Book Review - The Self-Esteem Team
"Sometimes being a teenager can seem like a relentless merry-go-round of people telling you how to dress and behave, who to be friends with, what grades you must get in order to avoid a destiny of failure and, most importantly, why you're spectacularly effing it all up. The Self-Esteem Team know this - because they were teenagers once. Obvs. In fact, they were teenagers enduring bullying, chronic skin issues, 'puppy fat' that refused to budge and 'I'm different from everyone else'-related angst. Later, they battled self-harm, depression and an eating disorder. That's why The Self-Esteem Team started travelling the UK: to give teenagers the tools they need to navigate life on their own terms. Natasha Devon, Grace Barrett and Nadia Mendoza - now a successful journalist, singer/songwriter and showbiz editor respectively - have worked with more than 50,000 young people helping them tackle mental health, self-esteem and body-image issues. This book contains everything you really want to know, but are too embarrassed to ask ."
Ok, so disclaimer, I am not a teenager. This book is clearly not aimed at my 25 year old self but when I was offered the book to have an advanced read of, I jumped at the chance as I thought a lot of you guys out there reading this blog who are still of the teen variety might like hearing about it and I am so glad I did because it has kind of blown my mind a wee bit....
A bit of background on the authors, Grace, Tash and Nadz have come together to form The Self Esteem team, the three of them travel the country talking to schools and young people about how to be awesome and how not to worry if you don't feel like your awesome-ness has arrived yet as it will eventually (ok, so I'm guessing this is what they say, that isn't an actual official quote of what they say inside schools, but you get the picture, right?) They all have their own story and have dealt with issues growing up and want to use that experience to help other people going through the same thing. They decided to put together some of their most asked questions from teenagers at these events and make it into a book so everyone could experience the Self Esteem Team magic.
I loved this book, seriously it was so un-aimed at me (is that even a phrase?) but I read it in one sitting and just felt so inspired to review it for you all and tell you about it because I think a lot of people will really fall in love with it too.
The book is split into chapters with different questions and the three authors take it in turn to say their piece and give your their opinion and advice about the subject matter. I loved how straight talking it was and not patronising at all which I think a lot of these books can be. It was very much like 'take or leave our advice but its the truth' It's sort of like an older big sister in book form, if you know what I mean.
It had a really fun and light feel to the writing even though the subject matters they dealt with at times were intensely heavy. One of the most important things about the book from my prospective was it didn't feel judgemental, it offered help and guidance and a been there done it slant but it didn't tell you that you shouldn't be doing this or that. I guess if your going through a lot of the things that they are talking about in the book, one of the main reasons that you don't tell people or ask for help is because you are scared of being judged or told that you are wrong and to be able to get the advice that some people so vitally need at times in a none judgemental way from this book is just going to be so amazing for so many people. Also the book has an amazing foreward by the super awesome Zoe (aka Zoella) that I just know people are going to love as well.
I honestly can't recommend this book to you enough. I just hope so much that the words sex, drugs and WTF don't discourage parents from buying their young/teen children this if your not able to buy it yourself because there is nothing scandalous or crazy about the subject matter at all. I think it's crazy how there are so many guides and self help books out there for parents or teachers on how to deal with teens but barely any modern books for actual teens to read and help themselves and realise that what they are going through and feeling is so normal.
After finishing the book and reading a bit more about The Self Esteem Teams work I just felt so inspired by them. I think what they are doing is just amazing and their work with teenagers will be helping change so many lives. I just want to urge you so much to buy this book if you feel like it's something you could benefit from or if you know someone who is going through a hard time with things related to what the book covers then hand them a copy as I genuinely do believe a lot of people will find it so helpful.
And if your a teenager sitting reading this review now (firstly hi, your awesome) let me pass on some of my own advice to you. Be you. Yeah I know not ground breaking stuff but its all you need to do and everything else will take care of it's self. Your weird/crazy/amazing/loud/quiet/shy for a reason, if you stop yourself being any of the above because it makes you too different for other people to handle then you are changing the course of your own destiny and I've watched enough Hollywood movies to know that is not a good idea peeps, seriously....
You can buy the book when it's released on Thursday on Amazon in paperback or kindle and you can find out more about The Self Esteem Teams work HERE.