The research a writer does is never bonkers. It's often quite inspirational, in fact it can be downright distracting.
No, the research I'm talking about is the rubbish I read about today Chick-lit 'lowers women's self-esteem' in the Telegraph online - and in the Women's section too.
"The study, published by Virginia Tech (Virginia’s Polytechnic Institute and
State University), found that chick-lit books, in which the main character
worries about her weight, made female readers more uneasy about their own body
Well when you read on and discover how the test was carried out- they used two books where the central characters were healthy body weights but had low self-esteem (don't we all at some time, especially in winter?) and passages "were selected and nine different versions of the respective texts were produced
in which the protagonists’ perception of their body was distorted."
In other words they mucked around with the written words to prove their theories. I won't go on, you can read about it at the above link, but we all get the idea...
I think the researchers should be more worried about the effect of highly paid female celebrities and singers in gaudy barely there clinging outfits in music videos and at high profile events, rather than a book of fiction- the last word does give it away...
And I'm very glad to say that there is a insightful and amusing response from Katy Brand, who echoes the odd thought or two I'd agree with-except the badly written bit... :-)
"The idea that any ‘scholar’ or ‘health official’ should trouble themselves for
more than a nanosecond about what some woman thinks about the size of her bottom
as a result of reading some badly written piece of fiction they got free with a
magazine is a joke. Read and let read, that’s what I say – no book can truly
make you feel bad about yourself, and if it does, stop reading it." (Katy Brand )
Of course there are women and young girls who have issues with their bodies, there always have been; I had a school friend who developed anorexia and had to be hospitalised- that was nearly forty years ago- and there was no chick-lit around then.
So researchers, don't claim chick-lit, or women's fiction supports your theories, it doesn't...