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Am I Ugly?

4.26  ·  Rating details ·  547 ratings  ·  76 reviews
In today’s world of supplements, celebrity diets and social media, it’s very easy to be hard on ourselves about the way we look. With all this pressure to strive for ‘perfection’ aesthetically, it is easy to forget how damaging this can be psychologically. Michelle Elman is a leading part of the body positivity movement that has been gathering momentum to liberate people f ...more
Hardcover, 352 pages
Published July 12th 2018 by Anima
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Average rating 4.26  · 
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 ·  547 ratings  ·  76 reviews

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Elze Reinders
Jul 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been following Michelle for some time now on Instagram, joined her body positive book club on Facebook and watched her YouTube videos. When I found out she was writing a book I pre-ordered as soon as possible. And she did not disappoint, I finished reading in less than a week. Michelle has always been open about her medical and physical conditions and the many surgeries but in this book she is very detailed and personal about her childhood and puberty. Along the way you see her changes and ...more
3.5 stars

I received a free digital copy of this book from the publishers/author via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Michelle Elman has had a long road to accepting her body, and all that she’s been through with it. From the time she was a small child, Elman has had to go through a large amount of surgeries, and this continued into her early teens and again in her college years. Through it all, Elman had to struggle to accept her body, her scars and allowing her
Jul 07, 2018 rated it it was amazing
As some of my recent posts have indicated, I have a bit of a body positivity journey under way. So, when I noticed that Net Galley had Michelle Elman's book available, I had to request it right away, and thank goodness the request was accepted.

It's easy to think about body positivity as entirely about weight and fatness, but of course that's not true. It's about any characteristic that your body might have, and Michelle's book is an excellent reminder of that as the central character
Alicia Croft
Mar 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
The message itself is 5 stars, the reading experience a 3 star. Still worth reading
Shruti Ramanujam
Mar 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
When I was 9, an uncle singled me out during a family event to lecture me about exercising. My cousins stood around and laughed.

When I was out at a restaurant with family and ordered something with potatoes in it, a relative said I should order something else so I wouldn’t become fatter than I already was.

I’ve been recommended countless diets by friends and family. Advice I didn’t ask for in the first place.

A couple years back, my sister told me my thighs look
May 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I related to this book and its author like you would not believe. It actually had me sobbing at points, and smiling, happily reassured and inspired, at others.

(Full review to come on
Breakaway Reviewers
Jan 21, 2019 rated it really liked it
A brave journey from self-loathing to self-love.

I believe that all young women or men, all girls and boys, have asked themselves the question posed by the book’s title at some point in their lives.

“Am I ugly?”

“Am I too fat?”

“Am I acceptable or good enough?”

In a digitally-driven world overrun with photoshopped images of unattainable perfection and social media perpetuating ridiculous beauty stereotypes, it is difficult not to compare yourself, your outward ap
Gayle Noble
I experienced a rollercoaster of emotions whilst reading this memoir by Michelle Elman. A story of immense courage and resilience, but the author wasn't afraid to show the other side of chronic illness - the anger, the tears, the 'why me?'. Her bewilderment at returning to school and her classmates being not one whit interested in what had happened, and her initial worry about how her scars would be judged, were two instances which really struck a chord. Anyone who has lived with a chronic healt ...more
Jul 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I've been following Michelle on Instagram for quite a while now, and the positive energy that she radiates on social media shines through even in this book.

Before reading this book I was aware of her many surgeries and scars, but this memoir was such a fantastic look into her life and her journey, from young girl at a boarding school, struggling with life-threatening illness and countless surgeries, to the woman she is today, and the obstacles she faced along the way.

thewoollygeek (tea, cake, crochet & books)
This book is amazing, and has helped me more than any self help, confidence or self esteem book I have tried to read, I cried a lot sometimes because of what Michelle went through and a lot because I recognised myself and my feelings in Michelle. I recommend this book to anyone who follows body positivity is trying to learn to accept/love or be themselves it's a truly wonderful book and if I could give it six stars I would
Zöe Robinson
Dec 18, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

I devoured this book in just over 24 hours. I am passing it on to my friends. They need to read it. You need to read it too.
Liz Cornall
Jul 19, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A stunning read, beautifully written. Michelle’s story is remarkable and I couldn’t recommend this book highly enough
Char (lunarchar_)
Sep 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Incredible. Raw. Honest. Painful. Beautiful. I sobbed through the last two chapters. I know I’ll be re-reading this many times in my life. Infinitely grateful this book exits.
Tiny Librarian
Jul 06, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I absolutely devoured Am I Ugly in two sittings over 24 hours. It is the definition of powerful and un put downable!

Michelle tells her story from age 11 onwards of how she suffered multiple illnesses and underwent several surgeries throughout her life. Intertwined with her experience at boarding school (which I always find fascinating) and then on to her uni years. Michelle is such a strong and powerful woman in the bopo movement and has inspired and encouraged me immensely.

I highly recommend
Kenzie Brenna
Jul 03, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Incredible book by an incredible woman, a journey that is relatable, thought provoking and much needed in the world!!!
cenbookfairy_Tylwyth Teg y Llyfr.
I was hooked to story straight away. It is both a heartbreaking story and yet its inspirational all in one. I’m in total awe of Michelle Elman and her journey through her illness and how she dealt with all the obstacles that she came across. Also how she over came adversity.
This book for me teaches about lessons in life and how to learn from our life experiences.
I shall be following Michelle journey through social media.
Jan 02, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A stunning read - bold, powerful, uplifting and strong. Would highly recommend to anyone who likes to be inspired by their stories.
May 21, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
An absolutely stunning read - brave, beautiful and inspirational. Couldn't recommend more!
Linda Hill
Feb 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
With life threatening illnesses, Michelle Elman endures a childhood that will leave both physical and mental scars.

I have to confess I read Am I Ugly? over quite a long period of time, not because I didn’t enjoy it (if, indeed, enjoy is the correct verb to use), but because I found it such a powerful book that I needed to tackle it in short bursts. Structured like a traditional three act Greek tragedy with just as much drama, Am I Ugly? is divided into 36 chapters all headed by quest
Aug 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Following Michelle on social media I knew her for her blatantly honest opinions, posts, videos and messages. What I wasn’t expecting was an absolute rawness of content that quite often has you wide eyed, gasping and depending on what chapter, crying in public.
During a train ride I gasped so loud and covered my mouth that it made more than a handful of people turn my way as tears began to swell.

The content for me was extremely relatable. I have pages highlighted from sentences that either spoke
Dai Guerra
Apr 30, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Michelle Elman tells you the story of her life through many hospital visits and her journey towards loving her body. Having known about her before kind of changes the way I read her book in a positive manner. I found it easy to relate to her journey and found her journey to body positivity similar to others but also her own.

I hardly ever listen to audiobooks because I find it hard to keep track of the story line but the narrator of this book is great to listen to. The narrator fits t
Hannah Stevens
Aug 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A few weeks ago I went along to the marvelous Michelle Elman's book launch for 'Am I Ugly?'
I knew I'd consume it quickly but I didn't think I'd get through it in a matter of days. I devoured every single page and I've spent the last couple of weeks re-reading it and highlighting my favourite passages.
The way Michelle writes makes you feel as though you're curled up with a cup of tea on a slouchy sofa with your best friend while she tells you her tale.
She tells her story earnestly and unflinch
Jul 04, 2019 rated it really liked it
First of all, this book made me ANGRY - the experiences of Michelle at her boarding school are frustratingly common in schools everywhere, but they still amount to gross negligence. The teacher who bullied Michelle into a strict diet because she wasn’t thin (and instead a normal weight) - knowing all the well that there was an eating disorder epidemic in the school (something which it is implied she did very little to attempt to solve) rankles of stories from my own secondary school and others, ...more
Helena Wadia
Jul 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
This book is SO refreshing - it has so many different elements to it. It's an autobiography, a staggering story of someone who has been through WAY more than any 25 year old should have been, but it's also full of practical, realistic and important advice on how to begin your journey to becoming more body confident. It is also pretty special because it can make you cry and laugh within the same chapter - or even the same PAGE sometimes! While it is certainly a unique story, it is also totally re ...more
Nov 13, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I picked up Am I Ugly? After following Michelle Elman on Instagram for several months, but I wasn't entirely sure what to expect. What I got was a book that profoundly impacted me and spoke to my struggles in a way that I had never seen before.

When I read about how Michelle had looked through body positivity tags and seen no one with scars, I was reminded of how I found her: by googling "scar inclusive body positivity." Throughout the book, in fact, I saw my own experiences as a person with med
Petrina Barber
Jul 16, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I read this book within 24 hours. It was unbelievable. I literally couldn’t put it down. I’ve followed the author Michelle for a while & pieced together some parts of bee story based on Instagram and interview and podcasts. I’ve always loved her very direct, honest, yet vulnerable and engaging and positive view of the world and how we see things. She’s really helped me as I have faced many serious health issues and was at a juncture of wondering if I would ever be able to like myself again. ...more
Sofia Zavoli

I've been following Michelle on Instagram for a little while and she inspires me a lot, but I haven't been paying too much attention. I didn't really know about her surgeries and her scars. I just loved her attitude and her message.

When I found out about this book I was interested to know what it was about. I thought it would be all about body positivity and feminism, but I didn't know It was going to be about her life. It honestly exceeded my expectations.

Her life history is co
Celia Lynch Turner
Amazing recovery

I thought this book was extremely informative. At first I thought all the hospital descriptions and operations were boring but when you get into it and realise all the things that went wrong. All the mistakes that happened. Oh my goodness. To be an 11 year old girl and have to live through that. She must have nearly gone out of her mind with pain, fear and boredom. I notice that so very little time seems to have been given to her actual mental health. Compared to what she went t
Apr 15, 2019 rated it it was amazing
I knew I’d like this book but I was surprised at how much I loved it considering how serious and personal aspects of the author’s life that we’re shared. Elman is surprisingly lighthearted and her writing is fluid, witty and enjoyable to read. There are an astonishing amount of events that happen to her in her early life however you end up finishing the book not only wanting more but and also feeling like you’ve gained a lovely friend, because it’s as if she is telling you her story as her frien ...more
Lauren Methven
Aug 24, 2018 rated it it was amazing
I’ve been following Michelle on instagram for about a year, when I began my body positivity journey, and I know how hard she has worked to have her book on shelves. It’s such a beautiful memoir. It’s completely open, raw and honest. The language is so artful and poetically written, straightforward and subtle. Another fantastic book showing the importance of representation, the often unacknowledged challenges of inhabiting a marginalised body and will speak to everyone that picks it up. 100% reco ...more
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Michelle Elman is a body-positive activist and 5-board accredited body-confidence coach. She has amassed 170k followers on Instagram across two accounts (@scarrednotscared and @bodypositivememes). She is a guest contributor to popular Youtuber Hannah Witton’s successful Young Adult book DOING IT; contributed to the recent bestseller BODY POSITIVE POWER; has appeared on Sky News, BBC Radio London, ...more
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“As a female, anger was never an appropriate emotion, and I was taught to feel guilt around that anger. Guilt was digestible, more feminine, easier to control and manage, after all.” 0 likes
“Understand that even if you hate your body, your body loves you. Your body fought for you to keep you alive and breathing every single day, so please stop fighting your body. You are on the same team.” 0 likes
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