Between flawless A-listers, ultra-lean fitness gurus, and picture-perfect social media celebrities, it’s getting harder and harder to feel good about the way we look. Only one out of four women in the U.S. likes her body. The cosmetic surgery industry is booming, with more than $15 billion spent yearly on procedures in the U.S. alone. Two out of three women are on a diet at any given time, and even more shockingly, so are more than half of teenage girls.
It doesn’t take a genius to figure out what’s responsible for this epidemic of low body image among women and girls. We are bombarded with images of what we should look like from the moment we wake up.
The good news is that Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and You In A Looks-Obsessed World by Anuschak Rees, is here to help you become the realistic version of yourself. It touches on topics ranging from food & fitness to body hair, fashion/style, social media and beauty routines. If you’re worried that the book is going to tell you makeup is bad or you shouldn’t spend your money on the latest fashion accessory, don’t worry. The beauty of this book is it helps you identify what you enjoy or want to do vs. what you feel compelled/bound to do for others/society. It helps you identify what activities are “fear driven” or “pleasure driven.” And it helps to separate your value and worth from your looks.
Empowering, insightful, and psychology-driven, Beyond Beautiful is filled with proven, no-BS strategies for proactive self-care. This stylish and practical handbook takes a deep-dive into all of the factors that make it hard to feel good about yourself, and offers sage answers to tricky questions, like:
- Why do I hate the way I look in pictures?
- How can I stop feeling like a total slob compared to everyone on social media?
- On a scale of 1 to 10, how confident did I feel about my minimally groomed self today?
- Did I feel self-conscious at any point during the day? Why?
- Were there any parts of my day that went better than expected?
- How do I find the confidence to use less make up, stop shaving, or wear what I want?
Rees answers these questions for readers through a series of exercises designed to affirm self-confidence, what she calls her Beyond Beautiful Toolbox. After breaking low self-esteem issues into three sections—unpacking the problem, rewriting one’s mental script, and taking back the power—Rees lays out snappy replies to body-shamers and rules for discussing one’s body (rule number one is don’t body-shame oneself).
The author also dives into how social media affects body image and rails against feeling “Instagram-inadequate.” Rees advises against common advice such as “dress for your body type”; she recommends readers wear what they like, rather than make decisions based on the expectations of others. Questions for reflection (such as coming to terms with hurtful past body-related comments) nudge readers toward taking a comprehensive view of their past in order to free themselves from past traumas. Rees’s emboldening message will surely help any reader struggling with self-confidence.