Michelle Elman‘s debut memoir, Am I Ugly? has been scooped up by Head of Zeus’s new lifestyle imprint Anima. UK & Commonwealth rights in one book were acquired by Ellen Parnavelas from Anna Hogarty, and the book will be published in July 2018.


Elman is a body-positive activist and 5-board accredited body-confidence coach. She has amassed over 128k followers on Instagram across two accounts (@scarrednotscared and @bodypositivememes) and has gone viral five times for her body-positivity posts and her campaign #ScarredNotScared. Most recently, she has completed a TedX talk on the topic titled Have You Hated Yourself Enough Today? 


Every month 10,000 people Google the question ‘am I ugly?’; Elman’s memoir is an exploration of how to deal with society’s idealised physical images when you’re living with body issues, following her journey through fifteen surgeries and body-confidence issues to embrace both her scars and her body. She 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. Am I Ugly? 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”


Anna Hogarty added “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. It is timely and empowering, and I can’t wait to see it in sparkling book form.”


Elman is also a guest contributor to  Hannah Witton’s Doing It and BodiPosiPanda’s Body Positive Power; has appeared on Sky News, BBC Radio London, Channel 5 News, LBC; and has featured in more than three hundred press articles worldwide. Her first ever viral post was a photo of her first time wearing a bikini aged 21. It was shared by celebrities such as Zooey Deschanel and George Takei, and featured in over sixty publications including the Daily Mail, Independent, MTV, Cosmopolitan, People and Buzzfeed. It joined a passionate conversation all over the word: what is beauty? Who got to decide? Why don’t we talk about scars?


Congratulations on such an inspiring, incredible memoir, Michelle! We can’t wait for all your fans, current and new, to read Am I Ugly? next summer.