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This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes Hardcover – Bargain Price, April 1, 2008
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Top Customer Reviews
The models range from 19 to 95, with every decade between represented. Constance, age 80, peers back at the viewer with an elfin smile. Kia, at 37, stares off with a gaze that seems far older than her face and figure. Moods of the other models range in every direction. Emily, an archetype of blonde slederness, battles betrayal by her body as genetic lung disease takes its toll on her. Mothers and mothers-to-be bring children to the images they use to define themselves. Beautiful women from East Asian families talk about how they were too tall, or curvy, or tawny, or strong to be worth a second look back home - what a difference a continent makes!
Beauty does not mean being pretty, although the two do appear together some times. Instead, it's about the varied and complicated lives people live, and about the figures and features from every corner of the human planet. It's about all of people's ages too. I wish all women happy loves in their lives, however long they live. For that to happen, the woman and the one who loves her must love her look at every age, and after every demand on her body. This book is really about loving all those looks.
Working with women for over 25 years individually and in group, as a psychotherapist, I have already seen this begin to happen in my own practice. This vitally important book sits in my office for all to read. And as women hold the book, viewing the intimate, sensitive, beautiful portraits and reading the stories of self-image, their own reactions are profound. The combination of stark and authentic beauty, both in picture and story, moves women safely into their own consideration of themselves and their body image...to consider and re-consider how they have been considering themselves for years. Often unconsciously. And they begin to be kind to themselves.
It is a most beautiful book to behold, both inside and out. In addition to it's presence in my office as an option for clients to view, I have given over eight copies to friends, nieces, physicians and colleagues. And will continue to buy and give.
Each of us could have a picture and story here. Rosanne Olson has given a gift to the world.
I've greatly enjoyed reading one or two pages before setting off to do something else, and finding myself thinking back as if I'd just met someone really interesting.
This is a superb book about people - REAL people. It is a quality hardback, with top-notch printing and photo reproduction. It has already earned a spot in my "permanent" collection-- those books I go back to for enjoyment and inspiration time and time again.
When someone releases a book of photographs of unclothed women, the usual machinery starts up. Some people will want it kept off library shelves. Some people will think "ooh, naked chicks!" and go trying to find scans of it on the Internet. Etc. In the case of This Is Who I Am, all of those pieces of machinery will probably be frustrated, because this is not your typical book of pictures of unclothed women, and as Captain Peacock was wont to say, "thank heaven for that".
Your average book of unclothed women is populated with the same kind of unclothed woman: barely out of her teens (if that) and unhealthily skinny. This is the opposite, though there is one unhealthily-skinny teenager in here. The thing is, she's posing with her mom, who is much more the norm for this book. The age ranges here are from infancy (in some of the family portraits) to ninety-five. The weight range is far wider, and you can bet that anyone skinny is going to be talking about how they're recovering from anorexia. But as Olson's subtitle tells you, this is a book about accepting that stretch marks, wrinkles, and surgical scars can all be beautiful. Not just for those who posed for the pictures, but for those who are looking at them, as well. And thus it seems to me that the same people who are usually lobbying to makes sure the "ooh, naked chicks!" crowd can't get copies of the big new Kate Moss photo book in their libraries should be lobbying to make sure this one's not only on the shelves, but prominently displayed. (Unfortunately, I do realize that people aren't that logical.) This is a wonderful, wonderful book, and it deserves as wide a readership as it can possibly find. ****
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I heartily approve of this book's premise, which was to enlist a number of women into agreeing to be photographed nude, and share their thoughts and feelings about their bodies. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Larry Benjamin
An excellent artistic endever that shows the female form in all its diversity. But also allows us to hear from the models, as the discuss the relationship they have with their... Read morePublished 10 months ago by Thomas Creech
I thought I would see complete nudes of over weight people like myself in this book. Instead, I found that I met all different kinds of women. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Dawn
My mother recommended this book as I have recently rediscovered photography. I think it's fantastic, the stories are amazing and it's incredibly inspiring as well as tastefully... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Laurie Armstrong
Great book - especially for those of us that struggle with excepting our body images.Published 14 months ago by Sally Watkins
This truly is a most wonderful Book, a must read for all, When I received it, I just couldn't put it down, Beautiful women both young and old, skinny fat, and bold, its a book... Read morePublished 16 months ago by Carlton
Features a collection of B/W photos of women age 16 to in their 90's. Many are like the cover that are a tease, some feature women with a sheer wrap, and some are bare. Read morePublished 18 months ago by ellison