Monday, 24 March 2014

Making it Big - Lyndsay Russell

I may be a bit late to the party when it comes to this novel, which was published in 2011 by Oldcastle Books. A huge holiday success, the rights for a Hollywood film production of Lyndsay Russell's Making It Big have already been sold - its popularity unsurprising considering its plot and style:

Making it Big is a wonderful, funny, smart satire of the very topical social issue of body consciousness; haunted by the notion of "size zero", young girls and grown women alike are comparing themselves to the unreasonable body expectations perpetuated by the fashion, modelling and media industries.

In Making It Big, Russell gives her 21 year old, size 16, body-conscious protagonist, Sharon, the chance to 'change her life' with Dr Marvel's magic pill. Without wanting to give too much of the plot away, this pill literally turns Sharon's world upside down/inside out/back to front. In an ulterior universe, Russell wittily captures the falsity of mass-media celebrity culture where worth is determined by looks rather than personality - an outward trend that has been internalised into body-anxiety and self-loathing by Sharon.

Hilarious, frivolous and girly, Making it Big asks serious questions in a light-hearted way about the retouched, elongated, image-obsessed world we're living in. Three years post-publication, it feels like it could've been written yesterday!

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