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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
169 pages
May 2005
InterVarsity Press

Wanting To Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Won't Tell You

by Michelle Graham

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Michelle Graham speaks a message that every woman needs to hear: “God has created us in His image and we are beautiful.” Unfortunately, it’s hard to believe that when we live in a society in which images of tall, gorgeous, thin blondes are constantly being paraded before us. Graham’s book, Wanting to Be Her, addresses not only society’s view of body image but, more importantly, God’s image of our bodies. Graham provides in-depth discussions of areas females struggle with – ethnicity, size, need for make-up, and even cosmetic surgery to fix so-called “flaws.”

The title refers to the desire women have to look like, walk like, and be adored like the “perfect 10” women seen in glamour magazines, despite the fact that their photos are airbrushed and altered by computers to create this mythical perfection. The book is designed like a devotional, in that each chapter concludes with Bible verses and a set of reflective questions. To this end, it could be used as a private devotional journal or as a discussion starter for small-group Bible studies.

Graham is a staff member of Northern Illinois University and a regular speaker for InterVarsity Christian Fellowship. In Wanting to Be Her, she focuses on every worry and wonder that women seem to have about their bodies, but she does so with a sense of humor. For example, she doubts Eve spent a lot of time “primping” before she would allow God to take her on her blind date to meet Adam. Says Graham, “Why would she need to improve upon what God had just finished putting together?” She makes a good point, underscoring that fact that since we women are created in God’s image, in His eyes we are perfect.

Any female, regardless of age, who has ever had a “bad hair day” will appreciate this book. Graham’s own personal stories, as well as the opinions she brings in from experts in medicine, theology, and psychology, make this an exceptional book. Graham is female, so she knows all about the “image struggle.” But she has learned how to cope with it, and her advice and insights are worth discovering. -- Emily Day, Christian Book

Book Jacket:

Each year billions of dollars are spent in the quest for extreme beauty:

· $20 billion on cosmetics

· $2 billion on hair products

· $74 billion on diet foods

· And 7.4 million Americans spend a small fortune on cosmetic surgery.

In a world of extreme makeovers, "Swans" and Victoria Secret models, author Michelle Graham asks the question—why do we buy the lies about beauty? Why do we obsess about reaching the beauty ideal "portrayed" on TV and in magazines?

In "Wanting to Be Her: Body Image Secrets Victoria Never Told You" Michelle Graham exposes the lies we buy from the media and contemporary culture, and helps women everywhere to discover the true secrets of a positive body image.

She writes: "We confuse role models with cover models. We have taken on a cultural physics equation that says our value is directly proportional to our physical attractiveness. The result? We are people consumed with our outward appearance. And it shows."

Chapters include "The Lie We Buy," "Who Are We Trying to Please?", "Can I Still Keep My Favorite Lipstick" and more. Graham also includes a section on race and beauty, and an appendix on eating disorders.

Cutting through the myths of airbrushed supermodel photos, flawless make-up and chiseled physiques, Graham teaches women how to view their bodies with both grace and acceptance.

"We suffer from believing what our culture tells us about our bodies," writes Graham. "We are losing out to discontentment, fear and perfectionism. But this is not God’s desire for us. He longs for us to know freedom from these things. We must find a way to let it sink in that God made not only humanity well, but my particular body too. The consequences otherwise are much too costly."