Kristin Billerbeck

Kristin Billerbeck is a fourth-generation Californian and has a BA in Journalism & Mass Communications from San Jose State University. She has been on the CBA bestseller's list, is a two-time winner of the ACFW Lit of the year, and is currently nominated for a Christy for The Trophy Wives Club. Kristin has appeared on the "Today Show" and appeared in World Magazine, The New York Times, The Atlanta Journal Constitution and USA Today. She lives in her beloved Silicon Valley and has four children with her engineer husband.

Ask Ashley

Why are magazines like Sex guides?

Dear Ashley,

What’s a girl to do when every woman’s magazine seems more like a sex guide? I want to read about trends and fashion, but this obsession with getting a man in bed is creeping me out. Am I abnormal to find this offensive?

Stumped in Seattle

Fashion and the industry has always been about pushing the envelope. That being said, I think the envelope has been stripped, laid bare, and lies shredded on the floor. Enough already! As a girl, it bothers me that today’s women’s magazines view me as nothing more than a prostitute looking for a guide of how-tos and contraceptive ads. The art of being a girl is so much more than that!

I feel strong and powerful in a great outfit that fits well and is a good color for me. Add a killer handbag and some stilettos and, baby, there is no stopping me! So I’m going to give the fashion magazines the benefit of the doubt and say that maybe their message is that I should feel strong and powerful without any clothes? The problem with that is, well, aren’t they supposed to be selling clothing? That has to be the message of the four-foot boobs in the Victoria’s Secret windows at the mall, right? But I could be wrong.

So here are some great choices for girls who just want to have fun and look good—not naked. First, what is your style? Artsy? Business? Casual? Active? Second, know your body type and run with it. (The muumuu, or the maxi dress as Hollywood is calling it, looks a little different on us than it does on Angelina Jolie. Just FYI.)

We all know styles change, and what is contemporary doesn’t necessarily look good on everyone. Keep that in mind as you find comfortable clothing for yourself. Some general rules of thumb: If you’re big in the waist, look for empire waistlines to bring the eye up, creating the illusion of an hourglass shape. If you’re big in the hips and bum, go for straight lines in your pants. Even a flare can help keep your leg lines looking long and lean!

Invest in a few good classic pieces, then add accessories and colors that come into fashion. This saves your having to change your entire wardrobe. Do you shop where you find appealing styles and the clothing fits you well? That’s always a good place to start.

If you still want to read about fashion and get more guidance, following are a few magazines that mostly focus on what’s in without letting it all hang out.

InStyle is a great choice for what’s coming out in the fashion world for real women in the real world.

Lucky tends to focus on what’s in style and some of the better pieces to invest in for the season. More and Oprah tend to be hit and miss.

The important thing is to know your style and work with it. You don’t have to believe what the world says—that you are nothing more than the sum total of your parts. Feeling good about yourself is a great sensation, just make sure it starts with God on the inside, and you’re set.
The Trophy Wives Club, Christy Finalist: Lit Category
Back to Life, Avon Inspire, September 2008
Beneath the Surface, Tyndale House Publishers, Fall 2009

She's Out Of Control