So, how did a slightly bonkers misfit with anxiety and eating disorders decide to solve their problems? I became a model, as you do.
Growing up, Charli Howard always felt like an outsider. So she looked at the skinny girls smiling out of magazines and came to the conclusion that to be happy, she needed to be thin. Believing that these models had perfect lives, she decided to become one herself.
It wasn’t quite as glamorous as she’d hoped. No matter how much weight she lost, it was never enough. At her thinnest, Charli was dropped by her agency. Her angry response went viral, and she finally discovered that she wasn’t along after all. The perfection she’d been chasing does not exist.
It this funny, honest and unfiltered memoir, Charli is determined to share the truth she never understand as a teenager: that standing out is so much better than fitting in.
As Charli Howard warns at the beginning of the book, if you have an eating disorder, have ever had an eating disorder or have any bad & unhealthy thoughts about eating and losing weight, DO NOT READ THIS BOOK. It’s a raw and poignant memoir of a woman who has always had issues with body image and she is not afraid to say it.
After growing up in the ‘golden age of size 0’ Charli became obsessed with being thin, that’s all she wanted, it was (in her eyes) the key to happiness and success.
Throughout the book Charli writes about the struggles of growing up in a military family, she moves almost as many times as her age and struggles to fit in where she ends up.
The issue with being a family who moves a lot is you don’t make friends because if you do you’ll have to leave them soon enough, so when Charli makes friends with a group of girls she knows she’s in for some trouble. The girls are her best friends, but also are the ones who plant the seeds of worrying about weight, when there are constant competitions in the group of who the prettiest is or who the smartest is, or who the thinnest is.
Charli is told that she is the thinnest one week, and she loves it. There’s a pride that comes with it, and when you’re told your the best at something you want to always be the best.
Finally Charli has to move (again) and ends up at a school where she gets relentlessly bullied, both physically and mentally so much so she ends up being sent to an all girls private school back in her home country, England.
This is where the obsession of food starts to really come out. It is also where her bulimia comes to light after over hearing some nasty comments about herself she decides to do something (bad) about it.
Fast forward a few years, and many many spells of bulimia and anorexia Charli gets a call from a casting agency, her dream about being a model is coming true finally!
But she quickly realises how spiteful and backstabbing casting agencies – and her own agent – can be.
I won’t tell you much more but after going through the worst experiences of her life, I think Charli is the perfect voice for talking about these issues, as a model who’s been through the lowest of the lows and made it through and is now a body positivity ambassador, Charli is wonderful you need to buy this book and see what I mean.
It’s eye opening and gobsmacking at the same time, it may also make you think about how to treat people a little nicer as you never know what they are going through.