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BFF Book Club, August Edition: Going “Beyond Beautiful”

Welcome to the August edition of the BFF Book Club, presented by Bumble BFF and Indigo!

This month we’re reading Beyond Beautiful: A Practical Guide to Being Happy, Confident, and You in a Looks-Obsessed World by Anuschka Rees.

Beyond Beautiful is a “body-neutral survival manual for a looks-obsessed world” that dishes up no-BS strategies for how women can build real confidence and feel good about themselves.

Within its pages, Rees explores how Instagram scrolling can wreak havoc on our self-esteem, why we hate the way we look in photos (and how we can move on) and the tools we need to take back our power.

Hungry for this kind of empowering real talk? Join the BFF Book Club to get 50% off this month’s pick, now through August 31st at Indigo stores or online. Match with the BFF book club profile on Bumble BFF to get the exclusive discount code. Then assemble your book club crew and use the Beyond Beautiful discussion questions below to get rolling.

  • In the opening section of Beyond Beautiful, Anuschka Rees breaks down the important misconceptions surrounding body image, self-esteem and confidence. When was the earliest time you remember being aware or perhaps concerned with your appearance?
  • There is a quote by Gloria Steinem in the book, “Self-esteem isn’t everything; it’s just that there’s nothing without it.” Do you agree? And what did you think about the way Rees addresses low self-esteem by dissecting it, encouraging you to rewrite your own script and take power back into your own hands?
  • This book avidly promotes “body neutrality.” As Rees writes, “Your physical appearance is a single, and not even particularly interesting, aspect of yourself. You are worthy for a whole set of other reasons.” How do you view “body neutrality” and “body positivity?”
  • Rees refers to the process of “avoiding and chasing” as two ways we deal with body image stress. Do you have a preferred coping strategy? Do you use one or the other for different situations?
  • Beyond Beautiful includes a quote by Hillary Clinton, “I’m not jealous of my male colleagues often, but I am when it comes to how they can just shower, shave, put on a suit, and be ready to go. The few times I’ve gone out in public without makeup, it’s made the news.” Do you foresee a time when this will change for women in the spotlight and when the appearance of women in general will be judged more fairly?
  • Rees strongly believes that social media negatively affects body image and she argues persuasively against feeling “Instagram-inadequate.” What did you think about the strategies proposed in the Beyond Beautiful Toolbox on pg. 136-137 in order to avoid the pitfalls of “Oh my god, why don’t I look/live/am like her?”
  • The book looks at the phenomenon of what body-image researchers, Lindsay and Lexie Kite call, selfie-objectification: “[Selfies] are a clear reflection of exactly what girls and women have been taught to be their entire lives: images to be looked at. Carefully posed, styled, and edited images of otherwise dynamic human beings for others to gaze upon and comment on.” Do you agree that selfies are problematic or are they empowering expressions?
  • Did you find the quotes from the anonymous individuals throughout the book helpful and engaging? Were you surprised by any of their admissions or comments?
  • Anuschka Rees writes like she is a personal friend and supporter. In what ways did she help you become a happier more confident YOU in a looks-obsessed world? 

[1] *Valid July 28, 2019 – August 31st, 2019 at participating Canadian Indigo, Chapters, Coles and Indigospirit stores and at indigo.ca, while quantities last. Not valid on previous purchases or in conjunction with other offers.