Wednesday, April 19, 2017

Modesty, Makeovers, and the Pursuit of Physical Beauty: What Mothers and Daughters Need to Know - Jeffrey R. Holland and Susan W. Tanner

Summary:  The Lord wants us to be made over - but not in the image of the world. Elder Jeffrey R. Holland of the Quorum of the Twelve and Susan W. Tanner, Young Women general president, present two powerful messages on self-image and society's obsession with outward appearance. Based on their October 2005 general conference addresses, this small-size volume explores the intimate link between body, mind, and spirit.  

Women of all ages are confronted with a fixation on the physical body that has become increasingly common in the world today.  Elder Holland asserts, "You are bombarded in movies, television, fashion magazines, and advertisements with the message that looks are everything!  The pitch is, 'If your looks are good enough, your life will be glamorous and you will be happy and popular.'  That kind of pressure is immense in the teenage years, to say nothing of later womanhood."  These timely and inspired messages will help us understand that happiness comes from accepting and enhancing our natural attributes, not from remaking our bodies after the image of the world.  Filled with beautiful images and inspiring ideas, this attractive gift book is perfect for any woman aspiring to fulfill her potential of divine spiritual beauty.  (Summary from book flap)

My Review: Growing up, I remember having a poor body image and a warped sense of physical beauty, picked up from observing the world through the wrong kind of filter.  Now, as the mother of four girls, I am constantly looking for books that will help them develop and maintain a healthy spiritual and physical outlook (and avoid some of the pitfalls of living in an imagine obsessed world). I ordered this book to help my two older girls learn a bit more about the importance of modesty and spiritual beauty and to help my tween with a religious goal she had set.  It didn't hurt that Jeffrey R. Holland was a co-author. We are besties.* 

This book was based off two talks from the October 2005 General Conference of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints**, and that is exactly what it felt like -- two talks.  Each section was full of inspirational wisdom and truth, accompanied with pictures and beautiful quotes. The talks stressed the importance of loving oneself, striving to live a virtuous life, and not subscribing to the world's definition of beauty, but it was not the in-depth exploration of issues that I was hoping to read.  It felt like the first half of a book, the part intended to motivate the reader into making a change, and I am there -- I am already super motivated.  I wanted a deeper dig and a little more actionable intel to go on.  Something that I could put into practice that I am not already doing.  In short, I liked this book and would recommend it as an important, truth-filled, quick and uplifting read, but I wanted a little more 'how-to' out of the experience. 

My Rating: 3.75 Stars

*At least, in my head.
**While these authors are members of the LDS (aka Mormon) Church, I do believe that their words on this topic are applicable to those of all faiths.  

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