This book is a first of its kind. Shelina Janmohamed develops an understanding of how the concept of beauty has evolved over the years and how beauty truly is in the eyes of the beholder. I would highly recommend that everyone has this in their homes, gifts it, or even gets their school to house this in their library! It is currently on offer on Amazon (the offer expires on the 24th December).
What is it all about?
We live in a generation where beauty is skin deep and the ever-changing digital space for young people perpetuates this even more. Children as young as seven are affected by mental health and body image; 1 in 7 have tried dieting at this tender age! Shelina explores the concept of a ‘visual diet’ – how images we consume around us affects our brain and shapes our ideas of beauty. If we change the images we consume, we can then change the stereotypes of beauty. How powerful is that?! She even included a 30 second experiment your child can do to prove this!
This book shows the various elements of beauty, through culture and history with incredible facts and fun activities, including cool experiments and art. I learnt a lot!
To give an example, in pre-Islamic Arabia, the best compliment in poetry for a woman was to call her a ‘cow’. I won’t reveal any more fun facts, some are truly shocking and gives a deep insight into beauty ideals through history and cultures.
Who is it for?
Though this book is aimed at 8-12, I would go as far as to say that it should be a book that is read by everyone of every age and gender. Boys need to stop putting pressure on girls to look a certain way or they themselves need support to change their ideals of stereotypical beauty.
I actually read this with my boys first. It’s important for them to understand how not to conform to beauty ‘standards’ nor define beauty by what they see around them. I want both boys and girls to love themselves (and others) as they are. Whether it’s scarring, skin colour, textures or any visible physical impediments – they are all different shades of beauty. The book shows you there are lots of ways to be beautiful.
Did you know that scars are ‘superheroes’?
In an interview, Shelina discusses how scars are often depicted as marks of villainous characters. When you look into it, scars are actually an amazing number of cells that heal the skin after being wounded so instead of ‘villains’, scars are superheroes! It truly does come down to understanding, perception and even language.
My 10 year-old really resonated with this as he has been conscious of his colouring compared to his siblings. Being told he’s beautiful from a young age doesn’t always convince them especially when they are approaching puberty. Reading this book gave him an insight and a deeper understanding that beauty is truly not skin deep. Combining this with the reinforcement that character is what beautifies you, you’ll give your child every chance to beYOUtiful.
Interview with the author herself – Shelina Janmohamed!
Watch Shelina’s interview here where she gives Muslim Mamas a deeper insight into the reasons why she wrote the book, one of the first of its kind for 8-12 age group. There is so much to unpack! (The full episode of Muslim Mamas Talkshow Episode 3 with other guests can be watched here.)
I truly advocate for this book to be embedded into the school curriculum where children can use this book to explore history, societal structures and science in relation to influence and body image. If you have a school library, please buy a copy for them or ask them to purchase it.
Let’s support this girl-powered revolution!
Limited Special Offer
Amazon has an amazing offer currently, due to expire on the 24th! Don’t miss out! I have stocked up! You can get your copy here.
Disclaimer: I have no affiliations or any personal benefit from sharing this offer.
Leave a Reply