Saturday, June 28, 2008

Must Read - This Is Who I Am

"I think if people are graceful and have some peace within them, then they are beautiful." Ellen, 52 (page 108)


Rosanne Olsen's book, This Is Who I Am is an absolute must read.* The pages are filled with women, each beautiful and courageous, and their thoughts about bodies and beauty. Every woman's story resonates in me. "I could have written that." "That was me." "That is me." "Will that be me?"

This book is a reflection of me. Of every woman.

I have yet to meet a woman who is completely in love with herself, her body, her being. The women in Ms. Olsen's book are no different.

And yet, their words are inspiring. Full of hope as they each strive for peace.

While each woman's words echoed in me, the most profound statement which sums up the theme of this book came from Jami, a wise woman at 19, "Perfection is a myth." (page 69)

Perfection most definitely is a myth. Beauty is found in the imperfections. In the wrinkles and cracks, scars and sags. It's in these "blemishes" that our uniqueness lies. Our uniqueness is what makes us beautiful. Each and every one of us.

Rosanne Olsen celebrates this uniqueness in the pages of this book. Her skill with the camera captured each woman's soul with gentleness and respect. The women glowed from the pages, making their words come alive. I could hear each woman speak to me, through their eyes, their expressions, their body positions.

I found myself talking to these women.
To Rae Ellen, 59 (page 56), who described her attempts to lose weight over the years, I cried, "You're beautiful just as you are! Stop the dieting cycle. Stop the yoyo!"
To LaRae, 25 (page 58), when I read, "Maybe I can inspire women everywhere to love themselves, no matter their size, naked or clothed," I shouted, "ROCK ON!"
To Susan, 48 (page 86), who wrote "It frustrates me that this is a lifetime challenge: the tongue versus the chin, the taste buds versus the circumference of my thighs." I moaned, "No! I refuse to believe that it has to be that way. I refuse to believe that one has to choose deprivation to be healthy."

The women in This Is Who I Am are powerful. Each is amazing. It is only fitting that Ms. Olsen chose to end this book with Maya Angelou's poem, "Phenomenal Woman." Each of these women are indeed phenomenal. I applaud their courage in showing themselves to the world - emotionally and physically.

I applaud Rosanne Olsen for her bravery. For showing to the world that beauty is inside each and every one of us.




* Excerpts from this book are available on the website. You are also able to order the book from there as well.