Why should the belly of women preferably be totally flat, when other body parts can be big and voluptuous? Why should the source of life itself, the home of the uterus and digestion, be invisible?
When journalist and historian Hilde Østby turned 45, she understood that she had been hating her belly for exactly 30 years. This is where the hunt for the origin of the self-contempt started - in neurology, psychology, cultural history and in her own life. Can we find the answer to the riddle in our brain? In the clothing industry? In the Male gaze? On the cover of Fashion Magazines or in the social control between Women?
Hilde Østby goes looking for solutions and find surprising answers to the riddle. This book is an anti-dieting book. It is a celebration of life and love, and through seven steps it may even help you to love your body more!
I really like Østby. She is an original non-fiction writer, as also with her books about memory and creativity. The form of The Big Belly Book is a typical contemporary narrative non-fiction book with the mix of personal, and sometimes private, confessions, a sharp look at society, scientific and historical facts. It is also filled with fun facts, like the fact that the first book on diets was published in 1558.
Østby goes to work with a great underlying seriousness in her self-examination. With her own story as frame, she looks at new research, often thinking of her own daughter who might be in danger of inheriting her mother´s demons. Throughout the book Østby is hunting for the origin of her own self-contempt.
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