Praise for Body Shots

“Body Shots is a wake-up call to girls and women everywhere. Fox-Kales’ savvy analysis of filmic and other media representations of the female body in contemporary culture is riveting and utterly persuasive. Every woman, whether suffering from a disordered body image or not, will be compelled to reexamine the way she views her own body and her satisfaction or dissatisfaction with it in the light of this powerful and life-changing book.”

— Madelon Sprengnether, author of Crying at the Movies: A Film Memoir

“In this essential book, Emily Fox-Kales takes on our ‘diet culture run amok’ and the way movies both reflect and reinforce America’s unhealthy and unethical ideas about weight. She shows how, in film after film, teenage girls, her patients for many years, fall under the spell of pencil-thin celebrities and makeover movies. The consequences are disastrous. Fox-Kales’ book spans psychology, cinema theory, and cultural studies. She has written a must read for anyone concerned with teenagers; psychologists, parents, or just concerned citizens.”

— Norman N. Holland, author of Meeting Movies

“Body Shots is an engaging and fascinating exploration of the connection between Hollywood’s dream-factory and our eating disordered culture that is derived from Emily Fox-Kales’ vast experience and expertise in the treatment of eating disorders.”

— James Hudson, MD, ScD, McLean Hospital/Harvard Medical School

“Emily Fox-Kales’ Body Shots puts into perspective the impact of the film industry on how society defines the concept of beauty. It is a great resource to help people understand how screen and media images impact our drive for the ‘perfect body’.”

— Beth Mayer,CEO, Multi-service Eating Disorders Association

“With rising rates of obesity, we tend to overlook an equally important weight crisis—the fear of fat that can lead to anorexia, bulimia, bingeing, and other eating disorders. Fox-Kales applies her expertise as a clinical psychologist specializing in disordered eating to diagnose the celebrity culture’s influence on normalizing an unhealthy ideal body standard. Her analysis is a must-read—well-researched, insightful, and engaging, filled with teachable moments to help deconstruct messages that encourage us to diet and exercise, even undergo plastic surgery, to attain the distorted body image reflected in Hollywood movies.”

― Bobbie Eisenstock, Co-Director, The Body Media Image (BMI) Project, California State University, Northridge

“Body Shots offers a penetrating look at ways Hollywood films and related TV and advertising products perpetuate a profoundly destructive culture of eating disorders in the United States and beyond. Informed by her many years experience as a scholar, professor, and therapist, Fox-Kales zeros in on this meeting place of fantasy and actuality, where life-threatening ideals masquerade as desirable goals within the reach of women, teens, and tweens. The sweep of materials covered, supported by analysis and experiential testimony, yields a compelling, informative, dismaying, but also empathetic and highly readable book of significance to both professionals and the general public.”

— Linda Dittmar, coauthor of Multiple Voices in Feminist Film Criticism

“Psychologist Emily Fox-Kales’ Body Shots is a compelling and uniquely interdisciplinary analysis of the impact of popular media on the lives of girls and women. Weaving vivid personal accounts from her clinical practice with insightful readings of contemporary films, television, and interactive media, Fox-Kales demonstrates the ways girls and women struggle to define themselves and their bodies against the damaging ideals fostered by popular culture. Wide-ranging and immensely readable, Body Shots brings feminist theory to life.”

— Kathleen Rowe Karlyn, University of Oregon

“A fascinating and original look at how Hollywood’s powerful images shape and influence our ideals of beauty and femininity. Fluidly bridging several disciplines, Fox-Kales weaves examples from recent films with stories from her patients to illustrate the body hatred and shame that so often fuel eating disorders. Expertly researched but also lively and entertaining, this book will be of interest to people concerned about body image and disordered eating, to students of popular culture, and to those who love film.”

— Jean Kilbourne, creator of the film series Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women

“A breezy romp through Hollywood’s depiction of young women’s bodies, and reactions from viewers who do not measure up to the portrayals. The discrepancy between the ideal and real shapes and sizes of women is illustrated by moving accounts from women in the author’s clinical practice.”

— Jeanne Brooks-Gunn, coeditor of Early Child Development in the 21st Century: Profiles of Current Research Initiatives