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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be awesome modern life for modern ladies
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
Published 21 months ago by S A Robinson

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Really Good Bits, Some Kinda Pants Bits
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...
Published 9 months ago by Charlotte Steggs


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Be awesome modern life for modern ladies, 20 Aug. 2013
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
4.0 out of 5 stars In Defence of Hadley Freeman, 22 April 2013
By 
Jenny (Manchester, Uk) - See all my reviews
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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. I've met more than one woman who actually dislike Jolie, a woman they don't even know, because she 'stole' Brad Pitt.
I do have some criticisms. She points out that women shouldn't take the power (threat) away from their serious points by using text speak or funny voices but I think she borders on this herself when she uses slang such as 'NQOCD' (had to google that one). Secondly she speaks about oral sex using a very vulgar term for male oral sex (a term I really despise and can't repeat on Amazon) but the female equivalent is given the 'very proper name' which appears to me to be an surprising double-standard in a work concerned with feminism. Either the colloquial for both or neither.
Overall I really enjoyed this book and I laughed all the way through it. Freeman herself notes that there's a 'slender line that divides self-empowerment and self-abasement' and this for me sums up the feminist minefield where modern day women find themselves.
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37 of 44 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Antidote for believing what the media says..., 28 April 2013
By 
Rosey Lea (london, UK) - See all my reviews
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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
3.0 out of 5 stars Some Really Good Bits, Some Kinda Pants Bits, 7 Aug. 2014
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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
5.0 out of 5 stars Hadley is awesome, 2 Jan. 2014
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Much truth & wit, if a little didactic at times, 1 Jun. 2014
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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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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Amusing synopsis of why the media makes a woman paranoid, 16 May 2013
By 
Joanne K. Pilsworth (Cambridge, UK) - See all my reviews
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I wasn't sure what to make of this book to start with, and suspect that is as much because I have not read of a lot (any!) of Hadley Freeman's work. However, once I understood a bit more about her style, I found this quite an amusing read.

The author goes through a series of stereotypes, according to modern media (newspapers, magazines etc) on how we, as women, should both perceive ourselves and be perceived. So, you have "A day in your life in Daily Mail headlines", which looks at how common actions such as buying one cup of tea in the canteen, must be a sure sign that women are heading towards solitary lives; the utter fashion faux pas of wearing the same pair of shoes three days running and how clearly, if you have no social life because you are at work, it must be becasue you are denying your feminism. Then we have the rant about baby showers. I have to agree with her there! We have "Why you are never too old for Topshop", which explains how the buyers of fashion shops need us mature ladies to buy the hidden signature pieces, rather than the fashion mistakes, because when it comes down to it, we are the ones with the money to spend.

My favourite chapter though was written from the perspective of a celebrity interview. I was crying with laughter.

As I said, the more you read this book, the more you will laugh. It is aimed at the older reader, that is, more than about 35 years old, as a lot of the humour seems that way inclined. But damn, this was a funny book, and just puts into perspective that we don't need to go into a state of paranoia just because of what we read in the press.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A good read, 10 Jun. 2013
By 
H (London) - See all my reviews
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I've never been a massive fan of Hadley's writing style but was pleasantly surprised this book. It's witty and incisive, and she does an excellent job of presenting feminist issues in a way that's funny and relatable. I'd have given it another star but I did feel it ran off into tangents in a lot of places and needed a bit more focus.

I particularly liked her day in the life according to Daily Mail headlines - an excellent lampooning of the tabloids if ever there was one.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Bit of a curate's egg, 14 May 2013
By 
Skeadugenga (UK) - See all my reviews
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With a book such as this one, where an author is expounding their views on a broad topic, its fairly important that
you like their voice and that you find their point of view at least understandable, if not interesting.

This was the problem for me with the first half of the book. The constant Americanisms larded with references to living in the UK and the
assumption that all the readers would understand US cultural references was a bit distracting. (which side of the Atlantic is this person from?)
The frantic pace and humour gave me the impression that this person was desperate to be liked and agreed with. And I should have realised that
the use of "Awesome" was a sign that this would probably be pitched at a target market akin to Cosmo.

However, I liked the second half of the book much better, when Hadley slowed down a bit and started making some serious points (or at least provided food for thought) on a number of feminist topics. But in a light hearted way of course, because we can't have scary, hairy feminists pointing out that equality is at most 2 generations deep and isn't yet sufficiently established that we can afford to take it for granted, at least not without throwing in a bit of humour to sweeten the pill.

I thoroughly agree with her about the generalisation of remarks about and representation of the sexes; feminism is about equality, not a licence to persecute the opposite sex.

The origin of this book as a series of newspaper articles does show - short, single topic chapters, and I guessed she had written for the Guardian as she has "Guardianitis" - the paper's journalists have a tedious habit of almost exclusively quoting the Daily Mail (possibly frothing at the mouth as they do so) to illustrate its origin as the source of every single thing that is wrong with the world. This may be true, but it is very very tedious to read and the reason why I stopped taking the Guardian. There are other examples from other sources, just quoting one is lazy and a teensy bit obsessive.

So, this book tries a bit too hard, but the second half is much better than the first and makes some good points.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Book, 30 Aug. 2014
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This book is absolutely brilliant. I really enjoyed it. The writing is warm, funny and intelligent. The book has great advice put across in a lovely tone. Books like these can sometimes be condensing but this one is not in any way. Her points are well thought out and researched. I will read this again and again.
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