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Rebecca St. James Addresses The "Tyranny Of Beauty"

Australian Rock-Singer's New Book To Release November 1st
( [email protected] ) Oct 28, 2004 06:20 PM EDT

Multi-million selling Grammy winning Rebecca St. James launches her new book, “SHE” on November 1st with the hopes of helping women of her own generation and beyond to find freedom from the control of a “tyranny of beauty” that exists in today’s world. Australian born St. James describes it as “the unrealistic demands our culture puts on young women to be beautiful at all cost. It can too often lead to harmful and even tragic results.”

Beauty is only one of nine areas the new St. James book addresses in full depth. The title “SHE” is an acronym for being “Safe, Healthy, Empowered” as a total woman in the realms of the emotional, physical, and spiritual.

Inspiration for the book was born out of a dark period in the personal life of the internationally known rocker, who is a professing Christian. “I went through a very ‘alone period’ in which I bought into the feminist mentality of ‘can’t rely on anyone, I’ve got to stand and be an independent woman and face the world alone.’ I was at a point of almost complete burn-out and on the verge of an inner shut down from pressure and unrealistic expectations.”

The 27 year old singer is honest about her own temptations to succumb to the drum beat to be beautiful at all cost. “I’ve always struggled with my self-image. Being onstage where image counts only made matters worse. Compared to the glamorous women I saw in the media, I felt I fell short. Had it not been for the accountability I’ve had in my life, I could’ve been very susceptible to falling victim to eating disorders. Based on what I perceived as personal body flaws in myself I realized that no young woman is beyond abusing her body through excessive dieting, laxative abuse or binging and purging.”

In research polling with young women for a year on “SHE,” St. James heard from some of the more than an estimated 10 million who suffer from eating disorders. In an era when Time Magazine recently reported that 80% of all children have been on a diet by the time they reach 4th Grade, and a Graessar Report revealed that 50% of all females between the age of 18-25 would prefer ‘to be run over by a truck than be fat” the craze to be thin is epidemic. And “thin is beautiful” in today’s visual/media world.

The new St. James book also recounts her own brush with the reality of how quickly beauty can fade. “During a particularly strenuous time of touring several years ago, I fell ill with Bell’s Palsy—a virus that attacks facial nerves. I awoke one morning to find myself unable to control one side of my lips, unable to raise my right eyebrow, and unable to drink from a cup without drooling. My looks, which I’d taken for granted and are important to the work I do were suddenly in jeopardy. Though I regained control of my facial muscles with time, I’ll never again see the way I look on the outside the same way. Any assets we possess can be gone in an instant. Lasting beauty which comes from the inside can never be taken away.”

“SHE” also addresses “a new feminism” in response to the 21st century woman’s challenges with sex, intimacy, feeling unprotected, emotional healing, establishing boundaries, and finding purpose in life. St. James thinks hers’ is a book that can make a difference. “One of the things that set ‘SHE’ apart is that it addresses nine key areas in one book. Women today often don’t have time to read nine different self-help books, but they do have time to read one that’s isn’t heavy or a hard read, but yet does provide real hope, help, and encouragement.”

Currently in Europe, Rebecca St. James will be back in the U.S. to begin a major tour in November.

She will also be in New York in November for major media on “SHE.” The book is published by Tyndale.