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Bodice Tipplers

Jan 29, 2023

Billy Ikehorn-Orsini is IT.  Extraordinary wealthy, profoundly chic, and her diamonds have names.  Valentine is the next big couture designer.  Spider is a photographer who somehow now is the guy who makes a store cool.  Whatever, just go with it - together they are the minds behind Scruples, the  boutique that sounds suspiciously like a Cracker Barrel that put Rodeo Drive on the map for women like your mom and your aunties and your grandma who read this book in 1978!  It's Scruples by Judith Krantz!

There's a serious warning about this one. This is the most upsetting depiction of disordered eating that I've ever seen presented as aspirational in a mainstream book. This book almost certainly has a body count; it depicts an "awakening" in France with a specific calorie count, it makes anorexia sound extremely chic and liberating, it fetishizes iron control of food intake as much as it fetishizes women's clothing.  If you're sensitive to this, do not read this book.  If you can handle plenty of fat shaming and overvaluing of thinness but not the part of the book that's a literal DIY guide for acquiring an eating disorder, then when Billy goes to France skip until she comes back to the US.  If you don't want to even hear discussion of it, we completely understand - don't listen to this episode, we'll catch you next time.  

It also has everything else you're imagining in a 1978 trashy airport book (except, surprisingly, sexual assault) - it uses a lot of awful slurs, it has this whiplash attitude towards gay men and women back and forth between genuine familiarity and ugly sterotype, in an otherwise sexy scene it calls a man's testicles paunchy globes - it's a whole thing. This book is a lot and a lot of it is troubling - but a lot of it's amazing, it's an experience!