What if we could eat anything we wanted, ignore the
scale and still look as fabulous as a supermodel? That's the strange
new world Andrea Rains Waggener creates in her first novel, Alternate
Beauty (Bantam Books, 2005).
About to get fired from her job at a plus-size clothing
store for being too fat, Ronnie Tremayne goes on a late-night eating
binge only to wake up in a parallel universe where fat is beautiful
and thin is no longer in. But she soon learns that the outer trappings
of her new life--handsome men, glamorous parties, her mother's approval--don't
lead to paradise. Waggener reflected on her own struggles with body
image in a recent interview with Shape.
Shape What inspired you to write this novel?
Waggener I had all of this upheaval in my life, and
so I went back to my coping mechanism: I ate. One day I woke up and
weighed 275 pounds. It seemed instantaneous. I'd go out and I was almost
invisible. I thought, Wouldn't it be incredible to live in a world where
the way I look now is not only acceptable but beautiful?
S Achieving the perfect body is a moving target in
this book. Does that insight come from experience?