Akram's Ideas

Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm, Book Review

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It is the year 2015, and there are more books, magazines, tv shows, blogs, vlogs, etc. about beauty than there ever before. It is no secret that many of us long to be considered beautiful, and work hard to beautify themselves.

However, I find that while today’s society is often looking towards beauty, as in decades past, many of us forget that perhaps there is something more than beauty alone. After all there are many people who we can say are beautiful, but somehow are lacking in their overall presence.

What we are really saying here is that while someone can be beautiful than can lack charm. Charms being the keyword here, after all charming people are remembered far more than beautiful people alone and we often consider charming people to be beautiful.

Now if only there was some way to become charming and their by making our inner and outer self more charming. As it turns out there is a marvelous book on the subject entitled Better than Beauty A Guide to Charm.

I happen to come across this book a year or two ago on the discounted shelf of a Barns and Nobel bookstore. It had a rather modern cover and seemed like a modern-day gimmick book, one that probably provided fun tips and tricks but no real substance. While, I had no intention of taking the book seriously, I thought it had an interesting title and would look good on a bookshelf. (Okay, sometimes I might buy a book for how it would look on a shelf, don’t you?)


Better than Beauty modern and original covers
Better than Beauty modern and original covers

I hadn’t thought about the book after buying it, and after moving a few years ago, it had gotten shuffled about the house in boxes and the like. Only recently did I, rediscovered this jewel of a book and decided why not give it a quick read.

Imagine my surprise, despite the modern cover; the book was actually published in 1938. Despite the age of the book all the tips are 100% applicable today’s young lady. There are times when some of the suggestions and examples that date the book, such as having special deodorant mix made from the drug store or purchasing a quality hand mirror for 15 cents.

Overall though the book has a lot of timeless advice to help even the most modern and high-tech women of today through the maze of social interaction with intellect and elegance.

The book has a total of 6 chapters divided into two sections the first being “What you do to yourself” and the second “What you do to others”.

The first section focuses on the beauty side of charm. I wouldn’t say it’s like a beauty book that describes how to apply mascara, but more basic how to take care of yourself. With more practical everyday tips, about proper grooming, consideration of the clothes you wear and to watch your diet, but at the same time accept the figure you have and learn to be yourself.

The second section is more or less how to behave with others. Some of these tips like don’t bad mouth others, or make a fuss or scene in public about little things, which sounds like common sense, but I feel modern-day youth might find this book enlightening.

After reading this book, I found that in order to be truly charming, as the authors suggest it doesn’t take a lot, but there is some work involved, as there is with any beauty routine. The difference here seemed to be small every day tasks that can add to your charm, rather than life changing habits that I nearly always fail at.

Thus, I’ve decided to take this particular book and see how valid the tips are by putting them to practice. My plan is to share 2 key points from the book each month and to let you know how I’m applying them and how they have worked out for me.

Me trying to be charming for the camera
Me trying to be charming for the camera

Join me if you will on this journey this 2015 journey on becoming charming. Also, if you’d like your copy the book it turns out that book was rereleased in 2011 with it’s original cover and you may purchase your own copy of Better than Beauty: A Guide to Charm, here.

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Akram's Ideas : Better than Beauty

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Akram Taghavi-Burris

designer, writer, educator, tech nerd, crafter, baker, sewer and vintage collector, who Brings Creative & Crazy Ides to Life.

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