ME AND THE JAPANESE BEAUTY STANDARDS

Pub Date:   |   Archive Date: 26 Oct 2019

Member Reviews

Tomomi Tsuchio's very personal memoir, Me and the Japanese Beauty Standards, tells of her emotional journey from low self-esteem, bullying and bulimia, to her current life as a successful personal trainer in her own gym. This is a short book so Tsuchio doesn't go into great detail on how this transformation came about, rather she gives general advice on spotting how outside social pressures affect our ability to accurately view ourselves. It is much easier to allow negative comparisons with cultural standards or magazine models to cloud our judgement than it is to appreciate our individual beauty.



I was interested to learn how beauty standards change according to the opinions of different countries, or even within the same country in the case of somewhere as large as America. I could also empathise with Tsuchio's maturing view of herself as she approaches the age of forty. At only a few years older myself, I have found a similar acceptance of my own appearance as I have aged. Some of this is, of course, learning to present ourselves to our best advantage, but also - and more importantly - it's realising that confidence and self belief actually have a far greater effect on attractiveness than even the most expensive of makeup items or surgeries! Thank you to Tomomi Tsuchio for opening her heart in this memoir and allowing her experiences to reassure and help women the world over.
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This was a very short and rather heartbreaking book to read. It's not so much a self-help book as a memoir of a resilient woman who successfully made her way through the stumbling blocks that life tossed at her and came out on the other side just fine. It does offer some nuggets of advice here and there on the way through, so it's a useful teaching tool for anyone who is on that same journey. When I first began to read this, the opening sentence threw me for a loop. It said, "When you were a neighborhood children appearance?" Say what?! I remember thinking, if the whole book is like this, I'm in trouble and so is the author, but after that one sentence, it was fine. The author, aka T-mo, sure as hell speaks English far better than I will ever speak Japanese!

To me it was interesting to learn that an Asian society like Japan - typically considered a polite one by we in the west - isn't any kinder than we are in when it comes to childhood bullying and body-shaming. Because the author did not conform to the 'norm' she was made to suffer for it by being called names. While she never let this get her down, such an onslaught of abusiveness, even when relatively mild, will without a doubt play tricks on the mind and leave its mark. That's a stain on the soul that can be hard to erase, but this author did it. You can too.

All of my negatives on this book were about production issues, not about the actual content. Talking of which though, the content list was messed up. On my phone in the Kindle app, each entry stretched over two lines, making it look truly messy. It was all in light blue text except for the photo credits at the end, which was in red for some reason.

There was a foreword and an introduction, both of which I skipped as I routinely do in every book I read that contains them. I have no time for stuff like that, or for prefaces and prologues. For me, if you want me to read it, put it right there in chapter one, otherwise I don't consider it important enough to spend time on, but this isn't a problem with the book per se, it's just a personal preference.

There's a section around 92% in that lists some reminders the author wanted to reiterate. These were formatted oddly, I suspect through Amazon Kindle's crappy conversion process into their proprietary format, which will mangle anything that's not plain vanilla text. The section was supposed to be a bulleted list, I guess, but rather than bullets, the list had little question marks each contained in its own tiny square! The third item in this list (beginning 'Eat, move, and find...') was in red text, whereas all the others were normal. Dunno what was up with that. Again, I blame Kindle.

Some of the gray-scale photographs included were split (again, I assume by Kindle's crappy conversion process) into two or more sections. Why Amazon doesn't fix this ongoing issue I do not know. This is one of several reasons why I refuse to do business with them. The last photo, which would have looked quite charming, was split into two sections, and the bottom half - so to speak! - had a black line through it, thereby ruining the impact of the photo.

That photo though pretty much summed up the issue. In my opinion - and not that I consider myself a judge by any means - there is literally not a damned thing wrong with the author's physical appearance, but this just goes to show how much ridiculous pressure is put on women by our society to conform to certain so-called 'norms' and physical templates that are all-too-often not set up by the women they exclude, but by old white men telling women how they should look, what they should put on their faces, and what they should wear. Here's a quote from my just released novel Shiftless in Galveston:

The CEOs of L'Oréal and Procter & Gamble were old white guys these days. Even Estée Lauder isn't a woman any more. As for Johnson & Johnson, it's right there in the company name. "It ought to be called Penis & Penis!" Crystina had joked.
Anyone who doesn't follow those rules endures what the author evidently endured and I'm sorry that she - or anyone else, male or female or anywhere in between for that matter - had to go through this.
As far as this book goes I commend it as a worthy read.
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ME AND THE JAPANESE BEAUTY STANDARDS by Tomomi Tsuchio The author shares her life experiences and transformation from the influence of social media and traditional cultural standards.  She shares a different perspectives and exercises to a help gain confidence and acceptance for one's self.  An inspiring book. 

Thank you to the publisher, author, and NetGalley for the opportunity to preview the book.
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Superspeed readers like me can read 150 - 200+ pages/hour, so yes, I have read the book … and many more today. LOL			
			
I received a temporary digital Advance Reader Copy of this book from #NetGalley, the publisher and the author in exchange for an honest review.  			
			
From the publisher, as I do not repeat the contents or story of books in reviews, I let them do it as they do it better than I do 😸.			
			
Ever feel like you’re not enough? That no matter what you do it seems that you always fall short in society’s expectations of you in terms of looks? How about your relationships? Does it seem that insecurities get the best of you?  The author of this book, Tomomi Tsuchio, went through the same battle and fought that journey. Today, she stands strong yet vulnerable, sharing her most intimate stories in finding herself.

* You will feel as if you are not alone. This book will help to show you that the insecurities, struggles, mistakes, and shames we face in life are expected things, that we all go through. It is not about being perfect! It is about being YOU!!!!
* You will understand that the beauty we see on TV, in magazines, and on social media is not the only kind of beauty.
* You will learn how essential it is to know who you are. If you are struggling in with relationships, self-love or just the trials of life, this book may provide a bit of advice to help you through the hard times.

About the Author:
Tomomi Tsuchio was born and raised in Iwakuni, Japan. As a little girl, she was happy, tomboyish and always followed after her big brother. When she was 13 years old, she began having feelings of being fat and unattractive. These feelings stuck with her for a long time.

As a certified personal trainer, Tomomi realized that many women have struggled to find and accept their own beauty just as she did. She often felt helpless when her clients lost weight and transformed themselves, but still didn’t see their beauty. It seemed that it was not good enough for them no matter what. This is the reason why she felt a need to share her stories.

Obviously, she is Japanese, but she isn’t good at math and she doesn’t like sake, sushi and raw fish. Her joke is, “I break the stereotype of Japanese.” 

This was such a great book to read and such an important book to read. Having been to Japan I have never met any race/group of people that are more self-centred and self-absorbed about their looks and bodies. (Mind you, the Koreans and their 20 step skin routine run a close second!)  I had people ask to take my photo as I was "the fattest person they had ever seen" - gee, thanks and looked at skincare regimens offered to me that would cost more than my rent back here in Canada. (Normally I justify shoes vs. rent ... at least when it comes to Fluevog's 👠 ... 😂)

The book was very well written and I thoroughly enjoyed her writing style - I mentioned it to my sister who lives in Tokyo and she is going to buy it and read it as well. Self-esteem and feeling good enough is not just a Japanese thing - it is rampant due to the dreaded social media and the effect it has on people, mostly women, especially teenagers and young women, world-wide.  A great read - I am going to foist it on one of my book clubs as we seem to always end up talking about social media!

As always, I try to find a reason to not rate with stars as I love emojis (outside of their incessant use by "Social Influencer Millennials" on Instagram and Twitter) so let's give it (even though the author hates it 🍣🍣🍣🍣🍣		
			
p.s. THE TITLE BEING IN ALL CAPS MEANS THAT THE AUTHOR IS SHOUTING AT US .... 😢
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A book with a difference. A well written book. It certainly interesting. Thank you to both NetGalley and the publishers for giving me the opportunity to read this book
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A wonderful book, very interesting, eye opening as it makes you see things all around that you hadn’t considered before, the media and society. Very inspiring to read, it lifts you as you read it and I couldn’t put it down. This is so motivational and helps you accept the wonderful person that you are, that you can be happy with your life exactly as it is, because on the whole life is what you make it. If you are brave enough to try, this book is a great place to start.

Thanks to netgalley and the publisher for a free copy for an honest opinion
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