Synopses & Reviews
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 shes heard from young women and the heartfelt and encouraging advice shes been in the rare position to glean from todays 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-theres 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.
"With the voices of teenaged girls as well as successful women on issues ranging from body image and sex to self esteem and independent thinking, this book of motivational advice and anecdotes presents quotes and stories from role models notable for confidence, determination and generosity. A co-host of TV's Access Hollywood and a board member of advocacy non-profit Girls Inc., Robinson's concern and respect for teenage girls shine on each page, even if the advice she shepherds for them tends toward the generic. It isn't for lack of trying; a wonderful breadth of women contribute, from Alicia Keys to Nancy Pelosi, and they all have something worthwhile to say, ensuring at least one positive message will connect with girls of varied interests. An encouraging 'reality check' with the brevity and range to keep adolescents' attention, this charming work should make a popular gift buy for moms, aunts and grandparents." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
The collected wisdom and shared experiences of Hollywood superstars and everyday teenagers--inspirational advice encouraging young women to be comfortable in their own skin and showing them how to become tomorrow's leaders
Q: What do Vanessa Williams, Meredith Vieira, Queen Latifah, Danica Patrick, Helen Mirren, Janet Jackson, Julianne Moore, Jennifer Hudson, and Eva Mendes have in common with most teenage girls?
A: They have all struggled with self-esteem and body image; they've compared themselves to their peers and have sometimes felt that they come up short.
Drawing on personal interviews with these and many other celebrities, and her volunteer work with teens around the country, in Exactly As I Am entertainment reporter Shaun Robinson shares the intimate thoughts, revelations, and feelings of these powerful women, illustrating how similar they are to those of average girls struggling to find their voices. For example, Kelly Clarkson discusses the pressure to be thin, Virginia Madsen talks about standing up to the in crowd, and Gabrielle Union shares her thoughts on being yourself.
Exactly As I Am shows young women how to achieve a balance between accepting how they look and appreciating who they are on the inside, emphasizing the importance of having a mentor or role model and the support of family. Inspiring and motivating, this tapestry of perspectives will inspire every reader to say, I accept myself exactly as I am.
About the Author
Emmy Award—winning journalist Shaun Robinson is the weekend co-host of Access Hollywood. She has covered the red carpet for the Academy Awards, Golden Globes, Emmys, and Grammys. Her live coverage of “A Grand Night in Harlem” for the Black Sports and Entertainment Hall of Fame garnered her an Emmy Award. She has been a guest co-host on The View and has contributed reports to MSNBC, CNN, and Today. Robinsons many television and film credits include Bruce Almighty, Americas Sweethearts, and Everybody Hates Chris. Robinson is on the national board of directors for Girls Inc. She also devotes her time to the Los Angeles County “Share Your Heart, Share Your Home” program, which helps find permanent homes for minority children waiting for adoption. A native of Detroit, Michigan, and a graduate of Spelman College in Atlanta, Shaun Robinson lives in Los Angeles.