Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Eating Myself based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
I found this book to be quite dull really. It was a bit self indulgent and didn't really speak to me about issues with food and eating. Eating disorders aren't about weight and food, they are about control and self-esteem. The end of the book was interesting in exploring why people want to lose weight, and for whom, but it never really got to the point.
I almost Pearl-ruled this one - but I'm glad I persevered. The book is part autobiography, part 'women's studies', part social sciences. The first fifty pages or so, in which Crewe lays out her aristocratic family background, seemed a tad unnecessary, but after that it was plain sailing. In fact, in the last few pages, reflecting on the writing of the book, Crewe admits that originally it had comprised rather less autobiography, but that it had become clear that some context was required against which to set her thoughts and reflections. Although she skims over her problems with anorexia and bulimia, and much of her interest in food stems from these experiences, these extremes are by no means the focus of the book. Like a less naive Bridget Jones, Crewe's experiences with food and diet are every woman's. Her skill lies in her keen perception of thought processes that women often don't even notice they're entertaining. From falling off the diet wagon in a hail of chocolate biscuits to the things that run through our minds when we're confronted with a buffet table, I recognised myself in an awful lot of the situations she describes! As Crewe progresses through the years to the healthier viewpoints she entertains nowadays, she also poses some interesting questions about why we feel the need to be thin in the first place. Are we dieting for men? For our family and friends? Other women? Or for ourselves? And what do we think it will achieve? Do we believe that if we were thinner our love lives would miraculously be overflowing with lustful suitors? That our very personalities would change to make us happier, more free, more likely to be spontaneous and adventurous? There are a lot of thought-provoking issues raised in this book, and Crewe seems to have a knack of voicing our foibles in such a blunt way that it frequently made me stop and think, 'gosh, we are a lot of idiots to keep making ourselves miserable investing in these ideals!' The style of the book, with its unflinching honesty and self awareness and wealth of personal anecdotes, helps differentiate it from the more aggressive, though no less compelling, 'political feminism' books on the market (for example, Naomi Wolf's 'The Beauty Myth'), and keeps the tone friendly and inclusive. I think every woman, young and old, fat and thin, would come away from this book with something to think about, and probably a more positive and balanced view of their own bodies and eating habits to boot. Recommended.