The Body Image Book for Girls by Dr Charlotte Markey

Published by Cambridge University Press, 2020.

I often think how glad I am not to be a teenager or young woman nowadays. It’s a tough enough time anyway with hormones racing and all the tricky relationship firsts to navigate. Yet young women today have to contend with all this alongside the added pressures of social media, air brushing and cancel culture. It’s a minefield! Girls can receive so many confusing and potentially damaging messages.

Luckily Dr Charlotte Markey has written The Body Image Book for Girls (Love Yourself and Grow Up Fearless) to tackle misinformation and body image worries by providing sensible advice that’s backed up by thorough scientific research. Dr Markey is a psychology expert who specialises in body image issues so the book has authority and gravitas. This isn’t to say that The Body Image Book for Girls is inaccessible. Far from it, in fact. There are case studies/interviews with young women in their teens and early 20s and these provide authentic voices which will chime with the readers’ own experiences. I think the book’s format and layout are great too. It’s very easy to read. Each chapter includes Q & A, which read a bit like questions to an Agony Aunt, and help to distil the key information. There’s always a myths and misbeliefs section too where Charlotte debunks commonly held beliefs. The book also has accompanying illustrations, and useful diagrams, graphs and charts.

The book’s scope is huge, taking in food and eating; exercise and rest; and self-care, mindfulness and self-compassion. Topics covered include: puberty, tampon use, diets, eating disorders, veganism, depression and cosmetic surgery. The Body Image Book for Girls could be read from cover to cover or dipped into as issues surface. It’s an honest, practical handbook that deals with with a whole-self approach. Girls are taught how to nurture both mental and physical health to improve their own body image, self-esteem and mental well-being.

The Body Image Book for Girls is an empowering book and a must for all young girls approaching or going through puberty.

Rating: 💙💙💙💙

Suitable for children aged 10+

Thank you to Cambridge University Press for sending me this book to review.

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