Unashamed (Kobo eBook)
A Muslim woman’s searingly honest memoir of her journey toward self-acceptance as she comes to see her body as a symbol of rebellion and hope—and chooses to live her life unapologetically
Ever since she was little, Leah Vernon was told what to believe and how to act. There wasn’t any room for imperfection. ‘Good’ Muslim girls listened more than they spoke. They didn’t have a missing father or a mother with a mental disability. They didn’t have fat bodies or grow up wishing they could be like the white characters they saw on TV. They didn’t have husbands who abused and cheated on them. They certainly didn’t have secret abortions. In Unashamed, Vernon takes to task the myth of the perfect Muslim woman with frank dispatches on her love-hate relationship with her hijab and her faith, race, weight, mental health, domestic violence, sexuality, the millennial world of dating, and the process of finding her voice.
She opens up about her tumultuous adolescence living at the poverty line with her fiercely loving but troubled mother, her absent dad, her siblings, and the violent dissolution of her 10-year marriage. Tired of the constant policing of her clothing in the name of Islam and Western beauty standards, Vernon reflects on her experiences with hustling paycheck to paycheck, body-shaming, and redefining what it means to be a “good” Muslim.
Irreverent, youthful, and funny, Unashamed gives anyone who is marginalized permission to live unapologetic, confident lives.
“Vernon’s determined advocacy for body positivity as a feminist and mental health issue, and her painful journey to self-acceptance, are moving and powerful, forcing readers to examine their own preconceptions about beauty standards and health.” —Booklist