David Ball – For The Record

Artist Salvador Dali said, “Have no fear of perfection- you’ll never reach it.”

The Rev. Evan Dolive of Orange must have had the same idea when he wrote his book, “Seeking Imperfection: Body Image, Marketing, and God.” Dolive is a minister in the Disciples of Christ denomination and serves as a chaplain at Christus St. Ellizabeth Hospital.

“It’s about being okay with our imperfections and the recognition society says we have to be perfect,” he said.

Dolive has been working on the book for nearly a year and writing it for seven months. Currently, he’s been working with his publisher, Pilgrim Press.

The inspiration for the book, however, started two years ago after Dolive sent a letter to Victoria’s Secret about them targeting a younger demographic  for Spring Break. The letter on Dolive’s blog went viral with nearly four million hits. He appeared on CNN’s HLN and he was interviewed by local Houston media.

The topic fostered a conversation about corporations not viewing girls as objects, but as human beings.

“The letter came out of his desire to instill in his own daughter that love, care, and acceptance should not be based on articles of clothing,” according to the publishers’ website. “The letter was a catalyst for conversations about body image, marketing, and how the church could affect change and confidence in people of all ages.”

“The Bible never uses someone who is perfect except for Jesus. In church, we are told we are made in the image of God and He loves us the way we are and we don’t have to look like a celebrity,” he said.

He told people about the book and they liked the idea. Dolive said it’s an important issue and it runs the theological spectrum because we are created in the image of God.

“You can’t please everybody, but the vast majority of Christians agree that society is promoting issues and stereotypes. This is relevant to the 21st Century and speaks to issues plaguing society,” he said.

Though the book is for all ages, it is written more for a young adult audience as a conversation starter.

To prepare for the book Dolive did some online research, read different studies in scientific journals and spoke with different youth ministers and parents on how they see their own children. From there, he formulated and structured the book.

“This is a book from both a male and a female perspective,” he said. “It’s not a condemning book; it’s about opening up like the curtain being drawn in the Wizard of Oz.

“It’s just as much on the male side. I’ve never wanted to make girls feel bad for wearing skimpy clothes. It’s about what it says to be a follower of Christ,” he said.

Dolive bounced some ideas of his wife, Miranda, while writing the book, but he didn’t want her to feel as if she had to be the co-author.

“She was very supportive,” he said.

Dolive admitted he’s already thinking about ideas for his next book and writing is addictive.

“Writing is like being bit by a bug,” he said.

“Seeking Imperfection: Body Image, Marketing, and God” can be pre-ordered on either http://evandolive.com or on http://bit.ly/seekingimperfection at Pilgrim Press. By the way, Dolive said Pilgrim Press, the publishing arm of the United Church of Christ denomination, was the publisher of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s first book, “The Measure of a Man.”

It will be available after the pre-order period on August 7.

He added he’s willing to speak about his book to groups anywhere. He may be contacted through http://evandolive.com