Elevate Difference

You'd Be So Pretty If...: Teaching Our Daughters to Love Their Bodies—Even When We Don't Love Our Own

In presenting the best ways to work with our daughters regarding self-image, author Dara Chadwick offers relatively comprehensive ideas pertaining to the aspects of maturing for girls into women. By surmising her year writing the "2007 Weight-Loss Diary" column for Shape, Chadwick builds her column into a no-nonsense-this-is-how-it-is book for mothers, daughters, and all of us who interact with young women from early ages.

Looking at her own relationship with her body, the author realizes potential effects on her own daughter who may find her somewhat overly concerned with her body; this could translate into her daughter grappling with similar issues. Basically, Chadwick restates the importance of loving who you are as being the most important trait of being a good person.

While writing her column and undergoing her own transformation, her awareness of her daughter comes through. Realizing the importance of her daughter's keen image of her mother, she looks at her life and interviews others who deal with their own weight issues. The underlying premise remains her own relationship with her daughter, now in the teen years. At the end of each pertinent chapter, the author reiterates some talking points regarding the topic, pulling out the right words fitting the sentiment and deeming them necessary for mothers to talk, a completely understandable point, to their daughters.

Written after her column was completed, You'd Be So Pretty If... gives parents a chance to check in with themselves and arms them with tools to encourage healthy growing up. Not getting messy or too extreme in her interviews, Chadwick's book feels like a good exploration for women to talk to their kids. Covering many topics, she does not go too far into each one, and this leaves us to develop our own research about mothers, media, and school bullying. A compendium spoken from the heart, You'd Be So Pretty If... gives a lighthearted reflective look, but serious read to all of us.

Written by: Carolyn Espe, August 25th 2009

Ditto. My mom is a lot like this (and perhaps needless to say, we don't have a stellar relationship). Anonymous comment since my mom seems to understand the internet.

-faithful FR reader

I grew up hearing the women in my family comment on how so-and-so would be so pretty if she did such-and-such. So shallow and critical! I hope we are moving into an era of more self-acceptance, and that it will be passed down to kids, too.

Interesting review. I like your tone in the ending paragraph. It's good that you sense the author's desire for her readers to do some work on their own and to make sure those reading the review pick up on that, as well.

Good job! :)

  • Fellow reviewer M. Brianna Stallings