|Author||Rory Freedman and Kim Barnouin|
|Illustrator||Margarete Gockel, Maria Taffera Lewis (design)|
|Cover artist||Maria Taffera Lewis (design); Margarete Gockel (illustrator)|
|Published||December 30, 2005 Running Press Book Publishers|
|Followed by||Skinny Bitch in the Kitch: Kick-Ass Recipes for Hungry Girls Who Want to Stop Cooking Crap (and Start Looking Hot!)|
The book sold better than expected despite not having high initial sales. Skinny Bitch became a best-seller in the United Kingdom by May 2007 and in the United States by July, more than eighteen months after its initial 2005 press run of 10,000 copies. The book also sold well in Canada.
The book advocates a purely vegan diet and includes sections on factory farming and animal cruelty. In addition to advocating a vegan diet, the authors also say that one should avoid smoking, alcohol, caffeine, chemical additives (such as aspartame) and refined sugar. Sources are frequently cited throughout the book, a large number of which point to vegan websites.
Reactions to the book have been mixed. The New York Times reported the lead buyer at retailer Shakespeare & Company saying: "It's definitely the most entertaining diet book I've ever read", and that it "had sold 'extremely well' in the stores." They also quote the co-owner of a bookshop as saying:
It definitely has that sharp, chick-lit look and feel [...] You look at the photo of the authors on the back, and they are both drop-dead gorgeous. If you look at the photos of authors on the crunchy granola books — maybe not so much.
Ursula Hirschkorn in the Daily Mail criticized the book. She criticizes the authors' "simplistic theory, that the secret of weight loss is just to eat healthy food. Oh if it were that easy, we'd all be size eight." She emphasized the "extreme" nature of the proposed diet, saying that "The book spouts an extensive list of no-nos that you must avoid… In a nutshell, everything that makes our short, brutish lives that bit more bearable." She complains that the book is marketed as a diet book when that is not its sole focus: "This isn't so much a diet book as a propaganda pamphlet for veganism… it moves effortlessly from being potty-mouthed advice on how to adopt a fat-busting healthy diet, into a diatribe against eating meat." She also said: "These pampered LA princesses work hard to make us feel guilty for trying to make our lives a bit easier... They sanctimoniously lecture us on the cancer-causing chemicals in wine, and the nasties lurking in diet sodas… Skinny Bitch is just the same-old diet rules repackaged in an obnoxious and bullying tone."
The Sun called it "a vegan diet with a bit of attitude thrown in." They also said "if you follow it to the letter then you will lose weight but for your average woman it's not particularly easy to follow."
A. Breeze Harper, author of Sistah Vegan, criticized the book's disregard for race and class issues that make veganism difficult for some women and disputed the authors' characterization of women's inability to change their diets as laziness.
One of the book's co-authors, Kim Barnouin, holds a degree from the unaccredited Clayton College of Natural Health, which closed in 2010. Clayton College has never been accredited by any reputable accrediting agency and is viewed with deep suspicion by the medical community.
Several followups have been written, including the cookbooks Skinny Bitch in the Kitch and Skinny Bitch Ultimate Everyday Cookbook and Skinny Bastard, a men's dietary program.
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