Arnold Schwarzenegger and Maria Shriver's daughter Katherine may only be 20 years old and a college student, but she is already a published author on a subject about which she is passionate: body image. Just because she is the daughter of famous parents, Katherine says she is no different than other girls who experience insecurities growing up. Now, she has written Rock What You’ve Got, which tackles the issues of self-esteem and body image, in order to help middle and high school girls know that they are not alone.
ET: What was the inspiration for the book?
Katherine Schwarzenegger: I think every young girl is my inspiration for writing this book. I was in high school and I had times of being self-conscious and insecure about my appearance. I know how that felt. I have a lot of young girls in my life and I was able to see how much pressure they are under to look a certain way. I wanted to write this book to let them know that it is normal to have these feelings and to share my experiences with them. To let them know they are not alone. They are going to be fine.
ET: Did having famous parents help or hurt your body image?
Katherine Schwarzenegger: I don't think it had an impact on me. My parents are amazing parents. They still are today. My parents did a great job of keeping me and my siblings out of the public eye. It was important to them that we had a really normal childhood. I was just like every other girl and was self-conscious about my body.
ET: How did you research the book?
Katherine Schwarzenegger: I did surveys that I gave out to all the women in my life, and Dove® has their campaign for real beauty and also the Dove movement. I got a lot of statistics from them. Also, I am lucky to still be working with them as their ambassador for Youth for Self-Esteem. They have this event this weekend, which is a self-esteem weekend.
ET: So you are urging young girls to rock what they've got. Are you 100 percent there, or do you ever have to sit down and do the like and dislike list that your mom first had you do?
Katherine Schwarzenegger: I think that is an amazing exercise and one that is great for every woman of every age. You should do it at least once in your lifetime. I have to wake up every morning and make the decision to either think positive or negative things about my body. Body image is something that stays with you throughout your entire life, so you need to make the decision to think about it every day.
ET: What reaction are you getting from young girls?
Katherine Schwarzenegger: It has been really fun. I have spoken at a couple of all-girl schools and book signings. I get such a wide range of ages coming to get this book. It is so nice to talk to them about the pressures they are feeling and how they are so happy to have this book to refer to so they don't get all crazy in high school.
ET: What message do you want to get out to young girls, and is it important for parents to read the book also?
Katherine Schwarzenegger: I think it is important for parents to read the book, especially mothers. I have a ton in there that is for moms only because I talk about how important it is to have a great relationship between mother and daughter. It is the key relationship for young girls in middle and high school. I think this book is a great way to have a conversation starter between mother and daughter and talk about things. I think a father's role is key in young girls' lives, as well. I talk about that in the entire book.
ET: What is next for you?
Katherine Schwarzenegger: I don't really know what I am going to do next. I am going to graduate college first and take opportunities as they come my way.
Rock What You've Got is available now in bookstores.