Last updated on November 4th, 2019 at 10:07 pm

Front cover - Mastering Your Mean Girl book review

MASTERING YOUR MEAN GIRL: Becoming wildly wealthy, fabulously healthy, and bursting with love

Melissa Ambrosini

[TarcherPerigee, 288 pages]

When I hear the term “Mean Girl,” usually the 2004 hit movie starring Lindsay Lohan, or maybe a couple of girls from my grade seven class, come to mind. According to Australian actress-turned-life-coach Melissa Ambrosini, though, we’ve all got a “Mean Girl” (or “Mean Guy”) living within each of our heads. At various rates of frequency, depending on the person, she (or he) puts us down, tells us we can’t do things, and makes us feel as if we just aren’t good enough to face the world with confidence. Besides ourselves, this annoying character’s harsh judgments may extend to others we encounter, too. With practice, though, we can control “her” chatter, and Ambrosini’s first book, Mastering Your Mean Girl, aims to teach readers how to do just that.

Living with love instead of fear

Mastering Your Mean Girl offers readers advice on self-love, relationships, healthy eating, exercise, and the pursuit of a fulfilling career, with all of that advice falling under the umbrella of one general theme: living and making decisions from a perspective of love instead of fear. For instance, Ambrosini suggests that we exercise because we love the way we feel when we move our bodies, not because we fear getting fat, and that we choose a life partner because we truly value them, instead of settling down with anyone who shows interest in us due to a fear of being lonely.

She proposes meditation and a daily gratitude practice as two ways that we can help cultivate feelings of love for ourselves and then further extend those feelings towards the rest of the world. Melissa describes how she was able to, by making use of these practices (among others) herself, transform from an unfulfilled actress experiencing both physical problems and substance abuse issues into a happy, well-rounded holistic mentor with a loving partner and stepchild.

Fighting my own “Mean Girl”

Frustrated woman reading - Mastering Your Mean Girl book review

Admittedly, as I read through this book the first time around, there was one aspect of it that nearly drove me crazy. Ambrosini frequently addresses readers as “darling,” “beautiful,” “gorgeous,” and “girlfriend,” and uses terms like “besties,” “moolah,” “mani-pedi,” and “cray-cray” quite frequently. While I understood that this book had likely been written with women of the younger generation in mind, I thought that she still went just a little overboard with the slang. However, an idea that she introduced about two-thirds of the way through the book also resonated with me (not an exact quote): When we make judgments about other people, these often reflect something we see in ourselves.

I started to wonder, with my judgment of her words, was my inner “Mean Girl” rearing her ugly head? Was there perhaps a time when I’d come off as “too” bubbly and perky in my own writing, so my brain decided it would offer this author a big eye-roll for doing the same thing? Plus, what exactly is so wrong with being bubbly and perky anyways, if that’s part of who you are? After asking myself these questions, I tried to be less judgmental in regard to Melissa’s language as I finished the rest of the book, and was actually able to commit more information to memory because of this shift in mindset.    

Does your self-esteem need a boost?

I’ve read a lot of self-help books in recent years, so I’d previously encountered ideas similar to those that Melissa presented throughout this title, but her positive, been-there attitude (and maybe even the “corny” language) drove the point home that all of us, women and men, can be authentic and achieve our goals once we quiet down that voice of negativity that may be holding us back.

Virtually anyone who picks up this book will likely find it inspiring, even if it doesn’t present anything astoundingly groundbreaking for the voracious self-help reader, but I feel that it’ll be especially beneficial to girls and young women who are struggling with self-esteem and haven’t explored much literature within the genre before. While I won’t go so far as to promise that reading it will turn you into an “overnight success,” it’ll surely give you a boost forward on your path towards, as Melissa says, “becoming wildly wealthy, fabulously healthy, and bursting with love.”

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image 1: Woman jogging on run through city via Shutterstock; image 2: Closeup portrait confused via Shutterstock
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