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Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers [Paperback]

Nancy Amanda Redd
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Book Description

28 Feb 2008
From fashion magazines to taboo Web sites, curious girls have access to tons of old wives' tales about the female body - usually misinformation and harmful portrayals that lead to low self-esteem, self-destructive acts and even disturbing plastic surgery


Product details

  • Paperback: 272 pages
  • Publisher: GOTHAM BOOKS; HEALT edition (28 Feb 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1592403263
  • ISBN-13: 978-1592403264
  • Product Dimensions: 1.7 x 18.3 x 21.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 543,567 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 28 Dec 2007
By TeensReadToo TOP 500 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
Since I started this job of reviewing about a year and a half ago, I've had the privilege of reading a number of self-help type books geared towards girls and women and their bodies. I have to admit that none have been as comprehensive, helpful, and realistic as BODY DRAMA. This is a book that leaves nothing to the imagination, states complete truths instead of half-truths and myths, and answers the types of questions that many females, regardless of age, are sometimes too embarrassed to ask -- even in the company of their doctors. As an adult, and a married woman with two children, I still found this book to be extremely helpful, and even discovered information that I hadn't previously known.

From your face to your skin, from your hair and nails to your reproductive organs, from skin problems to disease, from the natural shape of your body to the sometimes strange things that happen to said body, Ms. Redd covers them all -- and in detail. There's no hesitation here, and there's definitely no embarrassment. There are only real answers to real questions that everyone, at one time or another, has wondered about. And if you haven't wondered about it yet, believe me, you will!

BODY DRAMA is filled with "fast facts," drama scenarios, "how do I deal?" answers, and full-color photographs. This is a book that younger kids might giggle over, but that older teens will appreciate for its frankness. This is also a book that, once you get your copy, you won't want to part with it. Share it with your daughter, your sister, your cousin, your friend. Don't be ashamed of the body you were born with. Get the answers you need to be healthy and happy.

Kudos to Ms. Redd for such an informative read. This one is a winner!

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  103 reviews
47 of 51 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Love the body you're in! 27 Dec 2007
By Amy Tiemann - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Nancy Amanda Redd is the big sister I wish I'd had. Reading her open, honest answers to "Body Drama" questions shows the power of peer education. Redd consulted a doctor, so the information is medically accurate, but the book is most definitely written from a twentysomething woman's perspective. Every body topic is fair game, "shape, skin, down there, boobs, hair & nails." Sex intersects some of these discussions and when it does, Redd shares practical, non-judgmental advice as needed: addressing sexual health, ending violence, and not being shy about seeking medical care.

But "Body Drama" is first and foremost about loving the body you are in. It's a fascinating topic. I sat down intending to leaf through the book and ended up reading it cover to cover. "Body Drama" is full of photographs of real young women of all ethnicities, shapes, and sizes, illustrating all parts of their bodies. I thought this was done very well, including the page with 24 close-up shots of a variety of vulvas. If this sounds controversial, remember that young women are seeing plenty of unrealistic images of women's bodies. In the age of Photoshop and (unfortunately) ubiquitous porn, it is refreshing to see real women's bodies in all forms. This is a brave book--which is sad to write, in a way, to realize that talking openly and honestly about real body issues still takes courage.

Nancy Amanda Redd has competed in the Miss America pageant and graduated from Harvard. You have to love a former beauty queen who is totally unafraid to present her own insecurities, embarrassing stories, and less-than-flattering junior high photos. Nancy smashes taboos, addressing the most personal and questions with humor, compassion, and solid information.
22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Courtesy of Teens Read Too 28 Dec 2007
By TeensReadToo - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
Since I started this job of reviewing about a year and a half ago, I've had the privilege of reading a number of self-help type books geared towards girls and women and their bodies. I have to admit that none have been as comprehensive, helpful, and realistic as BODY DRAMA. This is a book that leaves nothing to the imagination, states complete truths instead of half-truths and myths, and answers the types of questions that many females, regardless of age, are sometimes too embarrassed to ask -- even in the company of their doctors. As an adult, and a married woman with two children, I still found this book to be extremely helpful, and even discovered information that I hadn't previously known.

From your face to your skin, from your hair and nails to your reproductive organs, from skin problems to disease, from the natural shape of your body to the sometimes strange things that happen to said body, Ms. Redd covers them all -- and in detail. There's no hesitation here, and there's definitely no embarrassment. There are only real answers to real questions that everyone, at one time or another, has wondered about. And if you haven't wondered about it yet, believe me, you will!

BODY DRAMA is filled with "fast facts," drama scenarios, "how do I deal?" answers, and full-color photographs. This is a book that younger kids might giggle over, but that older teens will appreciate for its frankness. This is also a book that, once you get your copy, you won't want to part with it. Share it with your daughter, your sister, your cousin, your friend. Don't be ashamed of the body you were born with. Get the answers you need to be healthy and happy.

Kudos to Ms. Redd for such an informative read. This one is a winner!

Reviewed by: Jennifer Wardrip, aka "The Genius"
20 of 23 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unique and important 4 Jan 2008
By Dr. Paul Rapoport - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
What a book this is! I won't repeat what others have said; but everything about it is stunningly clever, from the title to the back cover, of course including the contents. It's unique as advice for teenage girls about their bodies: sharp, brainy, witty beyond merely funny, yet compassionate and never derogatory. You know what this book exudes? Sass with class.

On the back cover we read, among other things, "Know your body. Own your body. Love your body." That sums it, don't you think? But how many girls today do all three? Or two or even one?

Ms. Redd takes 272 knowing and loving pages to tell us not just why they don't embrace those three (or themselves) but how they can, indeed must. If teen girls took to heart even a fraction of the advice in this book, America would be a leader in body acceptance and not the western world's most shameful example of body ignorance, negativity, and phobia.

The author speaks from experience, kicking in things about herself as a minor Body Drama Queen. But the book isn't about her; it's about how to fix the root of a major American psycho-social problem: the perception of female bodies. The solution: start with girls themselves. Duh! If girls can treat themselves to fact instead of fiction, their body confidence will surely rise, along with everyone's well-being.

Famously, there are daring photos and discussions in this book. Yep, including breasts and vulvas. It's about bloody time! (Pardon the non-joke.) Why shouldn't they be included? Do girls have them or not? Do they worry about them or not?

Best of all, the feisty attitude revealed by the vulva spread (I didn't say that, did I) carries on throughout. The book has such a piercingly clear voice that if you felt any closer to the author, you'd be pushed away.

For sure, I don't agree with everything in the book. But my questions are mostly quibbles, coming from a different approach in some areas. The main thing is: this is one boffo book, providing something really important: 'powerment with 'tude. And that's "admirable attitude," not "asinine."

Ms. Redd continually describes a body issue and asks "How do I deal?" Girls will deal by reading and transforming, I hope. The rest of us should deal by getting this book for them --- or anyone who cares about them.
16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Unsparing (thank goodness!) and confidence-affirming 28 Jan 2008
By Catherine S. Vodrey - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback
My 11-year old daughter and I have both read "Body Drama" and give it a thumbs-up! I really can't think of another book I've ever read which provides such honest, grounded, phrased-in-an-unscary-way information for girls and young women. No matter what your age, from 11 (my daughter's age) on up through adulthood, I can think of dozens of ways any woman would benefit from having this book as a resource.

"Body Drama" is straightforward and pulls no punches. It's filled with real photos of real, un-airbrushed females who all look to be in their teens and 20s. I remember having questions about some of this stuff in my youth and having no earthly idea who to ask other than my other girlfriends (and often, not even them, out of sheer embarrassment!). It's written in plain, unfussy, laywoman's language. Even better is the fact that it celebrates how we're all different, instead of reinforcing the Hollywood message that how we should all conform to some weirdly skinny, weirdly plasticky "ideal."

"Body Drama" covers a lot of interesting basic stuff about girls' bodies (as the book cover says, "Shape/Skin/Down There/Boobs/Hair & Nails"). It also addresses a wide range of out-of-the-ordinary stuff, including some really eye-opening information about how models and actresses in magazines are airbrushed beyond all recognition and how the media plays such a huge role in our girls' perceptions of what a woman's body is supposed to look like.

Redd is a Harvard graduate and Miss Virginia 2003. She has done a lot of work and research with Dr. Angela Diaz, Director of the Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center, to write this book. As Dr. Diaz writes in the introduction, "By proudly presenting what real women actually look like and what women's bodies naturally go through, Body Drama takes a major stride toward eradicating the dislike and embarrassment that women have learned to feel about their bodies . . . Young women [more and more are turning to] friends or the anonymous Internet, leading to an abundance of misinformation being shared. At times, teenage circles offer shockingly erroneous advice that confounds even a basic comprehension of simple body facts . . . [Girls] too often turn to more easily digestible, but misleading, chat rooms and gossip instead of to a professional who has the knowledge and ability to help them." Preach it, sistah!

Although I can't find a recommended age range on the book, my feeling is that it would be useful to any girl who's starting to go through puberty or even just approaching that age. Be forewarned: there are some very honest photos of actual body parts.

All in all, a huge thumbs-up for this one--it's filling a general knowledge vacuum that's been there far too long.
34 of 43 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not all it's cracked up to be. 31 Mar 2008
By W. Shelly - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
While this book does SAY not all bodies are created equal, and it does have some fantastic pictures to back up that statement, it then proceeds to spend a full third of its text on how to make your less equal body more like the beauty pagent body we should apparently ALL be striving for. I also found the picture layouts to be a little too intense - like they were done for shock appeal rather than illustrative use. Too bad. All those photos used more wisely would have made this book. Unfortunately, the truely educational text is much too shallow, just enough information to lead to real questions with no answers in sight. If you truely wish to educate your teen or pre-teen, try It's Perfectly Normal by Robie H. Harris.
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