Beautiful You: A Daily Guide to Radical Self-Acceptance Paperback – October 5, 2010
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As a HAES®-aligned eating disorder dietitian and certified intuitive eating counselor, I'm not able to recommend this book professionally or personally.
The message of Beautiful You is an extremely important one for women (well, for everyone -- but this book is geared mainly toward women). Society and the media inundate us with impossible-to-achieve ideals of physical perfection. Entire industries depend on constantly reminding us that we're not good enough, that we'd be more worthy if only we used this makeup, or changed our hair, or lost weight, or whatever. In Beautiful You, author and activist Rosie Molinary reminds us that we don't need to buy into all that negative garbage to feel good about ourselves. The daily tasks that focus on journaling are often helpful and insightful, challenging the reader to change certain ways of thinking or reflect on how she treats and cares for herself.
I'm uncomfortable that some tasks require the reader to go out and spend money, which seems both counterintuitive and kind of... Well, Molinary assumes her readers have enough disposable income to buy a quality bra or book a massage to complete a task. At least the massage task includes cost-cutting suggestions (look into local massage schools or flat-out ask someone for a gift certificate), but it'd be nice if the tasks that suggest this kind of thing also included an alternative suggestion. We don't all have a lot in our budgets for hair makeovers (day 147) or professional tailoring (day 124), for example. After seeing several such tasks, I chuckled when I saw that day 93 is "Don't Be a Consumer."
I'd love to see more days with creative/artistic suggestions. For example, day 16 instructs the reader to draw an honest picture of herself. You don't need serious artistic talent for tasks like that -- the result can be insightful either way, and I wish there were more similar suggestions. The only other similarly artistic one I've come across so far was day 22's "Paint a Plate," which assumes the reader has a pottery-painting store nearby and the time/money to access it. I made up my own related art task to do instead. Following the tasks in this book would be so much more fun if the journaling or "go out and do this" ideas were offset by more creative prompts. They don't all have to be artistic, either -- "Create a Soundtrack" on day 91 was a lot of fun, and it led me to the discovery of a new favorite song.
If you give this book a try, be prepared to skip or rework quite a few tasks to fit your life, your needs, and your budget. I realize Molinary is trying to appeal to a huge audience with a number of different body-image issues, but I'd love to see greater flexibility in certain tasks and a larger number of artistic/creative ideas. Beautiful You is a great concept that can be made far more beneficial and personalized if the reader is willing to tinker.
Rosie Molinary also does workshops; if you have the chance, I highly recommend them. They are warm gatherings of positive energy and acceptance; I was glowing for days afterward.
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For deep work on radical acceptance, try "Radical Acceptance: Awakening the Love that Heals Fear and Shame" by Tara Brach.