A new book by the radio and TV host Teresa Tomeo encourages women to undergo a “cultural detoxification” and reject the messages in today’s culture that enslave them.
In a Sept. 27 interview with EWTN News, Tomeo said that she hopes the book will help combat “messages that we’ve been told through the media about how we’re supposed to live our lives according to the world.”
Tomeo, who co-hosts “The Catholic View for Women” on EWTN, is also now the author of “Extreme Makeover: Women Transformed by Christ, not Conformed to the Culture,” (Ignatius Press, $21.95) which is scheduled to be released on Oct. 7.
“I started to notice that there was a trend in a lot of the problems in the media, and a lot of the negative messages being targeted towards women,” Tomeo said.
She explained that “Extreme Makeover” is meant to expose the ways in which women are objectified by modern culture.
The book is “filled with spiritual direction for women,” as well as practical tips on how “to engage the culture and get involved.”
Among the issues dealt with in “Extreme Makeover” are radical feminism, abortion and contraception.
“We’re putting it out there that it’s the answer to all of our ills, this idea that we can just do what we want sexually without any consequences,” Tomeo said.
“Women are more objectified than ever before,” she said. “When you take sexuality out of where God meant it to be, all kinds of problems happen.”
Tomeo said that she wants to reach out to devout Catholics with her book, “to encourage and affirm them.”
“I also want to reach the women in the pews who are going to Mass but are not really connecting with everything the Church is offering.”
“And I want to reach fallen-away Catholic women, so they can come back to the Church and fully embrace it,” she added.
Tomeo said that her own eyes were first opened to the truths of the Church after she had done everything that the world told her to do in order to be happy.
“And I was miserable,” she said.
Tomeo said that she realized she needed God to truly make her happy.
Now, she hopes that her new book will help other women reach the same realization.
Much of the problem, she believes, is a lack of education.
“For so many years we had either abysmal or absolutely no catechesis, and so we didn’t know what the Church taught or why she taught it.”
While Tomeo said that she is seeing improvement in this area, she also believes there is still “an uphill battle” with “a lot of work to do” in teaching women about their true dignity.
Women “may have heard it once in a while, but they’re not hearing it enough,” she said.
Tomeo said that there is a great need for women to hear the truth of their value as daughters of God in a culture that is constantly telling them to focus on their immediate desires.
“We get into this cycle where we rely on these things and that becomes our way of life, and it’s very hard to break out of that.”
One of the biggest problems with today’s culture, Tomeo said, is that the continual objectification of women comes to seem like the norm, and women do not even realize that they are being attacked, thinking instead that they are being liberated.
“Even if you start feeling objectified, you may feel strangely that you’re the only one who feels that way,” she said.
The solution for women feeling attacked is a “cultural detoxification.” Once women realize that they have been victimized rather than freed, their eyes are opened, she said.
Ultimately, Tomeo explained, the solution lies in knowing and living the truths that the Church proclaims.
“First and foremost, we have to be serious about our faith,” she said.
Despite the darkness of the culture, Tomeo said she sees causes for encouragement.
She called the Catholic Church “a huge bright spot” in her life and said that she is continually impressed when she sees young people who are eager to live out their faith.
“The young people are the ones that are just amazing me,” she said.
Tomeo explained that if women learn to put Christ first in their lives, they will be able to live in the world while still following God’s plan for them.
“If he is first in your life, I think the rest of it comes naturally,” she said.
She acknowledged that “you may feel like you sometimes have three heads because of what you believe,” but said that the best approach to take is “to know your faith, to have confidence in God and in who you are in Christ, and you take one day at a time.”
“It’s all about truly being yourself, and there is no place to better be yourself than within the Catholic Church,” she said.