04 February 2008

Alternative Alternatives

Here are some things you could read instead of Skinny Bitch if you wanted a well-written, well-organized, well-researched, readable, intelligent, enjoyable presentation of the same arguments:

On veganism: Fast Food Nation. Doesn't actually advocate veganism, but is a much better version of the chapter in SB on the evils of meat production. You know, it really nails that apparently elusive combination of well-researched and written-with-a-sense-of-narrative-or-cohesion. Or we could just fill three pages with a list of quotes from slaughterhouse workers and call it a day.

On a healthy diet: Mark's Daily Apple. This is a ridiculously thorough health/diet/nutrition/exercise blog. Some of the ideas seem fringe at first, but they're backed up by solid science, come from totally sane people, and can still be applied to your life. And unlike some other books that I might be blogging about having really disliked when I read them this weekend, there are actually fantastic guidelines for healthy eating, rather than an a haphazard aggregation of vague directives.

On badass girl empowerment: The Bad Girl's Guide to Getting What You Want. If I made a modest effort to obscure the cover of Skinny Bitch when I read it in public, I can't imagine that I'm admitting to having read this book at all. Granted, I did find it, literally, on the floor of an auditorium. So it's not like I bought it or anything. But then I read it, and kinda loved it. It's more daring than SB, less cheesy, more empowering, less gratuitously cursey. (And I like to curse a lot. But the tone of Skinny Bitch turned me off - maybe because it was coupled with poor writing and shoddy health advice? Hm.) Sure, The Bad Girl's Guide is straight-up chickpowerment, an inherently cheesy genre - also a genre I sort of just made up? - but it's smart, funny, awesome chickpowerment. Which isn't necessarily a bad thing. Just don't tell anyone, okay?

On the science of diet: Good Calories, Bad Calories; Mark's Daily Apple. Yes, Good Calories, Bad Calories isn't 100% perfect. Sometimes Gary Taubes gets a little selective with which studies he discusses. But it's SCIENCE, something hugely lacking from Skinny Bitch. I refuse to accept health advice without any hint of backing it up or explaining why. So while GC,BC was imperfect, I was left pining for its talk of molecules and cells. And, y'know, research and evidence. Whatever.

On exercise: Stumptuous. Not that Skinny Bitch actually devotes more than a few sentences, total, to this topic. But it maybe should've. I swear by this website. "Strong women are cool! Every straight boy should want one!" The fact that I actually *like* going to the gym, the fact that I have any muscles in my arms (or anywhere else), the fact that I can pick up heavy things that two years ago I'd have attempted to move by sheer telekinetic ability or by staring them down - all thanks to this website. (There's also a smart, sane, thorough section on food.)

I'm all for a cruelty-free diet. I'm all for putting minimal crap into my body. I like health-food, and I like being told that Chix Rawk. I just also like books that are intelligently and coherently written. And don't suck.

Crazy. I know.


Adam said...

can I add to that list my friend Jodi's book, "How to Eat Like a Hot Chick." It's fucking funny yet informative.

Jaime said...

I'm under the impression that the "How to Eat Like a Hot Chick" philosophy is 'have two bites of any food you really want, and then fill up on spinach' or something.

Adam said...

It's better than that.

I'll lend you my copy if you like.