"I want to create a giant band of women who are determined to help others become better. Help me help them."

A beauty queen turned empowerment coach has turned her story into a powerful teaching tool. Australian author Turunen had a difficult childhood that included being shunted back and forth by her separated parents, enduring a massive spinal surgery, and surviving a near-fatal accident while in her early teens, all of which led to depression and self-injuring. Saving graces came along in the form of a wonderful boyfriend/husband/partner and then from the remarkable circumstance of the author’s entering and winning first the Mrs. Australia beauty pageant and then the Mrs. Continents international competition held in the US. She reaches out to young women who may lack the confidence that she has found, using upbeat, engaging lessons in goal-setting, journaling, meditation, finding one’s inner “Beefcake” (the self-actualizing alter ego), and ditching one’s “Inner Bitch.”

Turunen has an intelligent and organized approach to her subject matter while keeping the material readily accessible to her target audience with some common off-color slang and up-to-date tech terminology: “If it doesn’t better your life, press Delete.” She proposes a simple method for prioritizing one’s problems, weighs in on social media as both a help and a hindrance to someone seeking outreach, and has much to say about how young women need to manage the thorny issue of sex. Her advice is often couched in amusing imagery, though the overarching message maintains its serious aspect. She suggests philanthropy or charitable work as a means of increasing self-esteem and has composed “Fifteen Commandments” for self-guidance. Each chapter ends with a helpful series of questions for the reader to ask herself, and several other works are referenced in the narrative. Turunen’s book, citing her own experience of downturn and recovery as an example to others, provides practical, easily comprehended suggestions for troubled women.

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