Book Reviews: Smart People Don’t Diet, Fashioning Fat, & Beautiful Encore

by Gio

Hello gorgeous,

are you tired of diets that don’t work? Or of being told that mature women aren’t beautiful? Or just want to take a peek behind the scenes of plus size modelling? Then, I have the books for you. Read on:

smart people don't diet
Smart People Don’t Diet: How the Latest Science Can Help You Lose Weight Permanently by Charlotte Markey
Diets just don’t work. They make you concentrate more on food, feel miserable, and gain more weight in the long run. That’s due to many reasons, including the fact that dieters only make short-term changes to their eating habits. As soon as they’ve lost some weight, they reintroduce in their diets those foods the fad diet of their choice had prevented them from consuming, thus nullifying their efforts. That’s why, as Dr. Charlotte N. Markey suggests, you should only make those changes in your diet that you can sustain for the rest of your life. That doesn’t mean that you’ll never be able to eat anything tasty ever again. Quite the contrary. Dr Markey doesn’t believe that you should deprive yourself of foods you love, but just to improve your eating habits. For example, you can substitute Oreos with a few pieces of fruits and reduce the amounts of calories you drink (ie sodas and alcohol). You can still have one Oreo as dessert after dinner or a bottle of beer at the pub, but when you consume them in moderation rather than in big doses daily, they won’t be as harmful, and you’ll be able to better manage your weight without feeling deprived.
While all the information provided here is very useful, I have two main problems with the book. One, Dr Markey tends to repeat herself a lot, which makes for some dry and boring reading at times. Two, she barely takes into consideration the other factors that contribute to weight gain, such as diseases, stress, inequality and psychological and emotional problems. While it is undeniable that implementing the eating habits recommended by Dr Markey will improve your health, they may not do that much for your weight if you don’t fix all the other issues that have caused you to gain weight. That’s why I recommend this book only to those who want to change their eating habits for the better.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

fashioning fat
Fashioning Fat: Inside Plus-Size Modeling by Amanda M. Czerniawski
Plus size modelling is slowly booming. Although most models gracing the pages of magazines and TV advertisements are still very thin, more and more brands are starting to use plus size models to appeal to a broader demographic. While seeing a variety of body types in the media can have positive consequences and encourage women to embrace their own bodies the way they are, plus size modelling has a dark side, as sociologist Czerniawski personally discovered.
Czerniawski wanted to study how the “niche of plus modelling function within a larger fashion market that privileges the thin body”. What better way to do that than becoming a model herself? This decision gave her first hand experience in several aspects of the industry, such as castings, shoots, tricks of the trade, as well as access to other plus size models who shared their own experiences with her. This way, we discover that a lot of plus size models have struggled with body hate for years and now want to challenge and change the standard of beauty that privileges the thin body. Yet, like thin models, they aren’t in control of their body, but must conform theirs to a new, idealized image of a bigger body created by brands and advertisers. The tiniest fluctuation in their body size can cost them jobs and so, to keep working, these models usually resort to drastic diets and dangerous measures to maintain their body measurements. And even so, the bodies we often see in magazines aren’t their own. Often, spanx, pads, and other tools are used to create the desired shape. And have you ever wondered why some plus size models have such thin faces? That’s cos they aren’t plus size at all. The client chose a thin model and, with the help of padding, created the illusion of a bigger body. That’s the same trick often used to photograph maternity wear too.
Fashioning Fat provides a fascinating glimpse behind the scenes of plus size modelling, but an all too short one. Czerniawski spends too little time sharing the personal experiences of agents, models, and her own, and too much time analysing the industry, often repeating the same concepts more than once in the same paragraph, which makes for some boring reading at times. But I would still recommend it to those who want to know more about this niche in the fashion industry. It’s full of interesting gems, even if hidden behind a lot of big words.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

beautiful encore
Beautiful Encore: Makeovers for Mature Women by Anne Reizer
In a society that idolizes youth, mature women often feel ugly and lose confidence in themselves. That’s why it’s important to have books like Beautiful Encore, which reminds us that older women are beautiful and have a lot to offer their loved ones, their communities, and the world.
Beautiful Encore features a series of makeovers of women of various ethnicities, ages (ranging from 50 to 80), and walks of life, which are accompanied by their bios and their thoughts about the current stage of their life. Although most makeovers tend to be similar, with lots of women sporting short hair, for example, they show women it’s possible to look, and feel, sensational at any age.
The book also features short articles, written by experts, on health and beauty issues, such as exercise, nutrition, skincare, hearing loss, and dentistry. But don’t expect how-to guides or tutorials. The tips provided here barely skim the surface of each topic, and can be found in most magazines and all over the internet. Yet, I’m sure a lot of women will appreciate to have them all finally in one place.
The book is very short and, because it doesn’t explore any theme in-depth, can seem quite shallow too. But it’s purpose is not so much telling older women what to do, but inspiring and motivating them to take better care of themselves and put their best face forward. This, in turn, will help increase their confidence, and lead to success in all areas of their lives. If you’re over 50 and struggling with body image, I highly recommend you check it out.
Available at: Amazon
Rating: 3.5/5

What do you think of these books? Will pick up any of them?

Disclosure: this item was sent by PR for consideration. In addition, the review contains an affiliate link. For more information, please see my disclaimer.

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Katie February 14, 2015 - 5:59 pm

I’m going to have to pick at least one of these up, the non-dieting one looks just perfect and plus size modelling (though very few of those women are particularly fat) is really interesting and beautiful 🙂

Gio February 14, 2015 - 7:49 pm

Katie, I used to think the same about plus size modelling. Now, after reading this book, I’m not so sure anymore. I think it’s great that we’re starting to see different body types in the media, but modelling is a very ugly industry for any woman, whether plus size or straight, to be in. The book was definitely an eye-opener.

Janessa July 20, 2015 - 3:43 am

Wow, so glad I’m not in the modeling industry… at least not human modeling. CG modeling is another story hahaha. EHHHH.. makeovers for older women? More like embrace your age and rock what you’ve got and love yourself every step of the way in your journey called life. Don’t feel discouraged to try out makeup trends and wear colorful clothes. (to all the ladies and men) You are elegant by the way you carry yourself, dear!
The diet book sounds like a book I could write… I look I got a degree in physics, let me write about nutrition. Harsh, but I’m feeling like writing this!

Gio July 20, 2015 - 5:48 am

Janessa, it’s an awful industry to be in, isn’ it? Seems so glamorous, but things are quite different behind the scenes…

What inspiring words! I agree, just because you are older doesn’t mean that you are not beautiful anymore or that you have to wear boring clothes. Love yourself, and everything else will naturally fall into place.


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