July 14, 2008
Book Review: Body Drama by Nancy Redd
This is a book the female world has been waiting for. As a girl, growing up, did you ever wish there was a book that would just "get real" about girl's body issues? This is a book you would have liked to turn to in those difficult moments. Of course, it's ideal for girls to be able to talk to mothers, other family members, or trusted female mentors about these issues. But where does that leave teen girls that don't have one of the aforementioned in their lives? Nancy Redd, a former Miss America swimsuit winner has written the quintessential book on female adolescent sexuality. Gone are those cheesy pencil drawings with the female anatomy. Redd gets up front and personal with photographs about all parts of the female anatomy. This book has every question you have never read before that a girl might ask.
Problems such as embarrassing smells, zits, breast sizes, and pubic hair are all covered. No issue is too off-limits. This is a book for women only. Yes, I imagine a few horny teenage guys will find it at the library or bookstore and have a thrill, but this book is intended for women.
Just a sample of topics: My vagina smells, I hate the way I look down there, My breasts are too heavy, It hurts to pee, I go poo too much, I have a mustache, I feel fat, I'm addicted to tanning, and the list goes on. There are handy things like how to make a pad with toilet paper. Redd even makes some confessions about some of the topics that readers will appreciate.
And then there is the thing that will really knock your socks off: an entire two page spread of photos of vulvas. When I first saw this, I must admit, I was shocked. But after reading the book, I can see the genius of it. It's not meant to be porn, it's just a safe way for girls to see that not every vagina looks the same. Redd complains that the porn and fashion industries are showing glossy, airbrushed "hairless slits" and that teen girls are thinking that their "package" needs to look similar. She also shares scary stories about surgeries girls are having to make their anatomy look better. It is for this reason that she made the infamous spread.
I am glad this book was written. I am a little sad that the collection development people at my library chose to place this book in adult non-fiction instead of teen non-fiction. Teen girls need this book, and now they will have to walk to a different section to find it. Highly recommended for all libraries.