Reviewed: Be Awesome by Hadley Freeman


It’s hard to resist a book which exhorts you to Be Awesome – and Hadley Freeman’s call to arms is indeed irresistible. I guess this book would not exist without Caitlin Moran’s How To Be a Woman having set a precedent for the funny, feminist diatribe. But Hadley Freeman takes the genre in a sparky American-English direction, reminiscent of the style of Tina Fey’s Bossypants or Nora Ephron’s I Remember Nothing.

I didn’t have space in this Observer review to go into an analysis of the audience for these “how to survive your gender” books. Obviously they’re aimed at any woman (although men would enjoy them just as much, if they’re a fan of the writer). But there’s also a sense of them being aimed at very young women (teenagers) with low self-esteem and scant knowledge of basic feminism. That’s great — Be Awesome will be useful as well as enjoyable. But it’s also worrying: are there really loads of young women out there who have to be told that it’s OK to grow your armpit hair and not have a boob job? Either way: fun, funny, fabulous. And awesome, of course.


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