Most people think they know the story of anorexia. They think it’s about control, about looking perfect or good or beautiful, about fitting into the tight social requirements of being picture- perfect. The truth is eating disorders are about a whole lot more.
The #1 killer in the world of mental illness, anorexia is a disease whose grip is nearly impossible to loosen. Instead, you too often get forgotten. Your friends forget who you are; your family forgets; you forget, eventually, until all you are left with is the disorder.
Jordan Lee Knape is a young woman who couldn’t forget.
Written when she was 23, Best Body: Pretty, Miserable, Perfectness is a memoir filled with the things they don’t tell you in the hospital, the things that speak to how so many got here, what can be done — and what recovering from an eating disorder looks like. Part memoir, part cultural critique, Best Body is a book that, finally, crosses the line to speak truthfully about what eating disorders are — and aren’t.
If you want to read a book that ties the story of anorexia up in a pretty package, where the messy bits are left out, then read another book. If you want to read a story about eating disorders that speaks the truth and nothing but, so help me God, then read on. You shouldn’t have to spend your fourteenth birthday in a psych ward. No, Jordan did that for you.