I lovvve the blog  feministing, and read this on it today. I haven’t looked at the book yet, but I’m interested to hear what Batten vegans have to say.

“Now I have been known to call some of my best friends skinny bitches, but usually it is a term of endearment or as a total joke. I know, totally tacky. But I have never thought of “skinny bitch” as a term of empowerment or reflective of girl power. Sure we know all about the reclamation of the word “bitch,” but I have yet to see an effective reclaiming of “skinny.” Of course it is OK to be skinny, it is more the pressure women face to be skinny or stay skinny or even being told they are too skinny, that frankly makes all of us, go insane. In a culture where being skinny is something held over the heads of young women and used to determine their social and cultural value, I am wary of its use in the politics of food.

So this piece struck a cord with me from last week’s NYT. It is about the new book by the author of vegan best-seller, “Skinny Bitch,” called “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch.” It is a cookbook for politically conscious, weight conscious, vegans.

Despite its seemingly indigestible qualities, “Skinny Bitch” (Running Press) became one of the hottest-selling vegan books ever published. Now, the book’s peculiar combination of girl power, tough love and gross-out tales from the slaughterhouse has been translated to the kitchen. The authors’ new cookbook, “Skinny Bitch in the Kitch,” was published in December and reached No. 6 on the New York Times best-seller list in the paperback advice category last week.

Now it does not surprise me that this book is selling so much. There is a huge market for literature that calls women fucked up things and tells them they are stupid or fat and why they should buy this book and be svelte and will have men swooning after them. If they could just do this wonder thing that the book details. But similar to what Debbie Rasmussen from BITCH says in the article, I too am all for an assault on the food industry, but I have major issues with demanding that skinny is the end all goal for being a vegan. That is not “girl power” to me. It is tacky and a dated way of selling books.

Speaking personally, I used to be vegan and honestly, when done right and with support it can work really well. But then I started to realize one of the main reasons I was doing it was because it was keeping my weight down in a really extreme way (read: eating disorder) but I could cover it up in the guise of a political identity. So when young women tell me they are vegan, I am always inquisitive as to the method of their veganism. It is a very extreme diet that needs supplements to make sure you are not deficient in nutrients. It is frustrating, the lack of real nutritional information available to young women to teach us how to eat properly in a way that is healthy, maintains a healthy weight and keeps us happy. I certainly continue to struggle with it and I am almost 30!” -Samhita at feministing.

-Steph

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