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Book Review: 54 Ordinary Women

Posted on Sep 14, 2008 at 8:22AM

Sunday Book Review

I just received from Artisan Books This Is Who I Am -- Our Beauty In All Shapes and Sizes by Rosanne Olson,and it brought tears of sorrow and tears of joy to my eyes. This is an honest, raw, and naked photographic assessment of 54 ordinary women, ranging in ages from 19 to 95 , women in all shapes and sizes who share their most intimate feelings about their bodies.


The 54 confident and generous women agreed to pose nude for photographer Rosanne Olson to combat media's stereotype of beauty: slim hips, full breasts, high cheekbones, tiny waists, taut skin, and eternal youth. By sharing their very personal stories, they hoped it would help other women find the real beauty in their own selves.

Olson's artfully taken portrait of each woman is accompanied by a story that is sometimes deeply intimate. Meet Michelle, 58, a breast cancer survivor; Jessica, 29, a recovering anorexic; and Alice, 95, a senior citizen:


Michelle, 58, breast cancer survivor -
"When I go out without my wig, all people see is my bald head, and it scares them. Luckily, I've found that the more I open my heart to other people, the easier maintaining my weight and adapting to being bald becomes. We all have something. Mine's just more obvious."
Jessica, 29, recovering anorexic -
"I never thought it was okay to love my body, and I couldn't say it was beautiful, because even if even one person didn't agree, then it couldn't be true. I felt as though my body was owned by the outside world."
Alice, 95, senior citizen -
"At my age, pain frustrates me. But I'm to busy to dwell on problems. This is the body I was given, and it has served me well. I never thought about loving it, but I have accepted it."
This Is Who I Am - Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizesis a powerfulprimer of persuasion to love your body at any age, any shape, any size... You should share this with your mother, your daughter, your friends.


Related articles on Girl-Woman-Beauty-Brains-Blog:
Will France Make Fashion Anorexia Illegal?
Couture Torture and Eating Disorders

Read other book reviews on GWBBB.

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