Rating: 4 / 5
Randy Susan Meyers’ Waisted is a piercingly realistic exploration of the many ways in which women hate their bodies and then lengths they’ll go to achieve the “perfect body”.
Huge thanks to Atria Books for an advanced copy of this book!
Alice’s weight has always fluctuated, and her family always loved her unconditionally. At her most slim, she met her future husband. When the number on the scale started rising, she knew that he felt duped. At her heaviest ever, Alice knew she needed to do something drastic to maintain the love of her husband and the ounce of self-worth she had left.
Daphne has always been chunky; in stark contrast to her slim sisters and mother. Her husband loves her body no matter what size, so her weight complex comes primarily from her domineering and callous mother. Like so many women, she was sick of people telling her she “has such a pretty face!” She, too, needed to make a change.
Alice, Daphne, and five other moderately overweight women arrived at a one-month health retreat that promised to give them the tools for lifelong health and self-love. Their delusion was quickly ruined when the health retreat’s trainers began – and never stopped – berating them; saying worse things to them than they could even come up with on their own.
Faced with emotional and physical abuse, the women rally together to take back their autonomy. Can they also achieve what they so desperately desire – weight loss, healthy relationships with food, self-love, and – most important – acceptance and support of their families.
Please take caution when reading Waisted if any of the following topics may trigger you:
- Body hatred and fat phobia
Waisted is a fantastically unique combination of light and fun & serious and poignant social commentary. It’s such an entertaining read, but with heavy undertones of the painfully honest workings of the overweight woman’s mind.
Meyers hits the nail on the proverbial head with her characters’ inner thoughts of their bodies and their relationships with food. If you’ve ever struggled with weight gain and loss, you’ll be shocked at how easily what you’re reading could apply to your life.
Yes, Meyers tackles the overwhelming pressure that women feel to be an “acceptable” weight – and she does so with grace and piercing honesty. But she also tackles other interesting themes, including those of race, marriage, and parenting. Alice is biracial – her mother white and Jewish and her father Black; both Alice and Daphne have marital issues stemming from their weights; and both women also have daughters who they desperately hope not to push their weight-related neuroses on.
Other than really interesting social commentary, Waisted offers wonderful depictions of female camaraderie and moments of pure fun. These pieces of the story are by far my favorite – they’re light and yet so meaningful.
Waisted is a delight of a book! It will also make you think. I think MJ Rose says it best in her blurb on the back of my copy – “This is a must read for every woman who ever stepped on the scale with her eyes closed. And every woman who hasn’t.”
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my thoughts on Waisted. I’d love to hear your thoughts on the novel in the comments or at my Instagram, @bookmarkedbya!