30 Jan

Book Review: The Breast Book, by Emma Pickett

Emma Pickett is just the person to write a book for confused or anxious or curious teenage girls. She has an abundant and fascinating knowledge of the subject, and a humorous, patient tone with which to impart it. What makes this book particularly special is the deep feminism that comes through on every page: your body is normal, your body is good, your body is your own for you to make decisions about.

The Breast Book covers how breasts grow, what they are for, and why society gives us such confusing messages about them. Illustrated with cartoons, photos, and anecdotes from women of all ages and one transman, it’s very accessible even for the younger reader. And while the younger reader may not take in all of this detail to start with, just owning this book means they have a reliable resource for when they are ready. It even includes sample notes to highlight in order to start a conversation with parents, should it feel too difficult to do this out loud. And parents, note: this book is not a substitute for talking to your daughter, but is an excellent companion.

09 Oct

Book Review: Bare Reality by Laura Dodsworth

I’ve been keeping my copy of Laura Dodsworth’s Bare Reality on the coffee table, just to amuse myself really. It’s a big book with a lot of naked-chested women on the front, and I have had different reactions from various visitors. If they are curious enough to open it, most people are quickly absorbed into the stories of the 100 women who talk candidly to Laura about their breasts.

Just as breasts come in all shapes and sizes, so do our feelings and stories about them. Bare Reality includes a lot of thoughts on breastfeeding, sexuality, and feminism; and a good mixture of people who like their breasts and people who do not. The headless photographs force the reader to see only the breasts, but the accompanying narrative tells a much bigger story, challenging the contradictory social norms of beauty and prohibition.

Bare Reality shows you 100 perfect, beautiful women and gives a completely unique insight into their perspectives.

[Disclosure: I was given a free review copy of Bare Reality by the publishers]
Bare Reality is currently available for £20 from Pinter & Martin.