed to be thin, you’re supposed to get huge and be happy about it, then you’re supposed to get skinny again pretty quickly.
If the authors’ goal was simply to open up conversation and let women know they aren’t alone with these feelings, and I suspect it was, then they did a pretty good job. I didn’t feel that there were a lot of concrete action steps for women to take to improve their body image, but I suspect that wasn’t really the point for them. At times the book got a bit repetitive, but it was overall pretty good, I think.
I’m perhaps not the best judge, though, because I don’t quite think it was aimed at me. Yes, I had a baby recently, yes I occasionally felt gigantic while pregnant, yes, it has been over 6 months and I’ve still got a fair amount of the baby weight left (hence why I’m currently doing the Game on! Diet). However, I’m pretty happy with my body in general. Sure, like everyone else there are things I would change, but I’m pretty content. I take the authors’ point that most women have some sort of body issue, but I think this book would be best for those who are frequently obsessed or unhappy with their bodies and how they look, but are not at the point of serious body dysmorphic disorder.
For these reasons, I’m not sure I would recommend giving this as a gift to any pregnant women, unless you know they have struggled with body image and that they will appreciate this book. I would recommend it to women who are pregnant, are planning to get pregnant, or have been pregnant if they have body image issues, as it is good food for thought.
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I read this book as part of a TLC Book Tour. Check out some of the other tour hosts for more reviews. Links go to the host’s site, not to their specific review.
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