Teenage girls and soccer moms. Housewives and corporate executives. Young professionals and those who are retired. No matter their professions or responsibilities, women of all ages and all walks of life often struggle with an all-consuming issue-self-image. We as Americans are continually obsessed with the grass-is-greener, anything-else-is-better-than-what -we-have philosophy. And that is never truer for women than when it comes to our bodies and our self-images. The media and the world around us tell us that we should be perfect in every way. But this kind of scrutiny and obsession with perfection leaves women feeling unloved, unattractive, frustrated, and even depressed.
In The Real Me, contemporary Christian singer and songwriter Natalie Grant is on a mission to especially help young women deal with this struggle and to find acceptance in how God created them. And this struggle is something that Natalie understands fully-she gives the reader an inside look at her own struggle with image issues that led her on the path to bulimia. In acknowledging her pain and sharing her struggle, she offers practical help and hope to women of all ages.
As a best-selling recording artist, Grant looked the part of the all-together Christian female performer wowing crowds with her vocal gift and her graceful stage persona. Behind the scenes, however, it was a grimmer reality. Here, Grant recounts the first time she experienced revulsion after having vomited her food into the nearest commode. Though this bulimic ritual normally rendered Grant a sense of exhilaration, this time she felt utter shame, jumpstarting her journey toward making peace with her identity and appearance. In retrospect, Grant's initiation into bulimia came easily when as a college freshman she'd tried to retain ultimate control over her life by attempting to stay in the good graces of an outwardly focused boyfriend. After years of hiding her disorder, eventually unsuccessfully, Grant realized the need to look within and to God for healing. She uses Bible verses, stories of biblical female characters, and short, pithy devotional readings to urge girls, teens, and women to look to eternal markers as true indicators of their worth. With a soulful intensity, Grant succeeds both in retelling her painful path to freedom and in challenging women to stay healthy, be strong, and live joyously, unfettered by society's unrealistic definitions of beauty and value.