Low-Fat Love is a novel about identity-building and self-acceptance and is pertinent to many college courses. The book is informed by a decade of interview research with young women and teaching about gender, relationships and popular culture. While written in a fun, chick-lit voice Low-Fat Love is underscored with a critical commentary about female identity-building and self-acceptance and how, too often, women become trapped in limited visions of themselves. Women’s media is used as a signpost throughout the book in order to make visible the context in which women come to think of themselves as well as the men and women in their lives. In this respect Low-Fat Love offers a commentary about popular culture and the social construction of femininity. Ultimately, the book explores women’s identity struggles in relation to the men in their lives and how women often develop myopic images of themselves as a part of “face-saving” strategies employed to cover up shame, a learned devaluation of self and their attraction to men who withhold their support. Low-Fat Love suggests women seek new ways to see that are not dependent on male approval so that they will value themselves and reject degrading relationships. Moreover, as the main characters in the book learn, the most toxic relationship a woman may participate in is often with herself. So, too, the men in Low-Fat Love learn that one must find one’s voice or suffer the consequences.
For Use in College Courses
Ideal Example of Arts-Based Research in courses that cover: arts-based research, arts-based educational research, qualitative research or narrative inquiry
Ideal Supplemental Text in courses across the disciplines that deal with gender; women’s studies; feminism, intimacy and human sexuality; the sociology of emotions; art education; or popular culture/mass media (for example, the book can be used in classes such as introduction to sociology, the sociology of gender or introduction to gender studies, the psychology of women and courses on human sexuality).
Great Springboard for Class Discussions about: the psychology of negative relationships; popular culture and the construction of gender; gender and identity; gender socialization; dysfunctional family systems; or human intimacy, dating and sexuality.