Women Under Scrutiny

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 10 Apr 2020

Member Reviews

It took me a bit of time to be able to process how I really felt about this book. It certainly wasn’t what I expected it to be. These short stories, poems and essays written by women are some of the most raw material I have read in a while. Each woman shares the unfiltered truth of how she feels about her body image, how the world’s standards can be an awful judge and there are stories of shame, guilt, mental illness and everything in between. Most of the book was hard to read in the sense that it was heartbreaking to realize what women go through whether it be in their own heads or some idea of perfection thrown at them by society. Kudos to all the women who were willing to share and be so transparent to help break some of the stereotypes and stigmas. Job well done.
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Unfortunately I was disappointed by this book. The vast majority of truths focus on weight and to be honest I was hoping for a lot more diversity. Women are scrutinised for an array of things outside of weight and to tell the truth I was getting tired of it being the focal point. It also says this book is meant to include artwork but I only saw 2 pieces of art?

Really interesting premise but sadly the execution wasn't for me.
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It took me quite a while to process my thoughts about this book, and I’m not sure if it is because of the topical subject matter or the volume. It brought back many memories where people have passed seemingly innocuous comments about my own appearance and/or body. 

The articles, poems, and artwork talk about society’s double standards when it comes to the appearance of women. Women have shared their stories about fat-shaming, bullying, body image issues, self-esteem issues, eating disorders, and mental health issues that arise from the unhealthy obsession with weight and/or body shape.

The pieces have been written by a diverse group of women, of all ages and with all sorts of backgrounds. While this makes the book representative of everyone’s voices, the quality of writing takes a hit at times. Without sounding dismissive of the pain behind women’s lived experiences, I want to say that the volume could have been slimmer because some articles/poems did not add anything fresh to the narrative.
Meyers adds her riveting commentary to the book, describing her own battles with body weight and how this anthology arose from the experience of writing her novel, Waisted.

Final thoughts: There’s a lot to process in these essays. They’re not all easy to read. Some are serious and tragic, whereas the others imbue humor into painful topics. You, as a reader, must have the courage to read these honest and brave accounts of women who have been targeted for their appearance and body shape.
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*Thanks Netgally and the author for the arc, all thoughts are completely my own *
I wasn't sure how to rate this book, not because it is bad, it's actually really harrowing the way some people's relationships with their bodies are.

This book brought me back to being a teenager, uncomfortable in their own body and thinking they were fat when they weren't. 

Its hard to read about different women's stories about them being scrutinized over their bodies. 

I would definitely recommend this book if you're into diet culture
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An evocative and honest anthology of stories, essays, and poems about navigating the world as a girl/woman, body image, and sometimes, finding self love/self acceptance despite the societal pressure to conform. Some of these works were beautiful in their vulnerability, others just barely scratched the surface, but overall a collection worth reading.
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