My Belly

My Belly


Exploring Why It’s So Hard for Women to Love Their Bodies

Why are women so ashamed of certain parts of their bodies? And why are our feelings about our midsections so hard to navigate? These are the questions that animate My Belly, an unflinching and funny portrait of one woman’s obsession with a seemingly innocent body part. Hilde Otsby is a critic, a thinker, and an acclaimed author. At the start of My Belly, she is on tour promoting her latest work about the culture and science of memory.

As she poses for a photographer from the London Times, she silently worries about how her belly will look on the front page of the Arts section. Later, she realizes how ridiculous this is: she’s being celebrated for an intellectual achievement, and yet all she can focus on is her appearance. How did a girl from an academic home, where intellect was always valued more than looks, find herself in this position? As she approaches her 45th birthday, Hilde discovers she’s spent 30 years obsessing over her belly.

If she had spent all that time writing books, she would have written the equivalent of Knaussgard’s My Struggle. All six volumes. How can we stop obsessing over our bodies and claim back our time? We can start by understanding who and what led us to this place.

In My Belly, Hilde explores the original reason she began hating her body after being abused as a child. She examines the norms of popular culture and patriarchal attitudes towards her and other women’s bodies. She delves into diets revealing that by the time most women reach her age, they have tried 61 diets and explores the prevalence of weight discrimination in our society.

Drawing on philosophy, neurology, sociology, literature, and popular culture, as well as her own dark truths, Hilde offers an honest look at an obsession that seems to have plagued women for centuries. Readers will come away with laughter, anger, tears, and a new perspective on their own unique struggles.

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Greystone Books,Canada


Adult Non Fiction

Biography and Autobiography, Mind, Body and Spirit, and Feminist Thought

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