I got an email tonight from Nancy Redd, the author of Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers and immediately it hit me that although I’ve mentioned her book in the past, I have never given it the justice it deserves: a whole celebratory post to itself. Here’s the thing about Body Drama – it rocks. This is the book that I wish had been around when I was 12 and 13 (and 16 and 18…), not knowing what was up with my body. I may be considered a "sex expert" now, but I knew so little about my body, my sexual health, or my reproductive anatomy when I was growing up. My family – bless their hearts – was generally too uncomfortable to talk to me about puberty. And my school didn’t go into very good details either – some teachers tried their best but others gave inaccurate or incomplete information. If only I could’ve thrown it in a Delorean and sent it back in time to my teenaged self.
When I got Body Drama in the mail months ago, I actually took it with me to me annual gyn exam so that I could show my gynecologist and make him aware of this excellent resource for young women. "Your office should get a copy!", I said, "and leave it in the exam rooms so that young women can learn about their bodies while they’re waiting to be seen." He flipped through it and generally agreed that it was a sound resource for health and body information (with the exception that he felt a few of their examples were perhape too extreme, like the extreme of having a third nipple or asymmetrical breasts, which many women have but not to the extent shown in the images).
Body Drama has some of the most real images of women I’ve ever seen. It goes way far and above what the Dove "Beauty Campaign" purported to do. Though the book is aimed toward younger women, I think that women of any age would find valuable information in it. Certainly if you have teenaged (or nearly teenaged) daughters, or a daughter in her twenties, consider picking up a copy for them. And then send Nancy an email telling her how awesome she is, because how many other young successful women do you know who have made it their personal and professional mission to help young women feel informed and comfortable about their bodies?