In 1978, Lori Gottlieb was queen of her fourth grade's lunch hour. She was thin, getting thinner, and her Beverly Hills classmates wanted her secret. When Gottlieb, now 32 and a medical student, came across her long-lost journal of the year that took her in and out of anorexia, she decided to publish it. With its candid 11-year-old's narration, "Stick Figure: A Diary of My Former Self" (Simon & Schuster) reveals the mind-set behind both her eating disorder and the awkwardness of adolescence that led her there.
A: Executives in the entertainment business work from a place of fear. It's easy to cast a show with another Calista Flockhart, and if it fails you can say, "But Calista Flockhart was so popular." But if you cast it with normal-looking people and the show flops, well, you lose your job because they'll say, "What were you thinking?" If somebody were to take that kind of risk and cast healthy-looking, fit, normal people, if we just redefined what is attractive, that would send a message to Hollywood that they could do this.