BOOK NOOK: ‘I’m too Pretty to Be Broke’ boldly tackles lies women tell themselves

Tuesday September 12 2017

The cover of I’m too Pretty to Be Broke and

The cover of I’m too Pretty to Be Broke and Other Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself. PHOTO| COURTESY 

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BOOK TITLE: I’m too Pretty to Be Broke and Other Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself

AUTHOR:Joan Thatiah

REVIEWED BY:Benson Mwangi

PUBLISHER: Self-published

YEAR : 2017


If you are tempted to think Joan Thatiah’s I’m Too Pretty to Be Broke and Other Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself, like Years of Yest by Shonda Rhimes, makes a case about you starring in the show of your own life or seeks to reveal crucial adulthood skills most of us seems to know but hardly talk about as Kelly Williams Brown does in Adulting: How to Become a Grown-up in 468 Easy(ish) Steps, you have missed the point.   

I’m Too Pretty to Be Broke is a fresh breath of air, the unadulterated single dose of common sense so real it breaks down perceived and imagined walls women have hedged around themselves. Joan seems to write for ladies, only to aim so precisely that she takes every man with her as she infuses real-life anecdotes with bullets of truth perfectly aimed.  


I’m Too Pretty to Be Broke makes a case that we have allowed ourselves to be boggled down by a tonne of lies and half-truths some of which have dripped down from way back when we were children. It’s possible to live a lie all your life and accept hurt and rut as normal just because everyone says it is okay.

Joan brings down the curtains of misplaced notions about life that no woman should entertain. Who is a real woman? How far can a pretty face take you in life? Is female emancipation really served by women-only clubs? Does marriage really mean happiness? How logical is training a man to be the sufficient partner you want? Is there wisdom in living with the hope he will come round? Does a marriage certificate hold value anymore? Silent treatment, really? Ever felt the death of a relationship is a clear indication you are a total failure and a loser? Should you rethink loyalty to your job? Postpone investing until you are married? Do you need to do better than men? Do careers have to start from the bottom? How do you balance desire for entrepreneurship and quitting your job? Can you enjoy success in your job without letting it take all your time? Does being a stay at home mom mean you are an object of male and societal oppression?


Joan tackles 21 lies you have most likely been preaching to yourself in four parts. She allows you to look into yourself and start beholding your life and what you believe in as you go through each part. She brings every woman face to face with herself vis-à-vis the wisdom she holds to be true or spread as crystal truth. The beauty of  I’m Too Pretty to Be Broke and Other Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourself is probably in the ability of the author to coax you, without trying, to look self-reflect on about your soul, life, relationships, views and interaction with money, womanhood and motherhood. It’s like putting your life on a weighing scale and running troubleshooting tools to see how far you have deteriorated in different areas. Definitive introspective journey that takes you into yourself, the crux of what makes you who you are.


The author magnifies the fact that you are as good or otherwise as the advice and lies you have allowed to percolate into your life. She gives you the chance to stop, look back and see what you really are, what you have been doing wrong and what you could do about it. It’s done so matter-of-factly in an easy entrancing way it is like you are offering yourself advice that you deservedly require. The skilful writing makes you start questioning the methods of doing things you have employed in your journey of life in handling virtually everything that matters. Soon you begin to realise you can do better.

I’m Too Pretty to Be Broke and Other Lies You’ve Been Telling Yourselfis like a compass of personal salvation you probably have been yearning for even without knowing it. You get an encouraged epiphany that you can drop the weight holding you back. Only an excursion into yourself does that.  

A man reading I’m Too Pretty to Be Broke, at first with tinted male monocles, will easily discern two parts that stand out. part two on “You and Him” and three on  “You and Money” hit so hard and trenchantly in the right places you have to stop reading and ponder your life. Complaints men make about their wives and girlfriends are hit hard in a fresh and ingenious way. The brother will conclude Joan Thatiah’s deconstruction of the lies women tell themselves is a gambit whose aim is to put a smile and joy in the heart of the male kind. And it works.


Like the age-old Lemuel whose mother wrote the wisdom of the ages on the kind of woman he should take for a wife, the words of wisdom of a mother to her son that women borrowed and cogently made their own from Proverbs 31, I’m Too Pretty to Be Broke is a book men will beg their women to read.

Joan’s book reads like the secret formula men need to employ and shorten the journey to the ‘perfect’ woman. Impeccable date night read to pour into together and discuss the lies debunked and the truth illuminated. Very few demystified lies are really woman-only. Most cut across genders.   

Joan’s book is the kind of read every parent, especially the African father, would love to put in the hands of their daughters as they throw them in the supersonic lane of life, just before they get out and face the trolls of this world lurking behind every tree. Arguably one of the few gifts to women by men with expected positive outcomes of life and relationship-transforming proportions.

This is the author’s second book after Things I Will Tell My Daughter(2016)


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