When I first saw Beautifully Me advertised, I thought it was either going to be a good and positive addition to the “I love Me” genre, or be terribly preachy, cliched and pushy. However, Nabela Noor made a book that, while I am not feeling OMG BEST EVER about it, I am on the this is a good addition to the I Love Me/Body Positive genre.
Zubi is a Bangladeshi girl who is not your stereotypical “slim and trim pretty girl.” However, she sees nothing wrong with that, until she starts hearing her family complain about “being too big” and “large is not good” and “needing to go on a diet.” And, of course, it does not stop there as even her school mates’ comment and criticize the sizes of other students. When Zubi makes a statement of going on a diet herself, her family realizes the impact their words have on other people.
The story is simple, maybe a bit ideal, but also a very good message. It is a case of “being mean to yourself” and how that can not only affect you, but those around you. The tone is not overly preachy, but there is no question what is happening. The solution is realistic (Zubi does not address the situation with her classmates, only her family) and shows that even adults must learn a lesson or two about selfcare and love.
Nabi H. Ali complements the text with their illustrations. Colors are bold, bright, and strong. Things are not there to fill space, but to be the space and create the mood. They are sweet, funny, and interesting.
All ages can enjoy this book, though it is aimed at a slightly older audience due to the actual message and context.