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How to Feel Good Naked: Learning to love the body you’ve got.

Sheila Bridge
Monarch Books 2010
RRP $19.99

Reviewed by Bob Warrick, a husband, father of two daughters and grandfather of two granddaughters.

The author assures us that she does not want to make the reader guilty or miserable – she wants us to feel at home in our beautiful body whatever shape it’s in, and this reviewer thinks she has achieved that.

Ms Bridge starts by examining the word ‘perfect’ and the message of magazines and advertisers that we are all inadequate, before reminding us that each one of us is unique; a one off masterpiece.

Regardless of how we feel about our body she reminds us that it is an amazing gift and says we need to celebrate all the incredible things our body does.

She urges us to be ‘content’ rather than famous and tells us that it is easier to achieve this when surrounded by affirmation.

While clearly being a book by a woman for women, it is for men too … because men are subjected to similar pressures and influences and through what men say can find themselves putting unreasonable expectations on the women – or everyone – around them.

Her chapters on ‘what to do’ explore exercise (walking, running and swimming), beating boredom, clothes and makeup, and include ten useful pages on eating disorders.

One of the keys to loving the body we’ve got is changing the way we feel about ourselves, gaining self respect and self confidence.

Ms Bridges believes that this is not only possible but also vital.

Look out for the quote from Dawn French who describes herself as “almost completely spherical” and tells the story of what her wonderful Dad said to her when she was 13 – it has wonderful advice for all men and women.