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About the book and author

Any Woman Can!
How to Get a New Look and a New Life

by Sheila Grant

Paraview Press, Jan. 2002
ISBN: 1931044-33-3
Mind, Body, Spirit, 244 pages
Trade Paperback, $15.95

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I think I know who you are. I don’t know your name, of course, or where you live or exactly what you look like, but I am guessing:

You’re in your forties, fifties or sixties.

You are, perhaps, romantically unattached—never married (not through any wish of your own), divorced, or moving out of a relationship that has failed. Maybe you’ve been climbing a career ladder for years, putting everything else on the backburner, and you woke up one day to wonder if it was too late for romance, love and marriage. 

You are, perhaps, in a marriage or a relationship that’s wrong, maybe even terribly wrong. But the idea of leaving, of being on your own and alone, is terrifying. You may think you don’t have the courage or the strength to change and find something better, or you may think it’s just too late.

Possibly, you’re comfortably married and have been so for years, but those years have been filled with work, raising kids, maintaining a home, keeping the gears of a complicated life oiled and running. You—how you looked, how you felt about yourself, what you needed—came last on the list. And the years are showing now, in your body, your face. Your man is still looking youthful. You’re looking old.

You’re not happy with your appearance. Or, you absolutely hate the way you look. You really know you ought to get to work on yourself, you even know how you should do that—but you’re not doing it. 

You’re not happy with your life. But you think all your chances for a better one have come and gone. It’s just too late for you to change.

Am I right?

Now, the good news: You’ve got a hold of this book. The tide is about to turn!

Let me tell you a little about how this book came to be:

In 1990, I created Grant Image, a personal image consulting business—my pride and joy and life’s work—and since then I have successfully reimaged over five hundred women (and a fair number of men as well). I lead my client through all the steps she needs to look and feel her best, to dress appealingly, and to present herself with confidence and self-assurance. Time and time again, I have watched my clients begin to take charge of their lives in the most astounding ways. They go after jobs they previously believed were beyond their capabilities; they forge healthier, stronger relationships with the individuals in their lives; they essentially develop their personalities, much for the better.

A couple of years ago, a woman came to me for a consultation. She explained that she’d spent the last twenty years of her life building a business. It was a highly successful business, at that—she had recently sold her company for twenty-three million dollars! She was intelligent, hard-working and determined. Yet she was unhappy and desperately lonely. In her early forties, she hadn’t had a date in years. “I always had the attitude,” she said, “that this is me, successful and smart. People are going to like me no matter how I look.” Maybe people liked her, but men didn’t want to take her out and get to know her. She was thinking she should just give up on the idea of ever finding a husband; men, she said, just weren’t attracted to her.

I had to be honest with her: Understandably, they wouldn’t be! Overweight, frumpy, she looked ten years older than she was. Her hair was bushy and grew low on her forehead, she’d never worn makeup, and her smile revealed lots of gums and yellowish teeth. She dressed like a hippie. Working to achieve independence and success, acquiring more money than she knew what to do with, she hadn’t spent any time on herself in years! She had assumed that the right man would somehow, sooner or later, just show up. He hadn’t. 

By the end of our talk, she’d made a decision to change her life, starting that day. I assured her there was a lovely, attractive woman hiding under all that hair and sadness, dying to be set free. But if we were to be successful, she would have to trust me, and put the same kind of time and effort into her reimaging as she had put into her business. And so the process began. 

I helped her reimage herself from the top of her head to her toes. It took months, and relentless determination on her part to lose weight, and to accept and act on all the changes I recommended. Some she resented and protested, such as the suggestions to have her teeth laminated and her gums surgically raised (she did). Together we worked out the plan and I gave her some options. All she had to do was to act on them. None of it was easy. 

The remarkable next chapter: A year later, she was, indeed, a beautiful woman. Not only was she lovely to look at; she was, in fact, breathtaking! She moved and talked and interacted with people with a social ease and confidence she had never known. She was meeting men and dating and, she said, “having the time of my life!”

Her story—beginning with my reimaging program—was the subject of a front page article in the Wall Street Journal. Publishers wanted to hear more, and my client went on to write a book about her experiences. And I started to think, again, about something that had been in the back of my mind for years. It was time to write my own book about reimaging. I knew so much I wanted to share with other women, because the journey I’ve guided hundreds of clients through is a journey I first took myself. 

It’s a journey that has two parts: First, work hard to get yourself looking and feeling wonderful. Second, work hard to find your life’s partner.

When I was first thinking about what I wanted to say, I searched the bookstore shelves to see what else was available for women with the needs I hoped to address. And what I found was most interesting: An armful of books that tell you how to get a man. Yes! In just those words! There’s even one of the popular Idiot’s guidebooks devoted to dating, advising the reader on everything from how to flirt to when to call it quits. Quite a few of these books talk to the older woman; they offer the hopeful message, “love and marriage with the right man can be yours at age forty, fifty and more.” They are filled with advice about first dates, communicating, having (or not having) sex, and so on. And somewhere around page 150 is buried the suggestion that a woman searching for romance, love and marriage of course needs to “look good...present a pleasing, attractive appearance.”

I found another armful of books about looking great, putting your best image forward, losing weight, dressing in style, and so on and so on. And somewhere around page 150 of those books comes the suggestion that all this of course will increase your appeal to men. Or maybe that thought isn’t even mentioned at all: Just look great for yourself.

What I’m here to say is, the two go together! The woman who longs to find a terrific man, which is just what so many women I’ve come to know really do want, in their heart of hearts, must first look and feel like a terrific woman. This is my point of view, and this is how I’ve put together the book you’re about to read. I will show you how to reinvent your appearance, feel great about yourself, and find a healthy, happy relationship with the love of your life. If, however, a new man is not what you need, take your new self and go after your other lifelong dreams and goals. 

You can do it. Any woman can. 

So let’s begin!

Copyright Sheila Grant 2002


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