"Low-Fat Love Stories is a collection of short stories and visual portraits based on interview research with women about a dissatisfying relationship with a romantic partner or relative, or their body image. The stories focus on settling in relationships, the gap between fantasies and realities, relationship patterns, divorce, abuse, childhood pain, spirituality, feeling like a fraud, growing older, and daily struggles looking in the mirror. Once upon a time and happily ever after take on new meaning as the women’s stories reveal the underside of fairytales and toxic popular culture. Written in the first-person with language taken directly from each woman’s interview, the stories are raw, visceral, and inspirational. As a collection, the stories and art set you on an emotional rollercoaster and illustrate the different forms “low-fat love” may take, and the quest for self-worth in the context of popular culture that tells women they are never enough. The authors developed an original method of “textual visual snapshots” for this book. Low-Fat Love Stories can be used in a range of courses in art education, gender/women’s studies, popular culture, psychology, relational communication, sociology and social work; or as an exemplar in research or qualitative methods, narrative inquiry, arts-based research or creative writing courses; or it can be read entirely for pleasure by individuals or in book clubs.
“An important addition to the fields of gender and media studies that is certain to stimulate self-reflection and lively discussion.” – Jean Kilbourne, Ed.D., author, feminist activist, and creator of the Killing Us Softly: Advertising’s Image of Women film series
“Breathtaking! The images are glorious – emotionally compelling – those eyes, the pain, the fragility; the stories are captivating.” – Laurel Richardson, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus, The Ohio State University and Cooley Book Award winner
“A powerful book that challenges the representations of women that dominate popular culture, offering alternative narratives and images grounded in women’s real experiences.” – Sut Jhally, Ph.D., University of Massachusetts at Amherst; Founder & Executive Director, Media Education Foundation
“A wonderful model of the infinite possibilities for art as research. An inspirational affirmation of life for all people.” – Shaun McNiff, University Professor, Lesley University and author of Art as Research, Art Heals, and Imagination in Action
Patricia Leavy, Ph.D., is an award-winning independent sociologist and author.
Victoria Scotti, Ph.D., is an art therapist and artist."