At first glance, Girlosophy’s Real Girls’ Stories doesn’t seem to be relevant to alternative education. What connection does a group of autobiographies have to learning outside the box?
These biographies aren’t like the usual ones though. Anthea Paul – famous for her Girlosophy series of spiritual self-help books geared towards young women – collects the fascinating life stories of various young women from around the world – mainly Oceania, but there are girls from the US, UK, Japan, and Sri Lanka here too. Each story starts off with an introduction by Paul (usually about how they met), then the girl herself takes over, telling her story her own way. Each entry is accompanied by vivid visual art – photographs, captions, colour and graphic effects.
The girls here come from all sorts of backgrounds. There are a few surfer girls (to reflect Paul’s involvement with supporting young surfers in Australia and Hawaii), but there are also people like:
- Michelle, one-time Miss Black California and former fashion merchandising student, now volunteering for at-risk youth in the US
- Radha, who grew up in the Hare Krishna movement
- See Dewi, a batik factory manager from Sri Lanka
- Vithya and Welesta, medical students in Jaffna (Sri Lanka) caught in the Tamil Tigers onflict
- Dalia, also known as DJ Groovy D
- Romy, who once owned a bunch of camels for hire
- Petrina, who gained fame as The Mole on the TV show of the same name
- Sam, a professional faerie in the UK (yes, her job is to be a faerie – usually for children’s parties)
and so much more.
These stories provide a fascinating insight into the lives of young women around the world through a first-hand perspective – how they live, how they think, what they believe. Their stories are full of inspiration: persevering, following your passion, being true to yourself, seeking the magic within. All traits that go together well with the aims of alternative education.
After reading these stories, you feel like finding these young women and befriending them; they are certainly very fascinating people. Will there be a Real Girls’ Stories 2 on the horizon?
Anthea Paul’s Girlosophy: Real Girls’ Stories (ISBN: 1865089060) is available in bookstores and on Amazon.