Beyond Beautiful by Anuschka Rees
A quick resume on the book
When building up Fitia, we had to do some research.
After hearing the experience of our entourage and our own, we needed to hear the voice of someone else. A person that definitely knew what they were talking about.
Beyond Beautiful sums up many of the ideas and inner thoughts a lot of women had to tackle with. More importantly, it gives acceptance and patience to one another, without being pedantic. And we think you would enjoy to experience it too!
After performing interviews with women, Anushcka Rees breaks the body image down into three parts. Those parts are your mental picture of yourself, your emotional reaction to that picture, and the actions you take. The latter is a result of that picture/emotion.
What’s different about the “love yourself” message of this book from so many other body positive works? It is the emphasis isn’t on how beautiful you are. Rather, the message is beauty is not all that matter, it is how you feel in your own skin. And this is hard to wrap heads around!
On a surface level, “looks aren’t everything” and most normal humans believe (or pretend to believe) this way. Though we do outwardly with our appearance just to come across, “put together” and actively trying to fit into some kind of beauty ideals. They are potentially much more harmful than we realize.
This book discusses how many of the things we do to alter our appearance. They actually are by nothing more than an effective marketing campaign from a company run by men. We can take the example of female body hair. It is often viewed as unhygienic or sloppy specifically comes from men who wanted to sell a product. The book goes into so many more similar specifics , and it’s eye-opening to think about.
Anuschka Rees urges us to think about how much the time we spend daily concerned with our appearance. This can come in the form of applying makeup, hairstyling, counting calories, beauty regimens, skin tanning or lightening, wearing uncomfortable clothes and shoes, etc. There are lots of women who would argue that they do these things for themselves, just to feel good. And in and of themselves these things are not good or bad! But as the reader, we are challenged to think about the deeper reasons. They makes us feel good to do these things. And that’s what gets hard.
Personally, I’ve always been a person who get waxed once a month. I do this because I like the smooth feeling of getting under the sheets right after my monthly appointment. But also, WHY do I like that? Why is smooth and hairless preferable to me over soft and stubbly? I think because I just learned that was what was most desirable. It puts in perceptive all the things we think are attractive.
We’d recommend this book for literally anyone who wants to challenge themselves. It show how they see their bodies and the bodies of others. The author tries to give a healthy perspective in our reality, with some practical tools to change our thinking.
It is a book to read at a slow pace. It can diluted in time so you give yourself the space to reflect.