Review: Pretty Ugly by Barbara M. Barnes

Title: Pretty Ugly
Author: Barbara M. Barnes
Publisher: Predestined Publishing
Publication Date: April 27th, 2013
Pages: 149
Genre: Self-help
Source: Paperback from Author

Summary (from the Goodreads):  "Pretty Ugly - How Low Self-Esteem Almost Ruined My Life" is a biography of sorts written with dramatic,real-life reflections of the author's own life in the form of short stories. Chapter by chapter this book shares hard-core experiences and testimonies that work to inspire and encourage others that may have been or may be going through the same types of challenges Barbara Barnes went through that are largely ignored by the masses most of the time. In this book Barbara M. Barnes pours out her heart and soul as she steps into the realm of realistic transparency to share a piece of her soul with the world. The book is an easy read written with true-to-life language and it is pieced together like a literary quilt composed for readers to cover themselves with the comfort of camaraderie and the sentiment of sisterhood. "Pretty Ugly" is pretty, pretty when the comfort and encouragement it offers to real women in a real world is considered. Read this book and break free!


Barbara Barnes-Bey is a former New Jersey and Washington DC resident who now resides in Hampton, Va. Barbara is a inspirational speaker as well as a certified Law of Attraction practitioner. She uses techniques to help people with low or no self esteem to learn to "love" themselves, which is where it all begins. She says that one of the most powerful affirmations that one could ever use is simply to state with conviction: "I Can", or I Can Do it!" She says: "You will be surprised how your life will change with those two words. Of course there is more to it than that, but since you have to start somewhere, this is where you should start. 
Barbara uses her observations, past experiences, compassion, and knowledge to aid in helping to heal those who are willing to make a change in their lives. "There are a lot of women out there who are hurting, and have been hurt in relationships and they so desperately are in need of an advocate, an ally to uplift them and teach them how they can heal from their pain". They need someone who can relate to what they have experienced or are actually going through. And once they have been healed, it is only then that they can walk the walk of someone with high self esteem and  self confidence that is vital to every woman who has developed a healthy love for themselves."
Barbara believes that she is a "work in progress" herself and feels that what helps others helps her.

There are currently two support groups in operation in Washington, DC.

This book is not for the faint of heart, but it is most definitely for the confused, lost, or hurting! Barbara M. Barnes tackles those issues we don't like to talk about. She tackles the issues that we like to pretend aren't there. She tackles the issues that so often control and regulate our lives that it's almost difficult to function normally. Barnes tackles life.

In this book you will find:
  • Information the lets you know you are not alone.
  • Inspiration to go on when you feel like giving up.
  • Stories that prove a person can rise from the ashes of life.
  • Sentiments you can relate to that will make you laugh and cry.
  • A testimony of what is possible in the most impossible situations.

Pretty Ugly is a compilation of experiences that Barnes has put together not to make the read feel sorry for her, but to comfort the reader in knowing that they are not alone...and there is hope. It's almost as if you've sat down for coffee with the author and simply poured your heart out to her. You laugh and cry together, sharing in the most intimate parts of your self-esteem and faith. 

This is a great tool for those suffering from low-self esteem. It's extremely easy to read because the author writes as though having dialogue with the reader. It is also well organized with sections, heading, and bullet points that the reader can underline or mark for easy reference later. As previously stated, Barnes gives the reader a message of hope. This would be a great tool for young girls, in my opinion!

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