A bunch of time back, I mentioned that I read Coming Clean. by Kimberly Rae Miller. She’s a dear friend of a dear friend, a truly lovely person, and someone I can reach out to if/when I know there’s something I need to ask her about. This is all besides the point for this post but I thought I’d mention it.
I enjoyed her first book very much and when it was announced that she was releasing a second one, I watched carefully for the pre-order announcement to be available on Amazon so I had my copy right away.
Then it sat on my desk for awhile at work because these things happen.
Anyway. Her new book? Fantastic. Partially historical info, part memoir. It had a flavor of Mary Roach but more familiar and a little less formal.
Like most people, Kimberly Rae Miller does not have the perfect body, but that hasn’t stopped her from trying. And trying. And trying some more. She’s been at it since she was four years old, when Sesame Street inspired her to go on her first diet. Postcollege, after a brief stint as a diet-pill model, she became a health-and-fitness writer and editor working on celebrities’ bestselling bios—sugarcoating the trials and tribulations celebs endure to stay thin. Needless to say, Kim has spent her life in pursuit of the ideal body.
But what is the ideal body? Knowing she’s far from alone in this struggle, Kim sets out to find the objective definition of this seemingly unattainable level of perfection. While on a fascinating and hilarious journey through time that takes her from obese Paleolithic cavewomen, to the bland menus that Drs. Graham and Kellogg prescribed to promote good morals in addition to good health, to the binge-drinking-prone regimen that caused William the Conqueror’s body to explode at his own funeral, Kim ends up discovering a lot about her relationship with her own body.
Warm, funny, and brutally honest, Beautiful Bodies is a blend of memoir and social history that will speak to anyone who’s ever been caught in a power struggle with his or her own body…in other words, just about everyone.
As someone who has an on and off weird relationship with food, how I look and how I feel about my body this was an interesting read. I appreciated the candid way she spoke about her experience, struggles, and successes. And I have to say, this girl is funny.
I also found myself looking for texts she’s cited because the research was interesting. While I’m not sure I’ll go back and read them, it was nice to have them on hand for further reading. Also, if you’re one who skips footnotes, don’t. You’ll thank me for saying so.
I look forward to her next book, which I hear is already in the works.
Is this something you’d read? Why or why not?