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About the Book

What is Beauty and the Beast?

Beauty and the Beast Cover

It’s a non-fiction book by me, Megan Ryland.

Everyone knows the story of Beauty and the Beast, or at least the Disney version, but I have a different tale to share. While the animated movie you might be familiar with describes the relationship between a girl and a prince-turned-monster, the story I want to tell is of girls everywhere falling in love with a different sort of beast (and this one doesn’t turn out to be a prince in the end). In today’s society, the female body is expected to conform to monstrous standards. Because of this, I refer to the “rules” regarding a girl’s body as the Beast; I don’t think that these standards and measurements have anything to do with real beauty. In the non-fiction book entitled Beauty and the Beast: Ending the Love/Hate Relationship Between Girls and their Bodies I talk about where the pressure to conform to unrealistic expectations comes from and where girls get ideas about their self-image.

My high school had recently begun publishing student books through a company called Tiberious Publishing. I was interested in how teenage girls perceived their bodies and the various factors that influenced us and submitted a book proposal. With agreement from the school and its publishing company, I did a lot of research, realized I had a lot of opinions, asked many people many questions, and finally we have a book for you to read.

Tiberious Publishing is a little publisher and the book has a rather limited run (a.k.a. far fewer copies are printed than other books) so it’s not necessarily on the shelves at every local bookstore. After living in the consignment section for a while, Beauty and the Beast will be available at most of the Chapters, Coles and Indigo in in Calgary and main Vancouver locations. Thanks to popularity and support, you can order Beauty and the Beast: Ending the Love/Hate Relationship Between Girls and their Bodies through the Chapters/Indigo site. We’re very excited that there’s been enough support to get us on the shelves in a more official way.

Unofficially? Talk to me if you want a book and don’t know exactly how to go about it. Email beauty_vs_beast@ymail.com or leave a comment here (including an email that I can use to contact you in the required field) letting me know that you’d love a copy. I’ll do my best to make that happen!

Of course if you’re a student at LBHS, talk to Mr. Wallace with your $14 and he can help you out.

Note about purchase: This program is for educational purposes. Prices are set in order to recoup costs and pay student authors for their efforts. What you pay for is the cost to print, run the program and pay the author some. Any profits go back into the program to help other students experience what it’s like to be published (This is a big deal!)


The Playlist

When I was writing this book, many songs felt like they were made for the chapters that I was writing. Originally, in fact, I had planned to include lyric excerpts at the beginning of every chapter. Unfortunately, contacting Madonna’s record company and asking to use their lyrics without paying them was… well, daunting to the say the least. I did contact Righteous Babe Records and got permission to use lyrics for the concluding chapter, but that’s just a taste of the musical soundtrack for “Beauty and the Beast.”

Here’s the songs, in order of appearance, whose lyrics I wanted to use in each chapter:

  1. Stand Still, Look Pretty by The Wreckers
  2. What it Feels Like for a Girl by Madonna
  3. Innocent by Our Lady Peace
  4. Paper Bag by Anna Nalick
  5. Virus of the Mind by Heather Nova
  6. Television, Television by Ok Go
  7. Californication by Red Hot Chili Peppers
  8. So Beautiful by Dashboard Confessional
  9. Miniature Disasters by KT Tunstall
  10. Not a Pretty Girl by Ani Difranco

Of course, those were chosen from a longer list and there’s many, many songs that relate to the issues I was talking about. Below are songs that would work well with any of the topics, discussed in the book or have a body-positive focus. If you have any suggestions, send them to me or leave a comment and I’ll add them here.

  • One Girl Revolution by Superchick
  • Accident by Lisa Loeb
  • Story of a Girl by Our Lady Peace
  • Butterfly Girl by Jaylene Johnson
  • Company Car by Switchfoot
  • Gone by Switchfoot
  • Who Will Save Your Soul by Jewel
  • 32 Flavors by Ani Difranco
  • I.Q. by Ani Difranco
  • Shroud by Ani Difranco
  • At Seventeen by Janis Ian
  • Problem Girl by Rob Thomas
  • Imperfection by Saving Jane
  • Beautiful by Christina Aguilera
  • Sharada by Sky Sweetnam
  • Unpredictable by Sky Sweetnam
  • You Love to Sing by Copeland
  • Hey Girl by Dashboard Confessional
  • Let’s Talk by Hannah Georgas
  • Everybody’s Got a Story by Amanda Marshall
  • Proud by Tegan and Sara

5 thoughts on “About the Book

  1. Hey,
    I used to go to LBHS and came across this through Facebook. I just wanted to drop a line and let you know that this is an amazing thing your doing. Congrats on not only publishing a book but bringing awareness to something from a different perspective. Well done! And I hope to read it someday! If I could purchase it online, I most definitely would!
    Hats off to you!


    • I do now in the sidebar. You can get emails for new posts if you just subscribe the blog. Thanks for the positive feedback!

  2. Pingback: Do I or don’t I? | My loose ends

  3. I must thank you for the efforts you have put in penning this blog.
    I really hope to check out the same high-grade content by you later on as well.
    In fact, your creative writing abilities has encouraged me to get my own, personal
    blog now 😉

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