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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