The Ministry of Thin

How the Pursuit of Perfection Got Out of Control

by Emma Woolf

List Price: $15.95
Paperback | 6 x 8.9, 230 pages | ISBN 9781619023291

We’re obsessed with weight, we dislike our bodies, we worry about the food we eat, we feel guilty, we diet. Too many of us are locked into a war with our own bodies which we’ll never win, and which will never make us happy. The Ministry of Thin takes a controversial, unflinching look at how the modern, international obsession with weight loss, youth, beauty, and perfection has spun out of control. Emma Woolf, author of An Apple a Day, explores how we might all be able to stop hating and start liking our own bodies again. She rallies against the industries of food, health, exercise, beauty, sex, and surgery that seek to create a world that verges on the Orwellian –with the victims of this onslaught trapped and dominated by the societal pressures to conform.

And she dares to ask: if losing weight is the answer, what is the question?

. . .Woolf uses her distinctively conversational voice and nimble sense of humor to keep her arresting insights into our obsession with thinness as well as modern-day feminism and fertility from getting too downbeat. Candid, revealing, and invaluable.


British columnist and former BBC 4 presenter Woolf follows up with a critique of the cultural forces that lead women to self-destructive behavior in the pursuit of physical perfection . . . [F]or readers who need to be gently brought back from unrealistic excess, Woolf may be just the right guide.

—Publishers Weekly

A thorough analysis of our weight-obsessed culture... Vividly rendered and creatively explored, Woolf’s text encourages nonconformity and individuality on many fronts . . . Relevant, engrossing and sure to help liberate those in the throes of a weight battle or lifestyle crisis.


[Woolf] writes bout women’s addiction to dieting and self-deprecation with eye-opening candor.


. . .[T]hought provoking.

—Bitch Magazine

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