Empowering Books for Women

Review of ‘Women Don’t Owe You Pretty’ by Florence Given

There comes a time in a woman’s life when they just need a book to recalibrate themselves. The perfect one for me is Women Don’t Owe You Pretty by Florence Given. A debut novel, full of grit, humor, and feminism. You might hear people say that feminism is no longer needed because women have the same rights as men. Well, you might be intrigued by Florence Given’s writing. The book is often referred to as, ‘an accessible leap into feminism’. The book is raw, honest, and at times absolutely infuriating. It’s arguably the ultimate book for anybody who wants to learn the basics of feminism, told alongside stunning, quirky illustrations. Women Don’t Owe You Pretty, is a quick read but is jam-packed with helpful advice on protecting your own energy.

The book comes with the warning: ‘Contains explicit content (and a load of uncomfortable truths)’. The thing is, that we can never progress in anything without accepting the uncomfortable truths. When you’re reading the book, it’s kind of like Given is giving you your own personal pep-talk. Throughout the book, Given talks you through recognizing your own privilege, unpicking your biases, and falling in love with yourself. Something we could all benefit from, if you ask me! But the book is so much more than simply about feminism. It is about making the right choices for you, whatever they might be. This quote perfectly encapsulates taking care of your own energy, “You are not a source of energy for others to take. This is your table, you set the standards and you choose who gets a seat. Start turning away people who have the audacity to show up in your life with crumbs, because crumbs can’t feed you. Find someone who brings you a whole cake.”

Feminism is often uttered like a dirty word. Admitting you’re a feminist might get you some funny looks nowadays, but Given gives you a whole host of reasons why you should be a feminist, and you should be proud to do so. Covering everything from the toxicity of scrolling through your Instagram feed, comparing yourself to other women, to supporting other women to be whole without tearing one another down, Florence Given brings feminism to a whole new generation of young people. As a social media presence herself, the author’s Instagram following comes in at close to 600k (Florence Given Instagram), she’s making feminism accessible and even celebrated amongst people who had perhaps never considered it before.

With an average of 4-stars on Goodreads, and 4.5-stars on Amazon, love her or hate her, Florence Given is making waves, and I for one, and happy to see where the tide takes us. This is the perfect gift for a young adult in your life, or for yourself. Feminist or not, it can’t hurt to explore women empowerment from the perspective of another.  I’ll leave you with this final quote that perfectly sums up the book.  “If you have to perform a level of “prettiness” in order to be chosen by someone, they are choosing you based on your objective beauty. I get that you crave to be chosen by someone based on more than how you look. You want to be chosen for your entire self. Darling, as long as you spend your years chasing male validation, you will exhaust yourself all the way to your grave.”

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