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Interview with Shannon Bradley-Colleary, author of Into the Child

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Tell us about Into the Child: “40 Weeks In The Gestational Wilderness”

I wrote this book while pregnant with my second child and caring for a resentful toddler. It’s chock full of water boarding (my husband to get the truth about how fat he thought my ass was), mendacity (telling my toddler I won’t love the new baby as much as her), torture (suffering bouts of gas and the subsequent cannon-fire that was issued from various orifices, causing PTSD in anyone living within a one-mile radius) and rapacious gluttony (wherein should you trip and fall in my house you might be doused with Cool Whip and eaten).

What genre is it?
Humor and BDSM.

What kind of readers will it appeal to?
Women, pregnant or not.  It might cause men’s testicles to retract into their stomachs, however some fathers may enjoy it.

Complete this sentence for us: If you like_____________ , you’ll love Into the Child
Operating Instructions by Anne Lamott.

What’s the best thing and the worst thing about being pregnant?
The best thing about being pregnant is having an excuse to eat an entire chocolate silk pie from the Apple Pan on Pico Blvd. with impunity.  The worst thing about being pregnant, for me, was how incredibly luxuriant my lady-stache became.  I looked like Tom Selleck only shorter.  And without the dimple.

Many pregnancy books can be overly earnest. How is yours different?
I drive Earnest out to 29 Palms, shoot it full of holes and bury it in a shallow desert grave.

You were in the news for posing again for nude photos, the same way you had done in your twenties. Tell us about it, why you did it and the reaction you received.
I’ve never been happy with my body and I suspect that’s the case for most women and girls.  The imagery that’s out there is insidious and damaging to the female psyche.  It tells us there’s only one type of beauty, the young anorexic.

Suffering from self-criticism, I took the nudes when I was 27 to see what I really looked like and was astonished at how happy they made me.  Twenty years, two kids and twenty pounds later I found myself wallowing again in body dysmorphic disorder and dissatisfaction.  I took the second set of nudes expecting to be pleasantly surprised as I was the last time.  Sadly this was not to be.

I thought that I looked like one of the pudgier zombies from Night of The Living Dead.  It took me several days to admit that one or two of the photos weren’t that bad.  Months later I see, in the more flattering photos, the beauty in my older, fuller body.

I posted my story because I have two daughters and hope they won’t be as critical of themselves as I was on myself.  I wanted to shed some light on how hard we are on ourselves and to encourage other girls and women to enjoy their current incarnation.

I’m currently in love with Lena Dunham because she’s politicized her body by romping about nude in almost every episode of Girls.  She seems comfortable and sexy with a body that isn’t considered the ideal by today’s standards.  She daringly, charmingly demonstrates that there are many different ways of being beautiful and we should embrace that which is uniquely ours.

Tell us about The Woman Formerly Known As Beautiful.
I coined the phrase “The Woman Formerly Known as Beautiful” when I was 7-months pregnant standing in line at the meat counter at Bristol Farms in Beverly Hills.  Five butchers (count ‘em…five!) were helping a young, non-pregnant Pussycat Doll select a pound of cackle while I festered swollenly nearby trying to order one freaking carne asada!

Eventually I passed out from hypoglycemia due to LACK OF RED MEAT and when the paramedics came they forgot to collect my 50-lbs.-up limp form off the ground because they were too busy helping the Pussycat Doll carry her boneless, skinless chicken cutlets to her car.

My blog is about aging not-so-gracefully (my brow-lift), staying in love with my husband (making him pretend not to know me in a bar), raising my kids (which is occasionally the Siege of Leningrad) and keeping my ego at bay.  (Because I’m awesome, I suck, I’m awesome, I suck – Fie!  Fie!  You damned pendulum!!)

Where else can we find your work on the internet? And how can we follow you on social media?
I often blog for The Huffington Post, Aiming Low and MomsLa.  You can follow me on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/TheWomanFormerlyKnownAsBeautiful or on Twitter @WifeDominatrix.

Tell us a bit more about yourself.
I’m a former Wacktress (waiter/actress), a sometimes employed-screenwriter, a committed friend, wife and mother and I read 50 Shades of Grey, but tried not to like it.

What’s next?
I’m currently writing a memoir based on my years as a struggling actress tentatively titled, Tales From The Edge of Celebrity.

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Enjoyed this interview? Then check out our conversation with Louise Hamilton.

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