Head of Zeus’ new lifestyle imprint Anima has snapped up the rights to body-positive activist and Instagram star Michelle Elman’s "incredible" debut memoir.
Elman’s memoir, Am I Ugly? is described as “an exploration of how to deal with society’s idealised physical images when you’re living with body issues”. It builds on the fact that "every month 10,000 people Google the question, ‘Am I ugly?’". The book follows her through 15 surgeries while she was growing up to the point where she finally embraces her body.
Elman's first viral post was a photo of her wearing a bikini for the first time aged 21. It was shared by a number of celebrities and featured in more than 60 publications sparking a debate about concepts of beauty. The body confidence coach has now amassed more than 125,000 followers on Instagram across two accounts (@scarrednotscared and @bodypositivememes) and recently gave a TedX talk, 'Have You Hated Yourself Enough Today?'
UK and Commonwealth rights in the title were acquired by Ellen Parnavelas of Head of Zeus’ Anima imprint, from Anna Hogarty at Madeleine Milburn Literary Agency for the book, which will be published in July 2018.
Elman said: “I am thrilled to finally be able to share my story in full. Sharing my experiences via my Instagram has been wonderful but it has always left me with a frustration that it doesn’t tell the full story and in effect, implies that body confidence is simple and fast.”
She revealed that the memoir “has given me the space to elaborate on it and show the more complex and realistic side of body positivity from a first-hand account”.
Hogarty said: “From the moment I started reading Michelle’s story, I couldn’t put it down. This is an incredible memoir of a young girl going through multiple surgeries and coming to love the body that has kept her alive.”
She added: “It is timely and empowering, and I can’t wait to see it in sparkling book form.”
HoZ revealed details of the new Anima imprint in June, which houses a "collection of books across a range of genres that will inspire people to challenge themselves, live well and enjoy life".
Elman is also a guest contributor to Youtuber Hannah Witton’s Young Adult book Doing It (Hachette Children's Group) and contributed to Body Positive Power (Ebury) by Megan Jayne Crabbe.