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Be Awesome: Modern Life for Modern Ladies Paperback – 25 Apr 2013

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Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: Fourth Estate (25 April 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0007485697
  • ISBN-13: 978-0007485697
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 2.5 x 21.2 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (62 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 167,956 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Hadley Freeman is the author of The Meaning of Sunglasses and has been a columnist and staff writer for The Guardian since 2000, where she writes the popular 'Ask Hadley' fashion column. She also contributes to US Vogue. She lives in New York and London.

Product Description

Review

‘Freeman manages to be both scathing and serious about being awesome in a way no British writer could … The writing is fresh, original. It is tempting to gorge on this collection at breakneck speed. But it works better as a series of witty polemics on women’s place in society’ Observer

‘Reading this memoir-cum-conversation is like sitting in a pub with a group of girlfriends, setting the world to rights and suddenly becoming aware of another group talking about the same issues ― hair removal, abortion, the tyranny of tiny knickers, the state of female sexuality ― only they are more raucous, cooler, ruder and more intellectually engaged’ Sunday Times

‘Freeman writes with real passion and cold fury … and she writes warmly and kindly about dating, sex and how to cope when all your friends suddenly disappear into the baby-making void … it’s good to know you have someone that fearless, funny and – yes - awesome in your corner’ Stylist Magazine, Book Wars

‘Though angry she is rueful, though witty she admits her complicity. Fiercely she recommends books, films, female role models, sexual attitudes and nutritional advice to women marching along the high road towards redemption’ The Times

About the Author

Hadley Freeman is the author of The Meaning of Sunglasses and has been a columnist and staff writer for The Guardian since 2000, where she writes the popular ‘Ask Hadley’ fashion column. She also contributes to US Vogue. She lives in New York and London.


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Customer Reviews

3.7 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By S A Robinson on 20 Aug. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Could not put this book down. Very well written and funny too.every woman should read this book feminist or not just to get you to realise how our whole lives can be influenced by the media and people around us. A book I will be reading again and again I'm sure
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41 of 48 people found the following review helpful By Jenny VINE VOICE on 22 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I have consciously avoided the emerging genre of books written by funny, feminist, funky women writers (I'm thinking of Caitlin Moran in particular) because I had dismissed them as merely being concerned with fashion, sex & make-up none of which interest me. I decided to give Hadley Freeman's (a fashion journalist) book a try because I had occasionally read her pieces in the Guardian and was interested in how she'd explain herself. I thought I'd hate this book, I thought it'd be what I call 'fake feminism' which is basically how to empower yourself by getting down on your knees.
I was surprised and delighted to find that Freeman has not only got an answer to questions I'd throw at her but that they are well thought out and very well argued. Namely she points out how the fashion industry isn't about sexualising women but is in fact about individuality. She separates the different types of representation of women, the horrid tabloids to the women's magazines. I was deeply taken with her idea that celebrity stories are more about the story itself than the celebrities that are cast as characters, an idea that she links to Dickens and the concept of serial stories. I found her discussion on body hair removal to be hilarious and extremely true, I agree with her completely. Similarly her call for the end of self-deprecation is a welcome one and is something I've often thought of myself. I must also say I was most amazed for a fashion loving woman to admit that high heels are merely modern day foot binding. My respect for Freeman soared after reading that as it also increased when she pointed out something I truly hate; namely the media's insistence on creating female 'cat-fights' such as Aniston vs Jolie.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful By Rosey Lea TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 28 April 2013
Format: Paperback Vine Customer Review of Free Product ( What's this? )
I gave up reading Hadley Freeman's broadsheet columns a few years ago, as I could never work out whether they were supposed to be straight advice or tongue in cheek. This book is clear from the start, it's a reaction against the many pigeon holes and artificial gender demands placed upon modern women. It's a fight back against cheapo mags that run full page features entitled "Ewww! Look at her cellulite! Gross!" and tabloids shouting "Woman hired as CEO? Who will care for her family whilst she's being so selfish?"

Bearing in mind that Hadley Freeman was Victoria Beckham's ghostwriter for That Extra Half an Inch: Hair, Heels and Everything in Between, Hadley's not a novice in her field. However this isn't a "how-to" book, its Hadley's thoughts and observations on women's issues and media portrayal. This is a book firmly aimed at women (not girls - irrespective of whether the term is being used for children, or for infantilising adult women) and is a very worthwhile, and very funny, reminder that it's okay to have wrinkles, not wear mini-skirts if you don't want to, and there's no law saying you must marry and mate.

I get the feeling this book will probably marketed alongside How To Be a Woman which is a shame, as they're not alike at all. The Caitlin Moran book was pretty much "how to be Caitlin Moran", the Hadley Freeman book is a much wider look at the flawed portrayal of adult women in films, TV and other media and the unfounded expectations it places on women.

All that makes this book sound rather heavy. It isn't. It bounces along at a cracking place, the chapters are short so you can pick up and put down at will, and it really is a funny and entertaining read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Charlotte Steggs on 7 Aug. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Overall I liked this book a lot, but there were times when Hadley was contradicting herself. For example, she has a whole chapter telling women that they CAN wear things from Topshop, in fact, they can wear whatever they want. But then goes on to say that if they do shop at Topshop, walk past the young looking clothes to the more mature stuff at the back. Surely if we can wear what we want then she shouldn't tell us what not to wear?

There were some chapters I enjoyed a great deal, like the one about rules in a relationship, but completely skipped others, like the one about how she connected with Winona Ryder in a film in the 90s.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Scarlett on 1 Jun. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Hadley Freeman writes well, and engagingly. I have read many a book on this subject, from the academic to the 'yes-im-a-feminist-but-please-love-me-anyway-fellas' bandwagonism. I enjoyed the book and agreed with the majority of what Ms Freeman had to say, primarily because it is good, truthful stuff. I did however feel a little harangued at times, which seemed a little ironic when she was haranguing us about choice :-). But strong opinions are no bad thing, and it gave the book enthusiasm & passion. Worth a read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Lou79 on 2 Jan. 2014
Format: Paperback
What a refreshing change to read a book by a modern feminist who doesn't feel the need to apologise for her feminism, and doesn't try to make her beliefs more palatable by contantly going on about how much she loves men and make-up, and by being self-deprecating about her weight and looks. If that makes this book sound dry and dull, nothing could be further from the truth. It's funny and anecdotal and it has a very pleasing no-nonsense tone - anyone who enjoys Hadley's writing in the Guardian will love this.
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