Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers

Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers

4.6 36
by Nancy Amanda Redd

"You’d think a Miss America swimsuit winner would feel completely confident about her body, right? Not always! So I decided to write the book I wish I’d had as a teen and in college—an honest, funny, practical, medically accurate, totally reassuring guide to how women’s bodies actually look, smell, feel, behave, and change. Alongside real

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"You’d think a Miss America swimsuit winner would feel completely confident about her body, right? Not always! So I decided to write the book I wish I’d had as a teen and in college—an honest, funny, practical, medically accurate, totally reassuring guide to how women’s bodies actually look, smell, feel, behave, and change. Alongside real-deal photographs of women just like you and me (no airbrushing, no supermodels, no kidding) you’ll find medical pictures of things you need to be able to recognize, true confessions by yours truly, and the encouragement you need to appreciate the uniqueness, strength, and beauty of your body. What are you waiting for?"—Nancy Redd

From fashion magazines to taboo Web sites, curious young women have access to tons of old wives' tales about and thousands of airbrushed and inaccurate images of the female body—misinformation and harmful portrayals that can lead to low self-esteem, self-destructive acts, or even disturbing plastic surgery procedures. Teaming up with a leading physician specializing in adolescent health issues, Harvard graduate and former Miss Virginia Nancy Redd now offers a down-to-earth, healing, and reassuring response to those damaging myths. In Body Drama, Redd gives girls insight into the issues they're often too ashamed to raise with a doctor or parent. She also reveals her own experiences with the culture of "American beauty," and shows readers all the many versions of "normal." From body hair and bras, to acne and weight issues, along with crucial issues such as the importance of a healthy self image, Body Drama is a groundbreaking book packed with informative fast facts, FYIs, how-tos, and moving personal anecdotes as well as hundreds of un-retouched photographs. A highly visual book, it’s the first of its kind for women: filled with real information and real photographs of real bodies, to celebrate all our different shapes and sizes.

Named by Glamour magazine as one of America’s top-ten college women "most likely to succeed—at anything," Redd has spent the most recent years of her life on a mission to tackle the issues least discussed but most significant in young women’s lives. Celebrating the many versions of "normal," and replacing seriously erroneous information with the honest, medically proven truth in a language all girls can understand, Body Drama dares to empower a new generation—with facts instead of fantasies, and the priceless gift of self-knowledge.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Perfecto. This is just what girlitas need today—a get-real guide with un-airbrushed photos that allows them to dialogue with their bodies on the most honest levels."—Deborah Gregory, author, The Cheetah Girls series and Catwalk

"Body Drama should be center stage in every young woman's life. It will make you love every little thing about your body: your sags, you tags, your lumps, your bumps. It's a book of liberation and it's fun."—Eve Ensler

"I love this book! It puts loving (and knowing) your body into words and pictures — you'll find out yours isn't so different after all. Body Drama has the answers you want to the questions you don't know how to ask. Fun and frank, like talking to a good friend who knows absolutely everything and is willing to dish."—Kim Gandy, President of the National Organization of Women

"In Body Drama, Nancy Redd combines the stylishness of Naomi Campbell, the vibe of your best friend, and photos you always wanted to see but were afraid to ask. An empowering, original, funny, and frank book, Body Drama is poised to become the modern girl's Our Bodies, Ourselves."—Jennifer Baumgardner and Amy Richards, authors of Manifesta: Young Women, Feminism, and the Future and Grassroots: A Field Guide to Feminist Activism.

"Body Drama…should be on the shelf of every family, school, and doctor in America."—Nancy Brown, PhD, professor of Adolescent Sexuality at Stanford University, Senior Research Associate at the Palo Alto Medical Foundation (PAMF) Research Institute

"Demystifies female bodies and shows them as they really look: curvy, sometimes pimply and never perfect."—Glamour magazine

AGERANGE: Ages 11 to 18.

Redd writes this book with the intention of helping young women feel better about their bodies. She organizes it into sections labeled skin, boobs, "down there," hair/mouth/nails, and shape. Each section contains various "dramas" wherein Redd discusses the reasons for a body crisis, suggests how readers can cope with the situation, and describes how to camouflage any embarrassing resulting flaws. Graphic anatomical photographs, including a row of female genitalia, showcase the different ways women's bodies look (the book includes a disclaimer stating those photographed are eighteen and over). Although the photos are indeed shocking, they respectfully assure young women that bodies come in all shapes and sizes. The author covers a myriad of physical as well as mental health issues, including cutting and depression. On the down side, Redd plugs her Web site several times in different sections by directing readers for more information about specific topics. Although irritating to some who read the book straight through, readers who dip into it to learn about one or two body dramas will not be perturbed. Redd's carries her chatty, personal writing style a bit too far by sprinkling her sections with extraneous fluff like "99 nicknames for boobs" and "booty emoticons." Inexplicably the book is published solely in trade paperback format, sure to disintegrate after repeated checkouts. It is likely to be a read-and-pass-along book not only for the helpful advice and accurate information but also for the gross-out pictures of head lice, warts, and keloid scars. Reviewer: Angelica Delgado
April 2008 (Vol. 31, No. 1)

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Product Details

Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date:
Product dimensions:
7.32(w) x 8.52(h) x 0.74(d)
Age Range:
14 - 18 Years

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Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers 4.7 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 36 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I liked the book. It was really useful and it divided everything nto sections. Also, i loved how the girls that modeled for the book were REAL girls, as in normal everyday girls, not gorgeous anorexic perfect models. This book is a must have for all teenage girls. It talks about all the issues we are often embarassed about and dont have anyone to talk to about. Really helpful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book is awesome! As a mother of 3 daughters and a registered nurse who works with foster children, I highly recommend this book to every teenage girl.Nancy Redd has addressed all the issues of being female in an exceptionally clear and concise manner. It is a complete reference guide for girls in a very reader friendly format. As I read through the book, I thought it would be such a wonderful book for teenage girls in foster care who usually do not have a person close to them with whom they can discuss these issues. However, it is as important for those girls who have close open relationships with their mothers. This book will do wonders for a girl's self esteem while quiding her on the journey to womanhood. It addresses the 'small issues' such as the correct way to shave your legs to the most intimate issues of being female. Redd addresses issues which are so intimate that even mothers who talk openly to their daughters would not think of discussing. Other subjects of great importance are also covered including weight, dieting, body image, and health issues. As a mother and a registered nurse, I think this is the most important book ever published for girls who are turning into young women. Buy this book for your daughter.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This book has, honest to God, changed the way I look at my body! At 23, I could honestly say I'd never seen another woman naked before, at least not a real one. Everything we see in movies and in magazines is pretty much either altered to perfection with digital enhancements, or altered to perfection with surgical enhancements. I always thought I somehow wasn't normal under my clothes, until I saw 'Body Drama: Real Girls, Real Bodies, Real Issues, Real Answers.' Finally, a book has come along that teaches us women to love our bodies and to question just what the word 'normal' means, anyway. In a society where many women are judged on appearances but taught to be embarrassed about bodily functions, Miss America swimsuit winner Nancy Amanda Redd gives us an accurate guide to the female body. Redd makes it clear that she wants to eradicate the dislike and shame that women have learned to feel about their bodies. She does just that by the use of real, color photographs of women's bodies and correct information about almost every health or body issue a young woman could face. By using real photographs of real women (no airbrushing and no professional models), Redd both educates and empowers young women. Cartoon drawings that 'growing up' books have always used are confusing and inaccurate. When explaining her use of photographs in the introduction, she asks, 'How can we expect cartoons to teach us how to take care of ourselves and convince us that our bodies are normal and OK?' A lot of young women are afraid to ask questions about what they are supposed to look like in private areas, but Redd shows them up close and personally that they are normal and beautiful by showing them what other real people look like. The book is broken into chapters, each dealing with a different part of the body. Redd covers everything from curing acne to self administered breast exams. She leaves no stone unturned and makes good on her promise to try to change how women view their bodies. She dedicates a section to 'Common Poo Problems' and includes a much-needed bra sizing guide with photographs of frequent fitting mistakes. While a lot of schools are stressing abstinence-only sexual education classes, it might be hard for young women to find reliable information about contraceptives and STIs. Redd dedicates much detail to both of these subjects. Reading Body Drama feels like talking to a medically educated, well-spoken girlfriend. Redd is serious and funny at the same time. She's honest, too. In her 'i confess' segments, she admits to all the issues she's faced with her own body drama. Redd uses her experiences to show that even a beauty queen has body issues. For young women, it is important to understand that they are not expected to look like the women shown on television and that they are very normal. Body Drama is the perfect guide to all of our body's issues, big or small, because it puts an emphasis on encouraging young women to love their bodies and take care of them.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I love this book but add me :)
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
The sample is horrible. Never in my life again
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TeensReadToo More than 1 year ago
Since I started this job of reviewing about a year and a half ago, I've had the privilege of reading a number of self-help type books geared towards girls and women and their bodies. I have to admit that none have been as comprehensive, helpful, and realistic as BODY DRAMA. This is a book that leaves nothing to the imagination, states complete truths instead of half-truths and myths, and answers the types of questions that many females, regardless of age, are sometimes too embarrassed to ask -- even in the company of their doctors. As an adult, and a married woman with two children, I still found this book to be extremely helpful, and even discovered information that I hadn't previously known.

From your face to your skin, from your hair and nails to your reproductive organs, from skin problems to disease, from the natural shape of your body to the sometimes strange things that happen to said body, Ms. Redd covers them all -- and in detail. There's no hesitation here, and there's definitely no embarrassment. There are only real answers to real questions that everyone, at one time or another, has wondered about. And if you haven't wondered about it yet, believe me, you will!

BODY DRAMA is filled with "fast facts," drama scenarios, "how do I deal?" answers, and full-color photographs. This is a book that younger kids might giggle over, but that older teens will appreciate for its frankness. This is also a book that, once you get your copy, you won't want to part with it. Share it with your daughter, your sister, your cousin, your friend. Don't be ashamed of the body you were born with. Get the answers you need to be healthy and happy.

Kudos to Ms. Redd for such an informative read. This one is a winner!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Whatever shape or size you are, everyone has that little 'something' that we wish was different. No matter what that thing is, this book will help you appreciate your body instead of hating it for not matching the 'ideal' body we've been told we should have.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I spoke with Nancy on the radio and she recommended her book for working with teens. I won it by being the third caller. I have not read it all through, but what I have read is such great info. Nancy really knows what she is talking about.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This small and and affordable book is the 'Our Bodies, Ourselves' of this generation. Honestly, I thought I thought I knew all there was to know about my body but I was wrong! Every single embarassing question you could every think of is answered here in an extremely approachable way. Truly, a great book for girls and women!
Guest More than 1 year ago
There is so much misinformation and lack of knowledge about our bodies--no wonder we're embarrassed. And we shouldn't be. This book sets out to remedy that problem by celebrating the wonderful bodies that carry us through life, in all their glorious diversity. It will help every girl and every woman who reads it by giving us down to earth knowledge with good humor. That knowledge will lead to understanding, which leads to acceptance, which will make us all a lot happier. So, in effect, this book will do nothing less than contribute to world peace! Thank you, Nancy, for writing it. And thanks, too, to the brave models who show us that we're all beautiful.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I think this book is wonderful! I am a mother with a young a daughter and I picked it up at the library , thinking I should see if it was something I would want my daughter to read later. Well I took it home and was just amazed at how great it was.I'm 37 & still learned ALOT from this book 'I wish I had it as a teenager!'. I've already recomended it to my friends with daughters. I really feel all girls should have this book! Ms Redd really did females a great service- now I hope she will do a similar books for boys - I need something this amazing for my son ...
Guest More than 1 year ago
As a sex educator at Athena's Home Novelties, I am PROUD to reccomend this book to my customers who come to me and share their 'unfounded shame' about their bodies. Thank you for creating this book, you've helped so many people, myself included. We have to live in our bodies until we die, the sooner we learn to love ourselves for the we are, the better the quality and richness of our lives are.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Excellent survey of the female body and the issues we deal with as girls and women. This is a must read for women everywhere, teenage girls, mothers (and fathers!) of girls, and every male that has any kind of communication with females! Please, please, please put together a Body Drama book about real guys. That would just be so helpful in understanding and dealing with communication and relationships.
Guest More than 1 year ago
This is a great book. Perfect for any woman that wants to learn more about their body not just teenage girls. This book although graphic, is not overally technical. It helped me become more comfortable with my own body, as well as helped me understand it better. In today's society the media creates an almost unattainable image for you women.'The book reviews air-brushing'This book will help you to realize that you are beautiful just as you are, I did! Get it for yourself, a friend, a daughter, a niece...anybody! IT WILL MAKE A DIFFERENCE I plan on keeping it to share with my daughters some day.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I like this book because it opens the eyes of girls to what women really are, which is beautiful! Instead of encouraging readers to imitate today's image of what's attractive, Body Drama teaches us to embrace who we are, regardless of what we think should be 'fixed.' I love the way this book answers ANY question that could possibly cross a girl's mind about these issues. It will melt away the numerous insecurities that we females have. A+ )
Guest More than 1 year ago
Awesome book for women of all ages- especially young ladies. Great pictures - wonderful resource book
Guest More than 1 year ago
Every time I open a magazine and think about how impossibly hot the models are I remember the pages in this book that discuss the process of touching up real bodies to look like....impossibly hot ones. Thank you Body Drama! I only wish I had you when I was 13.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Wow! I thoroughly enjoyed this book. It's funny, to-the-point, enlightening and full of inspiration. Every girl needs this book!
Guest More than 1 year ago
I bought this book for my 12 year old daughter. I thought it would be a good book for a girl her age because of all the changes her body is going through. But we both thought the book was a little gross. I hate being the only person that doesn't give it 5 stars. But it is just to much for both of us. Trust me I am no prude. I bought her tampons when she was 11. I breast fed both my babies everywhere. So boobs & coochies aren't a big deal. But this book was kind of gross to me.
Guest More than 1 year ago
While I still have body issues, and would always love to look like the women I see on magazine covers, Nancy Redd's book REALLY helped me put things in perspective. I appreciate reading her first hand (and other contributions)experiences. They definitely have given me strength!
Guest More than 1 year ago
Nancy Redd's Body Drama is a must-read for the developing young woman in your life. In a respectful and unflinching look at our female bodies, it teaches much information without resorting to condescension. I think it should be in every library in every school because it demythologizes the women in print today. Body Drama gives us permission to accept ourselves the way we are, or change those things about us that we dislike, not that others say we should think are ugly. Kudos to Nancy Redd for this brave and important book. You won't soon forget the pictures.
Guest More than 1 year ago
I love this book! It's like having a conversation with your best friend. We choose this book for our monthly 'pow-wow' meeting and all the ladies were pleased with it. This is a book that all women should have on their shelf.
Guest More than 1 year ago
Ever since I can remember, the media has been shouting at me that I'm not good enough. I remember being twelve years old and staring in the mirror at my stomach--which was concave back then by the way--and wondering why I was 'already getting fat.' The media shouts with words and images that women aren't good enough and can never be good enough... And privately, mothers, friends, sisters, and aunts whisper to each other, ' It's all a ridiculous lie, and you are beautiful the way you are.' It's about time that the whispers drowned out the shouts, and that is just what Nancy Redd is doing in Body Drama. In no uncertain terms, with the grace and a big dose of humor, she is shouting to her fellow women: 'YOU ARE NORMAL, YOU ARE NORMAL, YOU ARE NORMAL!'