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Bodies: Big Ideas/Small Books [Paperback]

Susie Orbach


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Product details

  • Paperback: 216 pages
  • Publisher: Picador USA; Original edition (3 Mar 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0312427204
  • ISBN-13: 978-0312427207
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11.2 x 1.5 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,068,914 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

By Orbach, Susie [ [ Bodies: Big Ideas/Small Books ] ] Mar-2009[ Paperback ]

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  5 reviews
17 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Applause for Bodies 12 July 2009
By Sharon Haywood - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
"Scandinavian women who believe they're too tall can get their legs shortened by having a surgeon break the femur bones and cut them down to a desirable length. Chinese men and women wanting the opposite can have a four-inch metal rod implanted in their upper legs to add height. Approximately half of Korean girls today are westernizing their eyes. Men worldwide are signing up for phalloplasty procedures--to enlarge and lengthen their [...]

Even though I wrote this text as part of my review of Susie Orbach's latest book Bodies, I still can't help but shake my head each time I read it. Orbach, renowned UK psychotherapist and one of the driving forces behind Dove's Campaign for Real Beauty, opened my eyes to the true nature of our relationship with our bodies. I've always known that the media has played a part in my own personal struggle to accept my body, but after reading Bodies abundant with realities such as, "2,000 to 5,000 times a week, we receive images of bodies enhanced by digital manipulation," I now recognize the full extent to which the media and our environment negatively affects how we view and feel about our bodies.

Despite the the alarming facts, what I appreciate most about her book is that she left me feeling hopeful. Pick up a copy and become inspired to cultivate a life without body shame, without the need to remodel yourself against an unattainable Western ideal. [...]
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Thought-provoking! 4 Jun 2009
By LAS - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Orbach argues that our bodies are no longer our homes, but instead are a presentation piece that we constantly shape - through surgery, cosmetics, weight loss and weight gain - to convince the world that we are what we aspire to be.

She illustrates her thesis with interesting - occasionally horrifying - stories. For example; in 1995, the World Health Organization changed it's definition of Body Mass Index (BMI) By that new definition, Brad Pitt became "overweight", and George Clooney became "obese". I'll spare you the story of the man who didn't like his legs, but Orbach opens the book with it.

Why should this matter? For one thing, she believes that the range of what constitutes "beauty" is being narrowed by the advertising we see constantly. And that is a loss - we shouldn't all have to be tall, thin, and blond to be considered beautiful.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The disembodied body 8 Sep 2009
By Deb - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
A wonderful fusion of modern psychoanalytic perspectives, feminist analysis, neuropsychology, case studies, original thinking, and poignant writing, _Bodies_ traces how the interplay between body vulnerability and societal ideals has resulted in today's crisis levels of body dissatisfaction.

Orbach proposes the original idea of a critical period for "body acquisition" (similar to that of language acquisition) during which time a young child develops a sense of being in his or her body. The ability to achieve a sense that one's body is stable and reliable ultimately depends on the quality of attachment to the caregiver, as well as the caregiver's ability to be comfortable with their own body (as "every body is made with the intimate imprint of the familial body story"). Children who do not successfully gain a sense of body stability become the teenagers and adults who are most vulnerable to succumbing to the messages of the globalized media and perpetually manipulating their body into the idealized westernized body.

Orbach explains how as a result of this never-ending battle, "the body has become a casing for fantasy rather than a place from which to live." The solution for this dis-embodiment, she suggests, lies in "engaging with the difficulties that our bodies present to us at a psychological, personal, and social level." By learning how to embody our bodies, we will be able to fully live in them--instead of in the hopes that they could be something more.

Although _Bodies_ may be a small book, its content is profound and largely pertains to any and every body.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Bodies 17 May 2013
By Beach Writer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Small book- easier to find essential ideas. Very important work. Reminds to treat body as is with love/ respect. How we are lost to our bodies by accepting the culture's views. Never good enough/beautiful enough. Fix- fix-fix. This book reminds us to breathe in beauty- all of us included.
2 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars the slavery of body pefection 13 Mar 2010
By octavio maia saliba - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
The book is very interesting. It criticizes the social model of body perfection,
that creates a lot of problems in the persons, that feel unhappy with the body size that is not exactly what is determined by the cultural reference.
It is one mental slavery

dr Octavio Maia Saliba psychiatric
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