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Body talk - a power guide for girls

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Reader's Digest, Great Books

"Body Talk by Elizabeth Reid Boyd and Abigail Bray shows girls how to power through today's image driven world..."

Catharine Lumby, author of Bad Girls:The Media, Sex and Feminism and Remote Control: New Media, New Ethics (ed with Elspeth Probyn)

"Body Talk is a fantastic example of contemporary feminist ideas put to work in a popular and practical way. The book is insightful, entertaining, and highly strategic. The authors cherry pick relevant ideas from feminist and cultural studies and put wheels on them. It's wonderful to see academics of this calibre applying their intellect and their knowledge to communicate with readers outside the university. Body Talk is a great read and a must-have for teenage girls."

John Hartley, Federation Fellow, QUT, author of Uses of Television and Popular Reality.

In a society where too many agencies want to "police" young people one way or another, it is vital to provide the means whereby girls in particular can learn how to be critical about the world and confident about themselves. Body Talk is part of any teenagers' education in critical common sense. I hope some of the boys get to read it too.”

Herald Sun

"This inspiring book tackles tricky girls issues like self-esteem, bullying and body image in an informative and interesting way ... Body Talk was written for teenage girls, but it's also an excellent book for parents. There are some salutary reminders for those no longer in their teens."

Kerri Anne Kennerly, Mornings with Kerri Anne

"It's a valuable book, because it is a minefield, not only for young girls, but also for their parents, trying to pick up the pieces."


"Girl Power - that's the subtext of this common sense, straight-talking analysis of the unspoken pressures to achieve the perfect body, look and style confronting today's teenagers."

Monique Keel, the Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault, Australian Institute of Family Studies

"Whilst soundly based in current feminist thinking Elizabeth Reid Boyd and Abigail Bray, both university lecturers, have managed to put aside academic language and write in a chatty and clear manner, peppering the book with quotes from those 'in the know', teenage girls themselves... What the authors have achieved is to put into words what many parents and carers find difficult to say. They name the various types of violence that young women encounter, they discuss the fears and the decisions that girls are forced to make, and they provide sensible and empowering ideas to address verbal and physical violence. They talk about the possibility of girls standing up together against the bullying and the violence, as well as providing links to organizations who can provide help. Body Talk is a powerful antidote to the over sexualised media representation of who young women should be and would be a valuable addition to any families' bookshelf."

Susan Maushart, author of What Women Want Next and Wife work

“Although I love the message and admire the medium of Body Talk, I must confess I didn't get a full read of it. It was high jacked by my 14-year-old, and is STILL making the rounds of her friends several months later. I don't suppose there's any higher accolade than that.”

Girlfriend magazine

"This book is a celebration of being young and encourages us to face all our little demons."

Dr Susan Hall, Director, Centre for Research for Women

"Body Talk helps girls taking a pro-active move to own and steer their own bodies as they move through the 'mine-field' of teenage years and beyond"

The West Australian

"Body Talk: A Power Guide for Girls gives teens strategies to deal with gossip and bullying and overcome the serious problems that can stem from them such as depression and eating disorders."

Barbie magazine

"This inspiring book tackles tricky girls issues like self esteem, bullying and body image in an informative and interesting way. A great guide for older girls."

Australian Good Taste magazine

"If your daughter spends hours doing her hair in front of the mirror, the Body Police, rather than vanity, may be the cause..."

Perth Woman

"Body Talk goes beyond the mechanics of adolescent physical change and examines the social impact of these changes, both positive and negative."

Vogue Girl, an interview with Abigail Bray

"Body Talk talks about the politics of body image. In a way, it is old fashioned consciousness raising."

The Age

“The girl literature also devotes considerable effort to affirming young women's right to say no. Selling the idea of example, the authors of Body Talk: a power guide for girls write 'just because you've had sex with him doesn't mean you have to again. You can say no whenever you want'... such affirmations are affirming and important'. ... In the sex chapter on sex, girls are encouraged to' write their own scripts'

Adelaide Advertiser

“Though it may sound like just another self-help book, it really isn't. Body Talk uses language which mirrors the way teenage girls think and act when dealing with particular situations ... it is inspiring and focuses on the freedom and liberation that comes with conquering the challenges of adolescence.”

Michelle Hovane, Radio Presenter, Burning Down the House - Women's Hour, RTRFM

“At last, an inspiring "how to" for young women making their way through the "post Feminist" maze of traps and contradictions! Body Talk's hip, accessible language and layout was enticing and moreish - I found myself unable to stop reading and was very reassured by the wisdom and awareness reflected in the quotes from this next generation of young women. Can someone make it available to all high school girls?"

Western Suburbs Weekly

"There was a time when being a teenage girl involved little more than dealing with hormones and homework. Nowadays, it is a credit to most girls, and their families, that they reach their 20s in one piece. With issues such as bullying, self-harm, gossip, depression, sexual abuse, eating disorders and drugs a part of most girls everyday lives, it is hard to imagine how most adults would deal with such pressures, let alone young women with barely a handful of life experiences to draw from. It is issues like these that led Abigail Bray and Elizabeth Reid Boyd to write Body Talk: A Power Guide for Girls..."

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