Gross Anatomy by Mara Altman

Title: Gross Anatomy

Author: Mara Altman

Pub Date: 2018

My Rating: ★★★☆☆

View on Goodreads

The timely, funny and deeply relatable essay collection that celebrates the wonder of the human body and introduces Mara Altman as the love child of Mindy Kaling and Mary Roach.

Mara Altman’s volatile and apprehensive relationship with her body has led her to wonder about a lot of stuff over the years. Like, who decided that women shouldn’t have body hair? And how sweaty is too sweaty? Also, why is breast cleavage sexy but camel toe revolting? Isn’t it all just cleavage? These questions and others like them have led to the comforting and sometimes smelly revelations that constitute Gross Anatomy, an essay collection about what it’s like to operate the bags of meat we call our bodies.

Divided into two sections, “The Top Half” and “The Bottom Half,” with cartoons scattered throughout, Altman’s book takes the reader on a wild and relatable journey from head to toe—as she attempts to strike up a peace accord with our grody bits.

With a combination of personal anecdotes and fascinating research, Gross Anatomy holds up a magnifying glass to our beliefs, practices, biases, and body parts and shows us the naked truth: that there is greatness in our grossness.

Gross Anatomy is a humorous non-fiction book that puts the undesirable aspects of our bodies to the forefront and asks why we spend so much time, energy and money trying to hide all this natural and human things? She mixes her personal experiences with professional opinions, bringing us a delightful mix of gross details.

Mara Altman takes us on a wild ride, she shares all the small and big aspects of her body, things you are not likely to share with many people. She tells us all about her chin and boob hairs, about her haemorrhoids, profuse sweating. I love it all. She presents amazing humour about those things, even if throughout the book she reminds us about her insecurities about all those body parts, and describes how terrified she was of disclosing from her partner that she has chin hairs!

We all are truly animals just trying to hide all the things that make us beasts and show our slowly deteriorating bodies. If you have troubles accepting this, or maybe you still are sure of perfect bodies of Instagram, then read this book. We all struggle with the failure of our bodies to look and behave as we wish.

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