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Book Jacket

Trade Paperback
237 pages
May 2010
InterVarsity Press


by Margot Starbuck

Review  |   Author Bio  |  Read an Excerpt


Margot Starbuck’s Unsqueezed: Springing free from skinny jeans, nose jobs, highlights, and stilettos boasts “twenty-seven brief, funny and reflective chapters” on changing perceptions about our bodies, the clothes we wear, the makeup we cake on, and the food we eat. Starbuck’s chapters pivoted around Matthew 6: 31, which says, “So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?'” (NIV) Does the nonfiction work impress upon the reader the need to change her thinking?

I did not find the book as impressive as the book jacket said it would be. Whereas the writing style was friendly, almost as though I was reading a friend’s journal, the writing itself was not as humorous as it claimed to be. The chapters were short and sporadic; they were not laid out in what I thought to be an organized way, and I found the length of the chapters distracting.

Some of the content was inspiring and philanthropic. However, the book was arranged in such a way that the first twelve chapters did not offer any hope to the reader. Those chapters seemed more like the author’s personal vendetta against genetics, the fashion industry, and cosmetic companies. Had I picked up this book from the library, I would have returned it before reading the fifth chapter due to the hopelessness the first chapters instilled in me.

Starbuck claims throughout her book not to have an “interest in shunning every modern convenience” (p. 167), but she certainly slams everything from fitness centers and lipstick to computer-centered communication and escalators. The only positive notes in the book are toward the end when Starbuck encourages her readers to change their false perceptions by pairing up with friends who can keep them accountable and by doing a few charitable acts to offset the low self-esteem she assumes most women have.

As a young woman and an undergraduate student, I would not suggest buying this book. It did not do what it claimed by breaking me free from the world’s wrong standards of beauty. The negative, pessimistic tone throughout the book will only bog down the reader, so if you do buy it, it’d be best to read it with a friend or mentor to sift through Starbuck’s nonconstructive thoughts. Indeed, as women, we don’t rely on outward appearances as our sole identity, but, on the other hand, our bodies are the temples of the Lord, so we shouldn’t trash talk them either. – Caitlin Wilson,

Book Jacket:

Ever check the mirror and wonder if you look good enough? Do you choose your clothes to disguise your flaws? Do you sometimes think plastic surgery might be the only way for you to feel good about your body? Do you ever feel squeezed into someone else's mold?

Come and join Margot Starbuck in her journey to become unsqueezed! In twenty-seven brief, funny and reflective chapters she helps us discover why God really gave us bodies and what we can do with them to serve him and others.

Jump out of that suffocating mold and discover what your body is really for.