In April 1997, Cyndi Tebbel, then editor of New Woman magazine, featured a size-16 supermodel on the cover of a special issue on body image. The issue was a big hit with New Woman’s readers, but when a cosmetics company withdrew its advertising from the magazine, Cyndi was encouraged to discontinue promoting ‘unhealthy’ imagery.
When Cyndi left New Woman in late-1997 her story was front-page news. She began a speaking tour and discovered there was enormous support for her views. The result was an invitation to write The Body Snatchers.Her book looks at the rampant conditioning of women and girls by those pushing starvation imagery. At no other time in history have women been so preoccupied with the shape they’re in. Wherever we look — in magazines, on television, in films — the prevailing ‘ideal’ body shape for women is closer to a Barbie doll than a real woman.
The cosmetics, fashion and diet industries, the mass media and the burgeoning business of cosmetic surgery all profit from this imagery. But for women and girls there’s a high price to pay: low self-esteem, body hatred and eating disorders are now a major part of their lives. How do women combat this brainwashing and begin to believe that they are more than just a dress size? By challenging the messages that saturate our media and refusing to buy the lies.
The Body Snatchersis written in an engaging and witty style. Cyndi Tebbel encourages women of all ages to stop obsessing about the shape they’re in and to challenge society’s preoccupation with an ‘ideal’ body that is unnatural and, for the vast majority of women, unattainable.
‘The Body Snatchers is a disturbing and well-documented dossier on how the media is making women sick — literally — by promoting unhealthy, unrealistic and unattainable
images of how we should look. Cyndi Tebbel has done women and girls a great service by uncovering what really goes on behind the gloss in the magazine world.’ – Dr Anne Summers is the author of Damned Whores and God’s Police and Ducks on the Pond