Looking for a good book to read while kicking back on the beach. Well here's a book that should do the trick - Locker Room Diaries. It is, in some ways, an anthropological study of the culture of women's locker room, and I found it fascinating. The subtitle sums the book up well: The Naked Truth about Women, Body Image, and Re-imagining the "Perfect" Body. Author Leslie Goldman has a MPH, so professionally she's got the authority to write on the subject. As a woman that battled an eating disorder and came out the other side, she's got personal cred as well.
The book recounts the rituals of the gym locker room: the weigh-in, the steam room, the continual conversation women have with themselves and others about their bodies, most often what they hate and want to change. Goldman interviewed many women on body image, often wearing only a towel herself - in this setting the interviews are quite candid. The chapter on breasts titled "Booby Trapped," is especially enlightening on the relationship women have with their own breasts.
Other chapters are equally engaging on subjects like eating disorders, the pregnant body, waxing, steam room etiquette, and ethnicity and body image. This book would make an excellent beach read, since you can open it up and just start reading on any page, the subject matter just pulls you in.
It is now out in paperback and you can buy it from Barnes and Noble for $13.95. Or better yet, why not take a stroll to your local book store and see if they have it on their shelf. You will get some exercise, save on shipping and decrease your carbon foot print just a little bit too.