You Don’t Have to Like Me: Essays on Growing Up, Speaking Out, and Finding Feminism

Alida Nugent. Plume, $16 trade paper (240p) ISBN 978-0-14-218168-3
In this series of entertaining essays, popular blogger and author Nugent (Don’t Worry, It Gets Worse) documents her journey to feminism while skewering misogynist tropes and delivering some painful truths. Using her own experiences to expand on larger issues, Nugent bravely confides the details of her battle with bulimia and society’s ever-shifting idea of the perfect body. In an essay appropriately titled “I Am Exactly like Other Girls,” she admits her own patriarchal complicity in formerly identifying herself as a “guy’s girl.” A missed period and a pregnancy test spark commentary on sexual shame. More jovial moments are dedicated to the power of female friendships (“the salted caramel... of the relationship world”), the bacchanalia of girls’-night-out wine benders, and learning to love her looks with help from an unflattering $15 lipstick. Nugent expresses hope for the future, declaring, “The next generation of girls is going to have a coat of arms: a giant, cocked eyebrow and the word ‘NO.’ ” These essays are largely aimed at this younger generation, with Nugent playing the hip older sister—providing make-up tips, a sex ed lesson that is both hilarious and instructive, and a quasi-advice column about appropriate feminist behavior—but readers of all ages will be charmed. (Oct.)
Reviewed on: 08/24/2015
Release date: 10/20/2015
Genre: Nonfiction
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