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Big Girl - Book Review

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by Mila Wood (subscribe)
I work in the Finance department of a media company, and someone who dabbles in writing of any genre.
Published January 29th 2015
A heartfelt novel on body image - A must to read
I often hear someone say that beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but realistically comments like that in a truthful way are very rare.

When you walk into a room full of people, our eyes are instantaneously projected to someone who has a pretty face, is handsome, or has a great figure, but we honestly can't form an opinion of them till after a lengthy conversation.

The "mediocre ones", the "big girl" , the "chubby guy", unfortunately become the "Wallflower".

Media dictates us to have a certain size. Advertisements on TV, magazines, billboards and so on and so on. It seems that we are pressured to be a size 10 or under.

Weight loss products are massive business. The industry is approximately worth $60 billion dollars. Perhaps there is a collaboration between the fast food businesses and the weight loss industry?

How many times have we heard describes someone as "biggish"? Instead of saying she or he seems nice? According to study by UCLA psychologists " Girls who are told by a parent, sibling, friend, classmate or teacher that they are too fat at age 10 are more likely to be obese at age 19."

In some countries, it's perceived that having a fair skin is very attractive and dark skin means ugly. Can you imagine someone commenting "you're so dark" all the time. It's like reiterating over and over again that you're ugly. Think of the inferiority complex that person will have when she is beside someone that has a fair skin.

I have a dark skin. I used whitening products in a belief that I will turn white. But of course it didn't. It took me years to realise that I have a very soft brown skin. And that someone is capable of loving me because of me, and not because of the colour of my skin.

Someone can be bullied anywhere, at school, emails, even at home, and of course the internet. It can get so serious that you'll think it's the end of the road. We know of celebrities like Charlotte Dawson and read news about Jessica Laney who ended their life.

If someone is being bullied at school, a child can bring the incident to their parents' attention.What happens if name calling, being called fat, comments like "you should loose weight" happens at home? Who do you turn to?

This a novel titled Big Girl and written by Danielle Steele. This book will delve into this issue.



It explores deeply into one's self image, family, sisterhood, weight loss and self-loathing. Victoria Dawson was born to a mother, whose striking good looks were the envy of her peers. Victoria was born chubby, blonde hair, blue eyes and apparently possesses a ordinary looks.

Her father Jim is tall, slim and command's an enviable salary in the advertising industry. Her mother Christina has porcelain skin, fine bone structure and a luscious mane of dark hair. Both are also self-centred and outspoken and have shown disappointment towards Victoria's looks ever since she was born. As she grow older, it is apparent that Victoria easily puts on those unwanted kilos.

Victoria's father always refer to her as "our tester cake", and commented that she look like Queen Elizabeth.

Then Gracie was born.

Gracie is the perfect baby. She has the same white skin as her mother. She has a raven dark hair, big brown eyes just like her parents and a perfectly formed tiny pink lip. They all agree that, although it's not a boy, they got it right this time.

Victoria's parents and her sister can devour anything and don't seem to gain an ounce. While she has to watch whatever she eats and endure the belittling comments about her body from her parents, who completely ignore her academic achievements. She indulges in ice-cream and oversize portions of wrong food for comfort.

Victoria knows that she needs to leave home, and pursue her dream of becoming a teacher. After finishing college she then moves to New York and lands a job in the most prestigious school.

Amidst the intense enjoyment that she feels on being able to fulfil her vocation, and also despite her regular gym visits, she still wages a war on her weight. The tension with her parents still continues and regardless of all her achievements, it is ignored. In her father's eyes, she will always be the "big girl", but Victoria never stops loving her baby sister, Gracie.

When Gracie mets a man who has a narcissistic tendency like her father, Victoria tried to persuade her not to marry him, to no avail, leaving her with a feeling that she failed again.

As the wedding grows closer, the tension amongst the family intensifies. A family confrontation leads to a turning point. Would she be able to forgive them for the abuse that her parents inflicted on her since she was a little girl? Can she accept that she is beautiful, intelligent, and no matter what happens in the future she is a woman of substance?

Big Girl is available to any large book store or on line. It's price ranges from $7.95 at Ebay.

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Your Comment
A beautifully written heartfelt review Mila. I will keep this book in mind for my book club. Thanks.
by Jenny Rossiter (score: 3|4057) 1409 days ago
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