Sizeable Reflections

The Women's Press, London, 2000

Cover Synopsis

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Sizeable Reflections - Big Women Living Full Lives Most women have learnt to dislike their bodies, to wish them altered, usually thinner. But the women in Sizeable Reflections are different. They have come to accept their bodies, to love the way they look and feel. Here, in humorous, fierce and moving essays they give compelling insights into their lives and achievements. From fitness instructor Kathryn Szrodecki demonstrating that fat can stil be fit and Jo Brand giving hints for dealing with size-obsessed hecklers; to Dawn French and business partner Helen Teague reflecting on their creative friendship - the abundance of successful women in Sizeable Reflections proves unquestionably that life is at its best when lived to the full.

How I came to write this book
A pleasant surprise - I was contacted out of the blue by The Women's Press who asked if I would compile and edit an anthology of original essays by large women who had been successful and whose size had not prevented them from achieving what they wanted to in life. I really liked the idea and accepted the commission with pleasure. Being an editor was very different from being a writer and I enjoyed the freedom of choosing my contributors and discussing their essays with them. The book was a mixture of very different women: old and young, black and white, famous and ordinary. Some of the essays were humorous, some reflective, some defiant and all were triumphant. I was working with large women who had not let their size be a barrier to success and they were an inspiration. I wrote an essay for the anthology myself, called The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea - the first sign I gave that I was ambivalent about my size. In it I said that there were grey areas between the black and white certainties of fat hatred and fat pride. I said I did not want to be thin but that I would like to be less fat...

'[A] funny, bold, helpful and inspiring collection of essays... The women here bring the issue down to earth in a way that should resonate with anyone who has ever worried about their weight. Which is most of us' :: The Scotsman

'Counters the slimming cult with humorous insights into living life with a fuller figure.' :: The London Evening Standard

'Uplifting and full of hope... shows how women can become more than a mere dress size.' :: Stress News.

'It's time to make good that new year's resolution to read more. Start with Sizeable Reflections, edited by Shelley Bovey.' :: The Mirror

'A great antidote to all those earnest diet and self-improvement books'. :: Healthy Eating