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Unsqueezed: Springing Free from Skinny Jeans, Nose Jobs, Highlights and Stilettos
Inter-varsity Press / 2010 / Paperback
$11.99 (CBD Price)
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If you're a woman who sees only flaws when you look in the mirror, then Margot Starbuck's Unsqueezed can help you develop a healthy, godly view of your body. Written in an engaging, story-oriented style with twenty-seven brief and funny reflective chapters, this book can help you stop trying to squeeze into someone else's mold and feel good about yourself. Paperback.
Ever check the mirror and wonder if you look good enough? Do you choose your clothes to disguise your flaws? Do you sometimes think plastic surgery might be the only way for you to feel good about your body? Do you ever feel squeezed into someone else's mold? Come and join Margot Starbuck in her journey to become unsqueezed! In twenty-seven brief, funny and reflective chapters she helps us discover why God really gave us bodies and what we can do with them to serve him and others. Jump out of that suffocating mold and discover what your body is really for.
Margot Starbuck is a writer and speaker who cares deeply about what it means to follow Jesus in the sneakers, pumps or Doc Martens in which we find ourselves. She is passionate about communicating God's great love for the world--inextricably bound to God's love for individuals--in print and in speech. Margot studied art at Westmont College in Santa Barbara, California. At the beach and in dorm rooms, she began to notice the bind in which women find themselves today, specifically as they're pinched by the culture's insistence on the value of appearances. She was further equipped to process these issues theologically at Princeton Seminary. Today, Margot continues to be energized by the kingdom reality of God's big plan for our bodies which have been called Her first book, describes the way she came to know that the God who "so loved the world" cared deeply for her. Her second book, is about that inextricable love setting people free to be agents of the new kingdom Jesus ushered in. When she's not writing books, Margot pops up online in places like and Though disheartened by much of Christian culture's silent insistence on keeping up appearances--namely, by simply doing it--Margot is regularly inspired by those countercultural heroes and communities who are exercising different practices. (For a sane perspective on body image, she recommends TrueCampaign, an organization partnering with Food for the Hungry to transfer resources from personal self-improvement to global survival.) Right now, Margot is writing a lot about what it looks like for normal-ish folks to exercise love and justice in our cars, at the grocery store and in our neighborhoods. When audiences invite her to speak about how we can live with less stress, or spend more time with God, or grow in our faith, she still often seems to end up right there where the recycled rubber meets the road.
Margot Starbucks Unsqueezed: Springing free from skinny jeans, nose jobs, highlights, and stilettos boasts twenty-seven brief, funny and reflective chapters on changing perceptions about our bodies, the clothes we wear, the makeup we cake on, and the food we eat. Starbucks chapters pivoted around Matthew 6: 31, which says, So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' (NIV) Does the nonfiction work impress upon the reader the need to change her thinking?
I did not find the book as impressive as the book jacket said it would be. Whereas the writing style was friendly, almost as though I was reading a friends journal, the writing itself was not as humorous as it claimed to be. The chapters were short and sporadic; they were not laid out in what I thought to be an organized way, and I found the length of the chapters distracting.
Some of the content was inspiring and philanthropic. However, the book was arranged in such a way that the first twelve chapters did not offer any hope to the reader. Those chapters seemed more like the authors personal vendetta against genetics, the fashion industry, and cosmetic companies. Had I picked up this book from the library, I would have returned it before reading the fifth chapter due to the hopelessness the first chapters instilled in me.
Starbuck claims throughout her book not to have an interest in shunning every modern convenience (p. 167), but she certainly slams everything from fitness centers and lipstick to computer-centered communication and escalators. The only positive notes in the book are toward the end when Starbuck encourages her readers to change their false perceptions by pairing up with friends who can keep them accountable and by doing a few charitable acts to offset the low self-esteem she assumes most women have.
As a young woman and an undergraduate student, I would not suggest buying this book. It did not do what it claimed by breaking me free from the worlds wrong standards of beauty. The negative, pessimistic tone throughout the book will only bog down the reader, so if you do buy it, itd be best to read it with a friend or mentor to sift through Starbucks nonconstructive thoughts. Indeed, as women, we dont rely on outward appearances as our sole identity, but, on the other hand, our bodies are the temples of the Lord, so we shouldnt trash talk them either. Caitlin Wilson, www.ChristianBookPreviews.com
"Unsqueeze from the skinny jeans and enjoy the humor, stories and practical tips Margot has squeezed into these pages instead! This is a book for real women who have real thighs, real pimples and real issues with accepting the bodies God gave them. Margot assures and reassures us of God's amazing love for us just the way we are. Couch pants, here I come!"
"Margot Starbuck is one unique cookie. And her countercultural message says you are too so ditch the 'culture's insane enslavement to physical beauty' and get on with getting okay with yourself, just the way you are. In a quirky, often funny, über real and refreshing altogether unhomogenized voice she lays out an argument against valuing bodies for how they appear. Unsqueezed is unsettling. Even if you disagree on some of her points, she provokes thought. The writing also surprises--in a book on body image she manages to address social justice. Fantastic. Cheers to Margot."
"Margot Starbuck reminds us of what's most important: being who God made us to be. That's a truth any young adult, woman or man struggling with body image will never forget."
"In a time of rising cultural backlash against unrealistic standards of beauty and value, Margot Starbuck is a fun, fresh voice. And a true woman."
"What are bodies for? With wit and humor Margot Starbuck answers this question and shows us our distorted thinking in regard to our female bodies. With gentle prodding she shows us how to see our bodies through God's eyes. She helps us laugh at ourselves without ever laughing at us. Give this book to your girlfriends and you will start a conversation about the beauty dilemma that plagues Christian women."
"This book is brilliant! Since beginning to work with eating disorders I've read a lot of books out there on women's relationships with food and their bodies. I found Unsqueezed honest, insightful, challenging and laugh-out-loud funny. It is now at the top of my list for books on food and body image issues. Margot writes with authenticity, heart and a thoroughly biblical understanding of how God designed us to understand the human body. I highly recommend it."
"Margot Starbuck navigates the complexities of self-image, appearance, our bodies and beauty with humor, insight and wisdom. Get ready to be both entertained and moved. You will be laughing out loud one moment, then suddenly challenged with biblical truths that will transform your thinking and inspire change. Reading Unsqueezed is a truly liberating experience."
"One of the best books I've seen that gives genuine encouragement to women regarding who they are and becoming all that God wants them to be. I love the emphasis placed on relationship rather than appearance. Every woman in the world needs the truth found in these pages!"
"Occasionally, someone comes along and challenges you to think--really think--about what it means to follow Jesus in this body you've been given. Unsqueezed did what a book really ought to do: it made me think. This book is the best sort of 'ouch.'"
"Margot Starbuck finally says what all of us are thinking and, with God obviously whispering in her ear, tells us what to do with it. A must-read for any woman of any age who has ever wrestled with her body image. And who hasn't?"
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