In The Pipeline: Book aims to show that we're all beautiful

September 29, 2010|By Chris Epting

"My dad looked over the fitness chapter because, you know, he knows a lot about that stuff."

That line drew some laughs from the full house upstairs at Barnes & Noble last week, and why not? After all, it was spoken by Katherine Schwarzenegger, daughter of Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver.

Katherine Schwarzenegger was here to talk about her new book, "Rock What You've Got: Secrets to Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty from Someone Who's Been There and Back."

The third-year communications major at USC has been touring the country recently, delivering her blend of bright-eyed and enthusiastic pep talks to legions of young people. In particular, she details the challenges that many young women face today.

"It's incredible the effect that the media and popular culture has," she told me. "They promote these airbrushed, Photoshopped images of glamorous women on billboards, in magazines and on TV. False images that young girls then aspire to. Totally unrealistic dress sizes and styles. It's beyond dangerous."


Though she was raised in one of the most high-profile households in America, Schwarzenegger's book is refreshingly frank, informative and practical — a critical path for young women as they move through the tricky terrain of growing up in a society that's increasingly obsessed with false ideals.

Her inspiration for the book came while working at an internship in New York City.

"It was the Dove Campaign for Real Beauty," she said. "It exposed me to the fact that only 2% of women consider themselves to be beautiful.

"That got me thinking about all of the things young women go through, the pressures and the challenges of growing up and maturing. I thought of all the women in my family, how we talked about these things constantly.

"Then I got the idea that a book would be the best way to really reach out beyond that and help educate young women. I especially wanted to address these unrealistic representations of women in society today and remind women that they should never let those pressures affect them adversely."

The book includes chapters like "Mirror, Mirror, on the Wall," "Doing an Inner Makeover," "Eating for Health" and "Loving Your Inner and Outer Beauty," and it is a primer for growing up that deals with confidence, personal growth and coping with the day-to-day trials of young womanhood.

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