You may know Grace Helbig from her YouTube channel, It’s Grace. It has over three million subscribers to her brand of comedy-meets-satire-meets-social commentary.
Grace Helbig is also the author of two books – the latest of which is Grace and Style: The Art of Pretending You Have It.
The fashion "guide book" includes features like "the art of not being naked," "the art of the body tarp," and "the art of expanding your wardrobe without social interaction."
"Comedy has become a huge therapy for me in the world of self image," says Helbig. And as you can probably tell, comedy is at the forefront of nearly all aspects of the book. The style guide covers everything from advice from Helbig's mother, diary entries from the perspective of a pair of sweatpants at the Mall of America and pictures that are fashionable, yet poke fun.
"I really wanted that strong, funny, confident female voice to say that you don't have to be sexy if you don't want to, you don't have to dress or look at yourself this way if you don't want to. So if anyone that reads this book gets some reassurance from that then I feel like it was worth it," Helbig says.
Helbig struggled with an eating disorder that began during her high school senior year and continued into college. She shares this experience straightforwardly in the book's introduction, and included a dedication to "insecurity and fear."
"The only thing you can do online is be yourself." - Grace Helbig
Helbig says she doesn't think she could have written this kind of book without challenging experiences or had she not become a YouTube host who puts herself in front of the camera and critiques herself constantly. Although she is known best for her videos, Helbig felt that this project was something that needed to be physically made.
"I pride myself on putting comedy first in a lot of the content that I create and I've had every opportunity over the last seven years to put this in a video - to talk about it directly to the audience and it just hasn't felt right," Helbig explains. "Something about writing it down in a book and really being able to craft how it sounded and see how it looked on a page felt right and it felt more personal, intimate and it felt slightly more conversational than putting it up on the internet for people to listen to."
Helbig also notes that books are tangible content that her parents actually understand.
Helbig utilized YouTube to create and promote her written work, and it is a platform that she plans to always be a part of.
"There's an underlying kind of thought that high tides raise all ships in the YouTube community, and it's really true," says Helbig. "I think it really allows all of us content creators to feel kind of bonded and supported in this way...it's such a positive community."
She says her age (30) and her experience tackling self image genuinely shaped the content in the book. She believes it will reach audiences, whether they identify as fashionable or not.
"The message that I really want everyone to get is style is silly, and that's kind of the best part about it. It doesn't have to be so serious," says Helbig.
Helbig will hold a book signing Saturday afternoon at Milwaukee’s Boswell Books.
[By Audrey Nowakowski] [From WUWM Radio] [Read More]