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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of beauty and art!
I first heard Ms. Olson's audio interview, and saw a snippet of her work on LensWork. I was quite impressed. I purchased her book and have gone through it three times now with utter amazement at the words by the women and the beautiful and pure images that she has captured. I have since purchased her book for two of my sisters and two of my dearest friends. I know that...
Published on March 20, 2008 by Jane E. Russell

versus
18 of 30 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Good idea, needs work
Rosanne Olson photographed 54 naked women from the age of 19 to 95, her book flap says. Oops, one girl is listed as 16, and there are a few prepubescents. Did someone not want the publicity to say that there were naked minors in the book? Two of the girls wear undershorts...

Those details any reader might notice in This Is Who I Am. Admittedly, the larger...
Published on April 17, 2009 by Dr. Paul Rapoport


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24 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A masterpiece of beauty and art!, March 20, 2008
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I first heard Ms. Olson's audio interview, and saw a snippet of her work on LensWork. I was quite impressed. I purchased her book and have gone through it three times now with utter amazement at the words by the women and the beautiful and pure images that she has captured. I have since purchased her book for two of my sisters and two of my dearest friends. I know that they will enjoy this masterpiece of hers as much as I have. I am in the health care industry and photography is a passion of mine. Ms. Olson strikes the chord on both of these notes. The strength of the women in these photos shine through every frame as does their words of courage and encouragement. Every one of them, to include Ms. Olson, I commend because you have provoked thought, and maybe more importantly questions, we should ponder with others. I will definitely continue to share this gift that they have given us with family and friends.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Real women, real beauty, July 25, 2008
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That model on the cover, Dana, could you ever believe that she has doubts about her loveliness? Her brief blurb about herself sounds far less than certain about the incredible beauty of a perfectly ordinary woman like her. That is a crime and a tragedy, one that this collection confronts directly.

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.

-- wiredweird
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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Simply amazing, March 17, 2008
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I just received the book today, and I must say that I'm truly amazed. Some of the images were featured in LensWork magazine, but the cumulative effect of the stories and images is incredible. The portraits are very consistent in terms of lighting and background. However, variety comes in the range of ages and body types that are featured and in the way the women relate to their bodies.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lives captured with outstanding photography and excellent writing, April 14, 2008
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This book presents high quality, thoughtful and tasteful images accompanied by sparse, tight autobiographic narratives. Ms. Olson meshes the two wonderfully, each half telling a part of the story.

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.
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Book Will Change Lives, April 10, 2008
This book will change women's lives. And it that way, change men's lives.

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.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic, fantastic, fantastic, February 9, 2011
This review is from: This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes (Hardcover)
Rosanne Olson, This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes (Artisan, 2008)

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. ****
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A glimmering work of HOPE, April 9, 2008
By 
A. Battle (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I had the pleasure of attending Rosanne's book reading and signing party in Seattle lastnight. Looking through the book before she got up to speak, I realized that everyone has their own story, and that people might not be so obsessed with my own (horrible) body image as I think they are. I realized that maybe my husband really does mean it when he tells me I'm beautiful--that he's not just saying it to make me feel better. I applaud the author for her courage to do this project, and to share a bit of herself with others. The courage of these women to be in the book--I applaud them too.
This is a true masterpiece, that every woman and frankly--all men too--needs to read, if for nothing but a SIGNIFICANT reminder that beauty comes in all shapes and sizes. This book has impacted so many levels of my thinking. I challenge anyone reading this to let yourself be transformed. I know I was.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This should be on everyone's coffee table., January 21, 2011
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I bought this for a friend. We saw it in a bookstore when we were traveling and were both instantly drawn to it. As women who have grown up in a media saturated culture, and now as mothers of young daughters, we are both intensely aware of the unrealistic models all men and women have of beauty. When my 8-year-old asked me the other day if she was "fat," I knew I needed to be more explicit and thoughtful in giving her more representative images of beauty. This book is a great start! Before I gave it to my friend, my daughter and I looked through it together. After the giggles and the discomfort with bodies of all shapes and sizes, bodies that were whole, and those that were not, we had a wonderful discussion of bodies, spirits and beauty. The stories that go with the pictures are inspiring and thought provoking. The message in here: we are all beautiful! After looking at the book and talking, my daughter commented on a magazine model that she looked funny - like she wasn't real. Awesome! I am ordering one for my coffee table that my daughter AND my son can see.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Outstanding publication, June 25, 2008
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Every woman should have a copy of this book. She then needs to share it with her children, grandhcildren, nieces, friends' children ... The photography is incredible and the personal reflections are poignant, timeless and moving. I purchased five additional copies as gifts. My only regret is I'm not in it!
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is Who You Are, Too, April 23, 2008
By 
Jennifer Wong (Seattle, WA USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This is not a review. This is a rhapsody. If you are a woman, you will find yourself in these pages, in these photographs, in these stories. If you are a man, you will find your girlfriend, your mother, your wife, your sister, your aunt, your grandmother. Though these stories and exquisite photographs are of 54 individual women of all ages, races and body-types, their courageous words and photographs will break open your heart to your own beauty, suffering, doubt, rage, sorrow, joy, pain and gratitude. Buy two books. One to keep and one to give away. You will be glad you did. Then let the conversations begin among girlfriends, mothers and daughters, lovers, husbands and wives, brothers and sisters. Let the shame and rage go. Know your own beauty. Answer the questions yourself. What do you love about your body? What frustrates you? How have you supported your body? Then you can sing a song of your own courage, grace and beauty. Amen.
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This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes
This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes by Rosanne Olson (Hardcover - April 1, 2008)
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