Whoa. You don’t catch me off guard too often, but the photos of twenty-four different... ahem, vulvas was a little startling. Body Drama, by Nancy Amanda Redd, pulls no punches in its efforts to show real teens and young women “real girls, real bodies, real issues, real answers.” It’s right there on the front cover. Reading the book was refreshing, enlightening, and a tiny bit uncomfortable all at the same time.
I’d put this book in the category for older... ahem, developed teens and young women as opposed to the preteen “What’s a period like?” crowd. The book covers body shape, skin, hair, and... ahem, boobs and “down there” with fast facts, question and answers, personal stories, and photos. Lots of photos.
The author (not a physician) is assisted in the medical aspects of the writing by Dr. Angela Diaz, the Director of Mount Sinai Adolescent Health Center. The end of the book includes numerous resources and an extensive bibliography. Several references are made to the author’s website for more information. The author is a Miss America swimsuit winner, Harvard graduate, and semi-exhibitionist. Kidding! She’s down to earth and not afraid to share some personal stuff from her own life in pursuit of the cause. Her goal besides selling books is to make young women comfortable with their bodies and comfortable asking questions about their bodies. To that extent, the last page of the book before the resources is pictures of women in all of their... ahem, full glory. And they are real women with real bodies looking proud or shy or happy or confident. But no one looked ashamed. It was one of the most interesting and moving things I’ve ever seen, and I certainly wouldn’t have expected it in a health book.