Ty Hunter's buoyant personality shines brightly in Makeover from Within, a combination of a memoir and a motivational pep talk, cowritten with Eila Mell and packed with color photos. Hunter originally gained fame for his attention-grabbing work styling Destiny's Child in 1999 and, later, for working as Beyonce's stylist when she became a solo artist. In 2012, a conversation with President Barack Obama convinced him to step back and look for new challenges. He designed shirts, fitness apparel and shoes for Foot Locker, created a clothing line for Hyundai and developed a phone case designed to provide perfectly lit selfies. He also found fulfillment in motivational speaking. Sprinkled throughout the book are encouraging "Ty's Takeaways," including: "There are no rehearsals for life, so live as if the spotlight is on you" and "Dark times give you what you need to become who you were meant to be."
Hunter reveals that his life wasn't always so upbeat. Despite the strong women in his life--his mother, grandmother and great-grandmother, who supported him as a Black, gay and sensitive young man--he was plagued for years by internalized homophobia. He survived a shooting at age 20, but it took several months before he could learn to walk again. His coming out was extremely messy. In his early 20s, he was dating both a man and a woman. His worlds collided when his girlfriend got pregnant and his boyfriend began blackmailing him when he chose to stay with the baby's mother. Although his life has been littered with setbacks, Hunter's winning optimism makes this a truly inspiring memoir. --Kevin Howell, independent reviewer and marketing consultant