I met this lovely woman a couple of months ago while we were both about to go on a television show in San Francisco. Her name is Rosanne Olson and she is the author of the book, This Is Who I Am: Our Beauty in All Shapes and Sizes. I saw her holding the book closely as we were both nervously sitting on the cozy couch in the “green room” and couldn’t help but notice the woman on the cover was, well…not wearing any clothing. That instantly got us talking about the meaning of her photograph-rich book – women celebrating themselves and their differences and their life journeys. Music to my ears!
I was even more fascinated to hear that each woman profiled and photographed in the book (all without clothing) had unique struggles and experiences. One of the women was a breast cancer survivor, another a survivor of domestic violence, and another battled an eating disorder. The women who participated in the book shared their raw and honest stories because they believe women need to combat the rigid “body fascism” perpetuated in magazines and movies, and they hoped their stories and photographs would help other women – and men – find the real beauty in their own selves. Again, music to my ears!
Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we all loved ourselves no matter what our size and shape? Wouldn’t it be wonderful if all women felt beautiful inside and out? Maybe then some women would stop criticizing the looks of other women? I love one of the quotes in the book; it comes from Barbara who is 51. “I love being comfortable in my body. It has a certain grace that is distinctively mine.”