January 21, 2008

Body Drama - A Mothertalk Book Review

Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers, by Nancy Redd, is one of the best books so far George and I have seen covering the bodily changes and concerns of girls and young women going through the transitional period of puberty and beyond--far beyond.

Not all of it is appropriate to share with our daughter right now--she's only ten. But if you have a ten-year-old girl today, you know what I'm saying. The time to get educated on how to healthily help her through the coming transition is Right Now.

Some of the information in this book not only appropriate for a ten-year-old, but in fact, necessary. What's necessary for our daughters and sisters to see in this book is the truly remarkable range of beauty in all of its shapes and forms, in the photographs and in the text. Body Drama celebrates our differences--the unique physical forms of women large and small, short and tall, every hue, hair type, skin type - we're all represented in this book.

That is what struck me most about the book, and why my husband said, yes, Jenna's old enough to see this -- in fact she has to see it because she's in it! It is the antithesis of a picture book of pasty-thin, pasty-skinned models. It celebrates real young women. It tackles the issues of being a young woman in a changing body in an honorable way, not in Disney-Channel-Perfect terms.

A welcome addition to books we have to share with our daughter on what's starting to happen to her body, Body Drama might be a bit of a shock if you're not used to seeing real women with real bodily features like cellulite, paunchy stomachs, full thighs, etc., on the printed page. But the full color, up close pictures of women's bodies both inside and out are something I'm glad to have on our bookshelf. Because this book really does celebrate our non-sameness, the magnificence and amazing variations in features and forms that is our "body drama."

Got a daughter? Get ready for the body drama.