I’ve been living under a rock. I hadn’t heard of Makaia Carr before offering to review her book. She has over 134,000 followers on Facebook, has been a young Mum, is Māori, an entrepreneur and an all-round hard worker. With a large social media following she has a lot of influence.
I don’t really read women’s magazines or watch a lot of TV anymore and I’m a bit sceptical about social media influencers. I think they’re just trying to sell me something – usually beauty and fitness related products.
I like that Makaia talks about aligning what she promotes with her values – she’s not just about #fitspo and #cleaneating. She wants people to love themselves for who they are.
Eventually I’m sold, and about a quarter of the way through the book I’m following Makaia on Facebook too – there’s something authentic about her that appeals to me. She’s “keeping it real” like the book title says.
The book is not fully autobiographical – about half of it is a shortened personal account of her life and career. The other half is filled with life-advice and her own brand of inspiration. She keeps a lot of detail to herself, including only a brief mention of traumatic abuse she went through as a young girl that gives you a small window of insight into her down times.
I would love to know more about her. You get the impression Makaia and her story belong to Makaia. Makaia looks after Makaia and the message of the whole book is that self-love and healthy boundaries are what she is trying to teach us.
Another theme is all the tools she utilises to try to overcome her depression. She is not adverse to antidepressants. She cuts down on alcohol. I like that she outlines the Five Ways to Wellbeing as a tool for wellness. She also includes good helpline information from the Mental Health Foundation for any readers who may need extra help.
I like that the book is colourful with quotes highlighted out of the text. The photography is awesome. It’s an easy read that took me about five to six hours to whip through.
If you want something light, positive and inspirational this book will make a great travelling companion.
Reviewed by Gina Giordani, Community Engagement & Health Promotion Officer at the Mental Health Foundation