Book Review

Cheeky: A Head-to-Toe Memoir by Ariella Elovic

Ariella Elovic’s ‘Cheeky: A Head-to-Toe Memoir’ Will Inspire Women to See Their Bodies in a Different Light

Maria Chance
Jun 9th, 2022 12:29 am

Ariella Elovic is an artist, blogger and now, with the publication of her debut, Cheeky: A Head-to-Toe Memoir, she can add author to her resume. At the base of her journey of achievements rests her determination to love her body in a way few women have ever done before. What started as a project on Instagram, where she shared fascinating musings about her experience being a woman, alongside pictures of her quirky art, has now materialized into a graphic autobiography, filled with page after page of intriguing, eye-catching art in which Elovic recounts her journey to accepting herself and her body with all its oddities — oddities which, when discussed with other women, turn out to not be so odd at all.

The narrative in Cheeky is broken down into sections, each one focusing on a part of her body which she’s in some way struggled or found fault with in the past: Butt, Boobs, Arms and Legs, Hair, etc. Readers — women in particular — will find a source of confidence and inspiration going through the pages of Cheeky, as Elovic discusses the different, often painful, methods she’s used to get rid of bodily hair; the added struggle of having to keep all discussions about menstruation a secret; her weight and learning to eat without guilt. She describes without shame, the small pleasures of popping pimples, getting rid of blackheads, and even the different scents armpits emit when left unshaved for a long time. Elovic tackles these often taboo topics bravely and candidly, bringing a breath of fresh air to women everywhere as we agree and read on, nodding and laughing enthusiastically as we recognize our own struggle with our bodies through Elovic’s own anecdotes.

Elovic reiterates over and over, as she visits these different parts of her body, how freeing it can be to let your armpit hair grow, to let yourself free bleed, to eat that donut you’ve been craving all day, to rip that bra off and let the girls fly free on your drive home from work, to ditch the pretense of thongs and reach for those ethereally comfortable granny panties. Elovic’s friendly, easygoing voice and vibrant art bring a level of humor which in turn eases the reader into a narrative that could, in the wrong hands, turn brutal and offending. Instead, one keeps turning page after page, absorbing the colorful messages of positivity, self-love, and self-acceptance.

Cheeky is more than just a fun read. It’s medicine for anyone, women and men alike, who has ever felt inadequate, struggling to fit into unrealistic standards of beauty. It’s inspiring and uplifting as it teaches us that the only standard of beauty we need to live up to is our own.

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About the reviewer

We like you to know the person behind the words in these reviews.

Maria Chance
  • Freelance Developmental Editor
  • Book Reviewer & Editor

A self-proclaimed hermit and potential cat hoarder, Maria lives in Virginia where she writes, proofreads and copy edits as a freelancer. Her longstanding love affair with books began when her mother would fall asleep reading bedtime stories to her. (Don't worry; she was sure to wake her up so she could finish.) Now, as an adult, Maria struggles with a reading vice that has often threatened the hygiene of her home. On the few occasions that her nose isn't buried in a book, she enjoys exploring new cities, having margaritas with her sister, and curling up with a book--wait, what?