Bust Magazine

Mattel should pack a copy of Adios, Barbie [Body Outlaws] into the box with every Barbie doll. That way, just when girls realize the damage being done to them by that doll, they can whip out a copy of this wonderful book and acknowledge and understand the power of their bodies and minds. Edited by former HUES magazine editor-in-chief Ophira Edut, this collection of essays takes the analysis of women's attitudes about body image a step further than others of its ilk. Rather than dwell on the always fascinating (but often hackneyed) subjects of weight and media, these essays connect issues of identity, sexuality and power through skin color, hair, height, strength, and cultural differences. Most importantly, a sense of humor and energy runs through the entire anthology. These are mostly young writers from a variety of races and classes, and their voices are fresh and curious; the variety of subjects and voices makes up for the exclusionary tone of books like The Beauty Myth. And you've got to love essays like "Memoirs of a (Sorta) Ex-Shaver" and "The Art of the Ponytail." Pick it up, read it. You'll feel proud of yourself—and like your Barbie never even existed. (Wendy Shanker)