cover image The Velveteen Principles for Women: Shatter the Myth of Perfection and Embrace All That You Really Are

The Velveteen Principles for Women: Shatter the Myth of Perfection and Embrace All That You Really Are

Toni Raiten-D'Antonio, Author . HCI $16.95 (350p) ISBN 978-0-7573-0561-0

In her popular first book, The Velveteen Principles , psychotherapist Raiten-D'Antonio promoted individuality and being Real, in the spirit of Margery Williams's cherished children's classic. In this equally appealing sequel, Raiten-D'Antonio's style is light and appealing as she describes how our culture enforces conformity and how to become Real (i.e., yourself). Drawing on her own difficult childhood as the dutiful daughter of a mother with Parkinson's disease, she explains how girls are raised to be Barbie-perfect wives and caretakers. She calls our materialistic, stereotyping culture “The Object Culture” and the superficial language it uses “Thinglish.” The antidote, the way to feel “Real,” says the author, “is a fully developed set of your own values and beliefs that are not generic but tailor-made by you.” In her 13 principles (“Becoming a Real Woman Is a Process,” “Real Women Are Flexible”), she examines the practice of values such as empathy, generosity and honesty. In this simple, sweet and positive book, Raiten-D'Antonio offers a message that will be palatable to a couple of generations of women who have grown up seeking power in the workplace and in their relationships while remaining outwardly conventional and mainstream in their values. (May)