Entertainment reporter and author Shaun Robinson has spoken candidly both on camera and behind the scenes with countless celebrities. Consequently, she has received hundreds of emails and letters from girls across the country asking how they can be more like their favorite stars. But the truth is, these actors, singers, athletes, and media and political figures are remarkably similar to teenage girls in essential ways: They all still struggle with issues of self-esteem and body image and doubt, and they all, at some point, have compared themselves with their peers and felt they came up short. In Exactly As I Am, Robinson shares both the honest comments she’s heard from young women and the heartfelt and encouraging advice she’s been in the rare position to glean from today’s most notable women. The result is a book that will inspire girls to find their inner strength, grow confident, and believe in themselves.
Actress Eva Mendes talks about how she persevered in the face of rejection: “Surrounding myself with people who love and support me has been my key to success.” Grammy-winning singer-songwriter Alicia Keys suggests that the answer to a healthy self-image lies in new definitions: “We need more variety in how we depict beauty and define intelligence–there’s so much more than what is often featured.” Kelly Clarkson turns the tables on so-called imperfection: “The flaws and vulnerability are what make people attractive.” And Vanessa Williams suggests a way out of the trap of taking things personally: “Next time someone rolls their eyes at you or says an unkind word about you, think about what they could be insecure about.”
Through this rich tapestry of voices, women of all ages, races, ethnicities, and backgrounds explore how to stay grounded and develop positive self-esteem, something Robinson calls “your ticket to freedom and making your dreams come true.” They also discuss the importance of mentors and friends, being able to laugh at oneself, and giving back to others. The collected wisdom of shared experiences in Exactly As I Am is designed to give every girl and woman the opportunity to dream big, stay strong, and remain true to herself.
From the Hardcover edition.