‘Beyond Beautiful’

By Anuschka Rees. This guide empowers women to develop healthier attitudes about their looks. 

Author Anuschka Rees, where was your wonderful, helpful book when I needed it decades ago?

“Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and YOU in a Looks-Obsessed World” is an excellently written, psychology-backed guide to help women (and teen girls) develop a healthy attitude toward their looks, bodies, beauty, clothing, health, and aging. 

The Berlin author accurately notes that our value should NOT be related to our appearance, yet a poor body image is a factor when you consider two out of three women are on a diet at any given time. 

The book is sprinkled with personal comments from more than 600 women (and a few men). One contributor wrote: “It will be well over 100 degrees outside this year in the summer, and I’ll be in jeans and a long-sleeved shirt. I haven’t worn shorts since I was 11, because I think my legs are too thick.” 

“Beyond Beautiful” hit home when I realized I’ve had these moments in my life: 

Declined invitations to go to the beach because you didn’t want people to see you in a bathing suit. 

Experienced stress when someone with a camera approached or had your day “ruined” by one bad photo that someone tagged you in. 

Felt like you were not able to enjoy a night with your friends because you were worried about how you looked.

Felt like your weight was the main factor that was keeping you from being happy. 

 So, is it really worth letting these “insecurities” stop you from living your best life? Of course not, and the author provides strategies for moving forward.

“One of the most effective things you can do to up how you feel about the way you look takes less than three seconds: find one thing that you like about your appearance every single time you look at yourself in the mirror from now on,” Anuschka writes.

“Old habits die hard,” she adds, “so don’t worry if your eyes jump straight to your ‘flaws.’ Let them. But, after that, direct your gaze to something you’re happy with, whether it’s your on-point eye makeup or the way your boobs look in that dress. Acknowledge it, then move on.” 

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