On Monday, the women behind the mega-selling ‘Skinny Bitch’ diet book franchise are hitting bookstores with their latest opus ‘Skinny Bastard.’ This time around the ‘Bitches’ are taking their mixture of tough love + veganism to the guys. Subtitled ‘A Kick-in-the-Ass for Real Men Who Want to Stop Being Fat and Start Getting Buff,’ Kim Barnouin and Rory Freedman have retrofitted the original Skinny Bitch model to run on testosterone.
The NYTimes nicely captures how this plays out:
“Whereas the introduction to ‘Skinny Bitch’ reads, ‘If you can’t take one more day of self-loathing, you’re ready to get skinny,’ the men’s version does not assume low self-esteem: ‘Chances are, you haven’t done so badly, despite the few extra lbs you’re carting around. … But don’t kid yourself, pal: A hot-bodied man is a head-turner.’”
So will flattery and the promise of sex be enough to put the book on best-seller lists? One wonders. Considering the word ‘skinny’ carries very different (ie., overwhelmingly pejorative) connotations for men; and considering men are unaccustomed to getting their testosterone from women; and considering it is biologically impossible for Rory and Friedman to actually model the change they are promoting; and considering male receptivity to veganism is limited at the very best; it will be very interesting to see how Running Press’s initial print run of 100,000 copies sells.
Jonathan Milder, Research Librarian