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Friday, January 11, 2008

Mother Talk book review: Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers by Nancy Amanda Redd















Lexi must have been four when she first started complaining about her eyebrows, the eyebrows that I had adored since infancy, that weaved what was on her mind.

"'Everybody' thinks they are too big, like callapitters."

Of course, 'everybody' was one little girl-body, teasing her. So began our talks.

It's hard to raise a daughter to feel comfortable in her own skin, to rise above the onslaught on images we see everyday. I've tried to explain airbrushing and hair extensions, when Lexi can't figure out how the tween stars grow their hair out, seemingly overnight. I try to be matter of fact about puberty. But I get the feeling that there is only so much she wants to hear from her dear ol' kooky Mom; there's only so much health class is going to cover.

And just when I am coming up empty, I saw Mother Talk's call for reviewers for Nancy Redd's new title: Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers. It's a comprehensive body guide for young women - scratch that - I got some interesting facts from it and I consider myself to be quite the medical geek.

Here's the thing: it might make you giggle or feel uncomfortable. There are nekkid ladies of all shapes and sizes, colors and tattoos; there's no mistaking the tasteful shots from down under. (Do you know how hard I have tried to write a sentence about vulvas (vulvi? no, I think it's vulvae?) without using the word 'spread', or some other immature term?)

Better yet, the book is funny, sassy unlike the stuffy filmstrips that informed my adolescence. I searched through the index and found little missing: third nipples, urinary tract infections, cellulite, skin care, sweat - you name it and have a question and there's a concise, snappy answer. (Ms. Redd calls on Dr. Angela Diaz, from the Mount Sinai Adolescent Medical center in NYC for professional medical advice.)

And if this Miss America contestant and Harvard grad can ease any concerns for my daughter, I welcome it on my shelf.



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14 comments:

Lori said...

Very cool - that new show "how to look good naked" on Lifetime is really good and funny too! Carson Kressley is great and the perfect host for the show. Good for all ages, too!

Good luck with little Lulu...
Love,
Aunt Lori

Kimberly said...

Wow, sounds fascinating!

Professor J said...

That looks like a wonderful book! And I am proud of you for addressing body image so well and consistently with your daughter.

Stu said...

When you are done, bring it over for The Girl. She is just a few years behind yours.....

-Stu

Shannon said...

I may have to check that book out. It scares me raising 3 girls with all the crap out there in the media about what you're supposed to look like.

stephanie said...

Stu just wants to see the naked ladies...But I believe there is valuable information and would also like to check it out. From you, my personal Friend Library.

Beck said...

This sounds like a wonderful, useful book. It really does.

Minnesota Matron said...

This looks great!!! We're just starting to see some of this self-assessment in our world. My 9 year old's self image is uncomplicated but a couple of her friends are really struggling about being 'fat.' These are not skinny girls. These are not fat girls. But the distinctions regarding what's desirable and what's not, are emerging.

susiej.com said...

I just knew you were handling this issue very well with your daughter -- you have it so together -- I knew this wouldn't be an issue.
Speaking of image, I'm absolutely in love with your header.

Melanie said...

When I was eleven, my mom gave me a 70's copy of "Our Bodies, Ourselves" and it kind of freaked me out.

So. Much. Hair.

I remember thinking, "I didn't think sex would be so hairy."

JCK said...

I'm always up for a good book on girls and body issues. Thanks for the synopsis.

Jenn @ Juggling Life said...

I'll definitely get the book for my 13 year old.

In my house they're called "caveman eyebrows" and we all have them.

Mary Witzl said...

Good review, though I actually DID use the word 'spread' -- couldn't resist it. At least I apologized...

My daughter hated her eyebrows too, and they were absolutely beautiful. I gave up telling her this: the opinions of her peers were obviously a lot more compelling. My husband and I actually went looking for a book like this -- and failed to find it. When I heard about this book and that it was up for review, I practically started sweating, I was that keen. My problem was getting it away from my kids so that I could actually read it myself.

Shai said...

Wow, that sounds like a good book to get! Thanks for the good reviews...I'll be looking for it soon!