Sunday, 22 March 2015

Review: True Face by Siobhan Curham

True Face by Siobhan CurhamTrue Face by Siobhan Curham (review copy) - Don’t show me your tweet-face
Or ur txt spk
Show me your True Face
And let your heart speak

It’s time to unmask the real you.

We are living in the age of the image – the perfect image. From the constant bombardment of air-brushed photos, to the dubious lifestyle choices promoted by celebrities and the obsession with social media, young women are under pressure as never before to project a persona of perfection. And this is having a catastrophic effect, with girls as young as seven developing eating disorders and female self-loathing reaching epidemic proportions.

True Face is part mystery, part adventure. The mystery comes in working out who you truly are, the adventure comes in planning the life you really want to lead. From body image, bullying and social media, to love, sex and more, plus expert advice on how to silence your inner voice of doom, Siobhan Curham encourages women and girls to be honest, dream big, and create lives that are happy and fulfilling.

Keep Calm and Carry On is replaced by a new mantra: Forget the Fake and Keep it Real.

I don't generally read non-fiction, but when I heard about True Face by Siobhan Curham, I knew I had to read it. Young girls deal with such self-esteem problems, and are constantly being told by the media how they should look, and to strive for the "perfect" unattainable look. And here is a book especially for teens to combat those issues, and help them towards self-love, self-confidence and a healthy self-esteem.

True Face is a fantastic book, and so important. This is not like your usual non-fiction growing up books. This isn't a book about body changes and hormones, etc, this is a book about stepping back from the pressure to be someone you aren't, and get back to the real you, behind the masks - back to our True Face.

I am fortunate enough that my self-esteem and self-confidence aren't in too bad a shape, but I really, really struggled as a teenager. I didn't fit in, and being ginger and very skinny, I stuck out like a saw thumb. Add to that the fact that I was bookish, did well in school, didn't listen to the "right" music, wasn't rolling my skirt up, or walking around with the latest designer coat/bag/shoes, didn't have a boyfriend, and was pretty well behaved, I attracted negative attention. I was mildly bullied, and made to feel like I simply wasn't good enough. I can't tell you how big a difference True Face would have made to me back then.

True Face takes you through the masks we put on to try to fit in, asks you to think back to who you were when you were a child before self-esteem issues kicked in, experiences you've been through that may have caused you to get to a point where you started pretending, and then leads you through discovering who you really are behind the mask. With examples from Curham's own life and various people who share their stories, Curham gets you thinking about where things went wrong, and about how fantastic you are, the real you, and how there's no need to hide. True Face even tackles how to deal with that inner voice that tells you you aren't good enough, and how to ignore what we're told by the media. With the help of writing exercising to help you really dig deep, True Face is a fantastic book to help readers discover the "true you" - or, rather, come to realise just how wonderful the reader is and how unnecessary it is to fake it. True Face also goes into body image, romance, toxic friends and aiming for your dreams.

At times, True Face feels like it's aimed at younger teenagers with phrases such as Inner Voice of Doom, and possibly even a little cheesy, but this is easily overlooked with how great this book is overall, with the potential this book has to help so many young girls and women. Although I'm pretty sorted now, as I was reading, I was nodding along as I thought back over my own life. I had to sort through my self-esteem issues myself, and it took me a long while to figure out for myself where my problems stemmed and how to change my thinking about them, and with the help of a fantastic friend who has only ever seen the great things about me, but how much quicker this could have occurred if I had True Face, and how happier I could have been in my own skin much sooner!

Having had to work things out for myself, I can honestly say this book is absolutely spot on, and will help so many teens. True Face is inspiring, empowering, and ultimately freeing. An incredibly important book, and one all teen girls should own.

Thank you to Faber & Faber for the review copy.

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Published: 2nd April 2015
Publisher: Faber & Faber
Siobhan Curham's Website
True Face Revolution

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