I discovered 'Girlforce: A Girl's Guidebook for the Body and Soul' by Nikki Goldstein at the local library one summer and obsessed over it quite a lot. This was about grade 9 or 10 in high school and it wasn't long later, that my Christmas wish list had the titles of the 'Girlforce' books scrawled across it. After that Christmas, a shopping trip (And Maybe a Birthday?) I managed to collect them all. I really like these books and what they represent. I'm not going to write a review on these, but more of an introduction to them. I want to tell the world about them! And, give out some information from a readers point of view...
*Some of the books can be found on Ebay, Booktopia, Book Depository, Abe Books, Amazon and Fishpond. Some of the books appear to be out-of-print, but I've included all of them because there is always a chance that there will be one lying around somewhere.
All books were published in Australia by ABC Books. The first book was published in 2004 and the last was published in 2008. 'Girlforce' and 'Girlforce Shine' have been released in the US since.
Age group: It's meant for teens, but I think it's fairly flexible.
Welcome to GirlForce, an exciting new lifestyle brand for tween and teen girls that is simply irresistible. At its core, Girl Force is based on an ancient science called Ayurveda that says our bodies are made of three elemental energies: Fire, Air, and Earth. And with just two quick quizzes about body and mind you can determine your Body Type. Air girls are outgoing and creative; Fire girls are born leaders and highly passionate; and Earth girls are easygoing and make loyal friends.
Guided by these principles, and using lush, high-end photography and gorgeously designed pages, GirlForce imparts the best food, exercise, makeup, yoga, stress relievers and more for your body type. But don't just read about your type...reading your friends' types can help you figure them out too!
WHAT IS GIRLFORCE?
- A book / series of books
- A collection of things that together make-up a "girlforce". A person's confidence, identity, integrity, kindness, overall health etc...
- Finally, Girlforce is a lifestyle based on the ancient Ayurveda system.
'Girlforce' is also a very non-invasive lifestyle program. Everything is suggested. There isn't a whole lot of "Don't do this", "don't do that" etc. The foods are separated into 'More' and 'Less' groups for each body type, rather than 'Do' and 'Don't'. This also makes allowances for specific dietary needs, allergies or religions. The whole series is about empowering girls and encouraging them to accept themselves.
ME AND GIRLFORCE:
What really drew me in with 'Girlforce' was that I could identify my "type" fairly quickly and I found it to be very accurate. I was also really interested by the fact that the book included DIY beauty treatments (FUN!!) and beauty tips. The thing that really sealed the deal for me was that 'Girlforce' is not a pushy Health/Beauty book. I know, you are thinking "How can a book be pushy?", but it's true, I have encountered non-fiction books written by some very opinionated people.
I haven't been really strict with myself on the program, but I have looked to the books every now and then for different reasons. The series has definitely encouraged me to try more natural beauty products and to accept myself for who I am. The books are really inspiring. I think the pictures and the design of the books are great too. I don't really follow the food part. Every time I discover a new food that I like I look it up in the 'Girlforce' book and most of the time it seems to me in the 'Less' list. Good thing 'Less' means you can still have some, right? ;)
ABOUT THE BOOKS:
I've decided to write about most of the books separately. I want to explain what each is about and what is included so that you know which ones you'll want to buy if you are interested in buying. Again, not a review, but I will be dispersing some opinion here.
'GirlForce: A Girl's Guidebook to the Body and Soul'
This was the first 'Girlforce' book to come out and it's definitely my favourite. It has everything in it including an analysis of your "type", a guide to healthy living, body-type-specific yoga exercises skin treatments, clothing/makeup suggestions, anti-stress techniques, creating a body-type-specific routine and learning about relationships. This book is probably one of the easiest to find online. I bought a copy from Ebay to give to my twelve year old cousin when her mum was in hospital, because I thought it would help to boost her confidence and I knew the beauty stuff would interest her.
'GirlForce Shine: A Girl's Guide to Confidence and Beauty'
This book has a body type quiz and some information about the body types relating to beauty. It doesn't go as into depth on the personality side of things as 'Girlforce' does. This book includes a heap of natural beauty remedies suited to your skin-type, some suggested make-up colours for your "type", suggested perfumes and a few hair styling ideas. The book has illustrations and instructions on how to apply make-up to specific face shapes and teaches the reader how to accept and accentuate their natural beauty. There are a few glittery "mood make-up" pictures which are definitely a bit experimental and out there. There are no instructions for these though.
'GirlForce Shine' could be bought on it's own.
'GirlForce You: A Girl's Book of Quizzes and Affirmations About the World's Most Important Person - You'
This book is based around a 'GirlForce/Girlfriend Girl World Survey'. It's filled with statistics and opinions of girls who took the survey and has heaps of tips about boosting confidence, relieving stress, becoming a nice person, enjoying life and negotiating boundaries. This book also has a few quizzes inside.
There isn't anything about the 'Girlforce' lifestyle system in this book and I don't know how long ago the Survey took place. The book might be a little outdated, but I think it's a bit of fun. It's not a necessary purchase if you are interested in the 'Girlforce' lifestyle and there are plenty of other teen self-help books on the market that cover these topics.
'GirlForce Friends: A Girl's Guide to Friendship'
This book is probably the most colourful inside. It is the most recent 'Girlforce' book and you can kind of tell by all of the modern illustrations and prints used inside. This book also has some comments and statistics in it from a Girlfriend Survey. The survey mentioned in this book was done in 2006, which doesn't seem that long ago to me - then I remembered that it will soon be 2014, so survey was done 8 years ago... Anyway, this book isn't as heavy on the survey side as 'Girlforce You' is.
There is a lot of stuff about friendship, relationships, dealing with depression and bullying. I think this book is specifically aimed at high school students (mid-late high school) based on the content. There are some stories from famous ladies, some quizzes and some tips. I think it's a good book, but once again this book is not about the 'Girlforce' lifestyle system. There are plenty of other teen self-help books that cover these areas.
^These books are all very small and thin compared to the others.
'GirlForce Crush: A Girl's Guidebook to Emotions and Love'
-This book has a body-type quiz and teaches you how to tell what body-type boys are, but it doesn't have any information about compatibility between the two. There is also a quiz to determine how "boy crazy" you are and some tips on how to be intimate without being "intimate". This book serves as an addition to the original 'Girlforce' book and would probably suit a teen who is starting to get interested in boys.
'GirlForce Vibe: A Girl's Guidebook to Confidence and Energy'
This book is about tuning into you "Girlforce" and doing body-type-specific things that make you feel good. There are some suggestions for music to listen to, they types of pictures to look at, fragrances to use and foods to eat if you want to feel good. These descriptions are very small and general. There is also some information about chakras and meditation.
I don't really see the need for this book. There is a little about meditating in the original 'Girlforce' book and some of the body-type-specific stuff is just a repeat of info from the original 'Girlforce' book as well.
'GirlForce Pamper: A Girl's Guide to Relaxation and Bliss'
This book has a body type quiz, body-type-specific DIY beauty tips/ treatments, information about reflexology, instructions for a manicure/pedicure and a list of pampering activities (walking on the beach etc). This book shares a lot of the same info as the 'Girlforce' and the 'Girlforce Shine' book so it's not necessary to purchase this one. This book and a small beauty gift set would make a nice present for a teen girl.
I would recommend these books to teen girls or young women. The pamper book is probably more diverse. If you are interested in natural beauty treatments or finding out your "type" (like mentioned earlier). You don't need to buy all of the books if you are interested in trying out the Girlforce thing. I think you can't beat the original 'Girlforce' book for the most well-rounded guide to Girlforce.
If you try out the series and you really like it, I suggest going onto Facebook and liking the 'Girlforce' page. You may even decide to leave a comment. It seems that they have stopped making new Girlforce books as well as printing the existing ones. I think they should continue to print these as I think they are pretty good. Anything that helps young girls/women to accept themselves and become more confident is definitely cool by me!
*I took the pictures with my vignette app and the books look brighter in person.
*I put this in the 'Beauty' category. I've got a few beauty books in that category on the blog and I thought maybe this was the best place for them.
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