Review Blog

Mar 08 2018

Misfit - One size does not fit all by Charli Howard

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Penguin Books, 2018. ISBN 9780241328828
(Age: YA and older)  A highly readable memoir style book - almost reads like fiction and hard to put down.
The book details the journey of British girl, Charli's feelings of abnormality beginning at age 8 through primary school, boarding school, university and a modelling career.
This includes obsessive compulsive disorder, anorexia, bulimia, among other mental disorders - all the while keeping the behaviours 'hidden' in Charli's attempts not to be seen as a 'misfit' by her peers and family.
Social media and model industry expectations, and a sense of not belonging and wanting to be loved are explored as causes of her behaviours.
There is only one chapter on Charli finally admitting she needed help and getting rehabilitation and finding 'happiness'. More on the recovery process would have been useful in putting perspective on the memoir and the difficulty of recovering from such major disorders.
The use of capital letter abbreviations which older adults may not understand was annoying.
The author on the Dear Reader first page section warns young people not to read the book if they are susceptible to suggestion or triggers for depression, OCD, anorexia, etc. I agree and would only recommend the book for young adults and older.
The modelling industry in particular should read books like this to be made more aware of (and accept responsibility for) how young girls' lives are being harmed mentally and physically by the actions and standards advocated.
Ann Griffin

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