Before heroin chic, before #thinspo and #fitspo, before Oprah Winfrey wheeled a wagon full of fat out to a live studio audience and before the Paleo diet craze, Susie Orbach wrote Fat is a Feminist Issue.
A lot has changed since that bestselling feminist classic was published back in 1978. For one thing, a lot more people – women and men – are a lot larger, both here in Australia and in Orbach’s native UK. But there’s a lot that hasn’t changed, too. Our bodies, and what we choose to put in them, remain an ongoing source of anxiety.
Orbach has continued to cast a critical eye over issues of food, fat and feminism in the years since she authored that iconic text. A practising psychotherapist as well as a writer, her books have also explored related topics including sex and emotional literacy.
Joined by host Kaz Cooke, Orbach talks about psychotherapy, feminism and our love/hate relationship with food.
Editor's note: in this recording, Kaz Cooke states that Oprah Winfrey owns a 50% in WeightWatchers; at publication time, the correct figure is 10%.
Kaz Cooke is a former reporter and cartoonist turned history detective. She is also the author of the bestselling books Up The Duff, Kidwrangling, Girl Stuff, Girl Stuff 8–12, Women’s Stuff, and the children's picture books Wanda Linda Goes Berserk and The Terrible Underpants.
Her new novel, Ada, grew out of her research and exhibition during a Creative Fellowship at the State Library of Victoria, 2013–2015.
Susie Orbach is a psychotherapist, writer and co-founder of The Women's Therapy Centre in London and The Women's Therapy Centre in New York. Her books include Hunger Strike, What's Really Going on Here?, Towards Emotional Literacy, Susie Orbach On Eating and The Impossibility of Sex. She lectures widely in the UK, Europe and North America, has written for several magazines and newspapers, and has provided consultation advice for organisations from the NHS to the World Bank. She continues to help many individuals and couples from her practice in London. She is also a visiting Professor at the London School of Economics.