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Fat Is Still a Feminist Issue; Five Questions for Susie Orbach

Susie Orbach is known for being the first to say, loudly and in print, “stop hating your bodies and start listening to them.”

The London-based psychotherapist’s 1978 book, “Fat is a Feminist Issue: The Anti-Diet Guide for Women” broke new ground with the message that women were subjected to tremendous cultural pressures about their bodies and are better off trying to listen to their bodies instead of hating them. In her eleventh and latest book, “Bodies,” Orbach looks at the current cultural expectations about appearances imposed on women and men, and the way self-loathing manifests itself through the things we do to our bodies, such as plastic surgery or, in extreme cases, even wanting to amputate perfectly healthy limbs.

Comedy Central’s Stephen Colbert recently commented on the culture around women and weight perfectly when he had Orbach, 62, on “The Colbert Report.” He told her, faux-seriously, that she looks great, but that if weighed five pounds less, she would have been talking about the book on “The Daily Show.”

The Sisterhood recently spoke with Orbach about her new book, and the relationship between Judaism and body image:

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