I wrote a long, rambling review of my thoughts while reading The Pretty One by Keah Brown, and then I realized I was just paraphrasing content that the author had already eloquently stated in a much more poignant, honest, and firsthand way. So I’m keeping those rambling thoughts for myself as a reminder that I still have so much to learn from others, and using this space to tell everyone in the world that you really need to go out and pick this book up and read it for yourself.
The Pretty One touched me and taught me so much. Keah Brown has one of the most refreshing and positive voices I have heard in a long time. Her words are equally honest, funny, poignant, and important. This collection of essays discusses representation at every intersection, and provides ample information on why disabilities are not only completely underrepresented in society at large but so often inaccurately represented. As an able-bodied white woman I took a lot of her words to heart, and realized how disabled people are continuously portrayed in a stereotypical manner in TV and movies, and more often than most by able-bodied actors. This collection discusses being disabled in an ableist society, from a personal and more general point of view, and how the author grew up hating her disability and her personal journey towards learning to love herself the way she is. Self-love, discrimination, under-representation, misrepresentation, tokenism, coming of age, activism, ableism, racism, feminism: Keah Brown’s essays touch on all of these topics and more, and they should be read and amplified. As a society we have to do so much better, and we must listen to those who are often erased or ignored is the first step.
And seriously, Keah Brown has such a unique, positive, and happy voice, she writes wonderfully, and these essays were all a joy to read. Thanks to Netgalley and the publisher for the advance copy, and thank to the author for writing such a wonderful, personal collection of essays. The Pretty One will be on my must read list for a long time.