In this debut self-help book, a mother issues an enthusiastic plea for young women to value themselves holistically and also expounds on the concept of “beauty.”
Organized around an acrostic of the word “beautiful,” Peddie’s text offers bite-sized meditations on how one can focus on one’s mental fortitude and happiness in a technology-obsessed culture. The chapters address general concepts, including kindness (“B Is for Being Kind”) and gratitude (“T Is for Thankfulness and gratefulness”), but they also offer concrete advice about taking time to “unplug,” to focus on one’s education, and to take care of one’s body. The seventh chapter draws on Peddie’s own experiences as a Christian to show how approaching the concept of faith with “an open heart” may benefit anyone, whether they participate in organized religion or not. Lists of practical suggestions include simple kindnesses (“offer people a piece of your gum”) and advice to “seek an older sibling or trusted friend who loves you and wants to protect you” when deciding how to proceed in a romantic relationship. The conclusion contains journal-oriented “thought starters” on topics covered in each chapter. Throughout, the prose has the cheerleading tone of someone who hopes that her young female readers will succeed in finding self-respect and self-love. A major strength of the text is that it dwells on the positive potential of girls and women rather than on shaming them. For example, rather than pointing out the evils of screen time, Peddie simply notes the importance of fostering a relationship with oneself, away from technology. The author’s compassionate point of view softens harder lessons, such as how making mistakes in life can make one resilient. By the end of the book, however, the messages’ power fades a bit due to repetition. As a result, the book is perfect for occasional dips and personal meditations.
An exuberantly written guide to becoming a strong young woman.