This is Big: How the Founder of Weight Watchers Changed the World (and Me) (Hardback)Marisa Meltzer (author)
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Brave, funny and observant, Meltzer’s biography of Jean Nidetch – the founder of Weight Watchers – unveils the life of an unlikely feminist hero. Meltzer’s refreshing and personal take on the history of dieting and body politics is a welcome antidote to the endless demands of weight loss culture.
Marisa Meltzer was put on her first diet aged five: it was the beginning of a fraught relationship with food.
Jean Nidetch was a housewife from Queens who defiantly lost 70 pounds after she was mistaken for being pregnant. Taking everything she learned from this experience, in 1963 she founded Weight Watchers, a company that has shaped decades of diet culture.
When Marisa reads Jean's obituary, she feels a moment of intense connection. Curious about the woman and her legacy, she signs up for a year of Weight Watchers; counting points, weighing in and listening to her fellow members struggle with their bodies.
This is Big is a biography of an idiosyncratic entrepreneur whose impact is still felt strongly today. It is a history of dieting and body politics for anyone who has agonised over their weight or defiantly tried not to do so. And it is Marisa's funny and thoughtful journey towards a different way to live in the world.
Publisher: Vintage Publishing
Number of pages: 304
Weight: 422 g
Dimensions: 222 x 144 x 144 mm
‘Meltzer’s whistle-stop history of America’s body image is both effortlessly informative and efficiently selective – as a seasoned magazine writer for Vogue and Vanity Fair she knows how to juice a handful of facts with a brisk squeeze of the fist.’ - The Telegraph
'This is the anti-diet book I have been waiting for. I loved its honesty, charm and celebration of an unlikely but compelling feminist heroine. I think many women -- me included -- really struggle to find a voice in a culture where wellness and body positivity both noisily vie for our attention. For the first time I feel seen and heard' - Daisy Buchanan
'Sharp... frank and incisive' - Charlotte Lytton, The Telegraph
'Frank, funny and feminist, she [Meltzer] describes her struggles with charm and honesty, questioning how a (mostly) happy person can be made so miserable by calories, portion sizes and scales' - Eithne Farry, The Sunday Express
'This is Big is a brave, bold, funny, honest, riveting book that made me have every kind of feeling in the world' - Jami Attenberg, author of All Grown Up
'Meltzer has created a singular companionate text for those who know the agony of frustration surrounding weight as an issue, both personal and political. People - women, especially - who ping-pong around the weight spectrum will feel less alone when they read it... Nidetch may be long gone, but Meltzer carries on her legacy of putting a public face on the challenge of weight management. Acerbic, culturally astute and genuine, she makes exquisite company in the struggle, and that is no small thing.' - Lily Burana, The New York Times
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