By Randy Susan Meyers
Published May 2019 by Atria Books
Alice and Daphne, both successful and accomplished working mothers, harbor the same secret: obsession with their weight overshadows concerns about their children, husbands, work—and everything else of importance in their lives. Scales terrify them.
Daphne, plump in a family of model-thin women, learned only slimness earns admiration at her mother’s knee. Alice, break-up skinny when she met her husband, risks losing her marriage if she keeps gaining weight.
The two women meet at Waisted. Located in a remote Vermont mansion, the program promises fast, dramatic weight loss, and Alice, Daphne, and five other women are desperate enough to leave behind their families for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity. The catch? They must agree to always be on camera; afterward, the world will see Waisted: The Documentary.
The women soon discover that the filmmakers have trapped them in a cruel experiment. With each pound lost, they edge deeper into obsession and instability…until they decide to take matters into their own hands.
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Oh gosh, where do I start with this book?
It was amazing and uncomfortably true and just a book that is much needed in the world.
Waisted follows two women, Daphne and Alice, as they struggle with their weight and identity. They join a documentary to lose weight, under the pretense that it’s going to be a relaxing journey into learning about their bodies and becoming the weight they want to be.
It’s a total nightmare with humiliation and fat shaming and really, really terrible “dieting” to force them to lose weight rapidly. And while this is a fictional novel, it gave me some insight as to what likely goes on behind the scenes of reality weight loss shows. It’s appalling.
There’s so many themes in this book; ranging from body positivity, the realities of fat shaming in today’s society, high standards for women’s bodies, and what we are teaching our younger generations of girls.
It’s an emotional read, but a very necessary and good read.
Daphne and Alice (and the other characters too), learn so many things along the journey of this novel, and I found myself cheering them on often.
Even though I’ve finished the novel, I find myself going back and thinking about pieces of it and how it fits with today’s society. This is a book that is going to stick with me for a long time.