An intimate and unflinching memoir exploring Mia Kang’s journey from self-loathing to self-love
Mia Kang is many things: a sought-after model, an immigrant, an eating disorder survivor, and a Muay Thai fighter. Her first book, Knockout, is the story of how she eschewed normative body standards and learned to use martial arts to redefine her sense of self-worth. In a charming, fierce, and intimate voice, Kang invites readers into her world. She once lived and died by her weight, but she is now defined by her confidence in being a woman who lives outside the mold of what we’re taught is “feminine.” After dealing with bullying, addiction, body dysmorphia, anxiety, depression, and even suicidal thoughts, Mia acknowledges that she is lucky to still be alive to tell readers what she’s learned: to not let anyone else dictate who you are supposed to be.
Fashion model and muay Thai fighter Kang retraces her reckless path to self-love in this brave memoir confronting past abusers most notably herself. Growing up in Hong Kong as the daughter of an alcoholic, Mia found solace in her older siblings, Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, and food. When faced with fat-shaming bullies, her defense was self-deprivation. At 13, she dangerously cut a third of her body weight in four months and was rewarded with a modeling career. So began a period of extremely disordered eating, drug abuse, morbid anxiety, body dysmorphia, and an obsession with "thigh gaps and protruding collarbones." Cigarettes, laxatives, coke binges, and "ana and mia" (anorexia and bulimia) blogs pushed her through modeling campaigns and grad school. Exhausted after fasting for yet another shoot, she booked herself a vacation in Thailand, where she happened upon a muay Thai gym and emerged with new goals: health, strength, sobriety. "I learned how to feed myself at twenty-seven years old.... Eating like other humans and it was super weird I had only seen that in movies." The epilogue a letter to her younger self suggests an escape route for readers stuck in abusive cycles. This is a tough, triumphant memoir.
I envy the courage it took for her to write this.
Great book!!! Very encouraging