Thursday, March 03, 2005

The Girlfriends Cyber Circuit is swinging back into town! Today our guest is Johanna Edwards, author of The Next Big Thing. Here is a synopsis of the novel:

In this funny, poignant debut, a plus-size heroine becomes a reality TV show contestant and discovers she's already beautiful enough to be the next big thing.

Kat Larson figured she had nothing to lose by becoming a contestant on the new reality show From Fat to Fabulous-except maybe a few dozen pounds. Then she'd finally be able to arrange a face-to-face meeting with Nick, the British hunk she met online, who still thinks she's a size four. She'd finally be confident and graceful and thin-and there's that big cash prize, too, to pay for all those slinky new clothes she'd need. She'd finally have the perfect life.

Rather than do an interview, I asked Johanna to share a few words about body image, since that is such a central theme in her book (and such an important issue to me and my work.) Here is what she wrote:

When I was 19-years-old a friend bought me a refrigerator magnet with a picture of a scale on it. In bright red letters were the words TIME TO GO ON A DIET! I will never understand why people do things like this. Do they get some kind of sick joy out of hurting someone else's feelings? Or am I reading too much into it? Was her "gag gift" really just an innocent joke?

I've spent most of my life fielding off people's jokes, backhanded compliments, and outright insults. Let's face it -- excess weight makes you an easy target. I guess people think you're fair game. For a long time, I thought I was fair game. I don't anymore. And that's why I decided to write THE NEXT BIG THING. I wanted other women -- whether they're insecure about their weight or their nose or their skin -- to know they're not alone, and to know that they can overcome their insecurities. Or, at the very least, to know what to do if a well-meaning friend gives them a mean-spirited magnet. Tell her to shove it.

Amen (or, I should say, Awomen!) Thanks for stopping by, Johanna!

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