Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Cynthia M. Bulik

Dr. Cynthia M. Bulik is the William R. and Jeanne H. Jordan Distinguished Professor of Eating Disorders in the Department of Psychiatry in the School of Medicine at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill where she is also Professor of Nutrition in the School of Public Health and the Director of the UNC Eating Disorders Program.

Her new book is Crave: Why You Binge Eat and How to Stop.

Earlier this month I asked her what she was reading. Her reply:
I just finished reading a Woman’s Studies book called Hijas Americanas: Beauty, Body Image, and Growing up Latina by Rosie Molinary. I picked up this book because I have become increasingly interested in the cultural forces that influence the development of healthy body image and unhealthy body dissatisfaction in women. Ms. Molinary has compiled a fascinating series of interviews that unveils the complexities and comforts of growing up with “a foot in two cultures” in America.

I also love to read teen literature. Since I was trained as an adolescent psychologist (and since I have three teenagers!), it helps me keep in touch with what young people are being exposed to and what’s occupying their minds. I just finished reading Ellen Emerson White’s series including The President’s Daughter, White House Autumn, Long Live the Queen, and Long May She Reign. What I loved about these books is that they portrayed strong and powerful women across generations. I enjoyed the realistic portrayal of family life in the White House and stories filled with heroines. I still see young girls (and adult women) in the real world struggling with whether it’s OK to be smart, powerful, tough, and opinionated. It’s nice to see teen literature presenting a realistic picture and giving the message that yes, it’s ok to be strong—there might be some sacrifices along the way—but the benefits far outweigh the sacrifices and you don’t have to give up your loving and caring features in order to succeed.
Learn more about Cynthia M. Bulik and her work at

--Marshal Zeringue