This hurts to speak about…(Writing something new)

Hey guys!  I’m baaaackkkk! 🙂

Today, I want to tell you guys about something that is hard for me to talk about.  Don’t worry.  I’m not quitting life or writing.  This is something that happened to me as a kid/high schooler.

Body image issues are something that kids, specifically girls, have to deal with.  We need to feel like we’re beautiful and attractive, but the chances are, no matter our weight, height, or size, we don’t.  There is this crazy thing where magazines and the movie industry try to make us feel like we have to be the size of a stick just to be pretty and popular.

See, I’m twenty-six, and I still deal with issues like this, but I remember it was 10x worse as a high schooler and even younger.  I remember walking down the hallway in elementary school once, and a bunch of older kids saw me, started pointing and making fun of me.  I was a heavier kid, and I’ve had weight issues my entire life.  I’m not skinny now.  I’m working on it, and it’s a slow go.  But, I’m still working.

But, I have this immense displeasure for the bullying that goes on because someone isn’t a size zero.  It drives me crazy when kids who are a size two feel the need to be a size zero.  And, they don’t even realize they do this, but they make girls who have a hard time losing weight feel worse about their situation.

This is running rampant in America.  I’m not sure about other countries, but I know that body image issues hit most teenage girls in America.

It took me a while to realize that I’m beautiful in my own skin, for my personality, etc, and I want to share that with others.  It’s not easy to come to terms with who you are as a person.  I struggled for years, and still do, to be beautiful.  To hope that someone would find me beautiful despite my weight.

It happened.  I have guy friends who aren’t disgusted by the size of a heavier woman, but they embrace it.  (And prefer it actually.)  But, it’s not always the case.  And it breaks my heart.

Can’t we all see the beauty in people who aren’t models or actors or look like them?

Well, I say all of that to say this, I’m working on a new novel that is breaking my heart to write, but it must be written.  It’s God-anointed, and I have no choice BUT to write it.  So, I’m giving you a tid-bit of insight into it.

Madison Andrews is a heavy girl.  In fact, here’s her opening paragraph.  (Remember, it’s unedited.)

I’m the girl that my friends would throw into a pack of zombies if it meant they could stay alive longer.  Well, they really wouldn’t have to throw me into the zombies.  I’d probably just lag behind.  See, I’m not too thin, and I’m not too pretty.  I’m just me, Madison Andrews, a sixteen year old chubby girl from Nowheresville, Mississippi.

This breaks my heart, because I know how she feels.  I know how hard it is to look at yourself in the mirror and see someone who is too fat and too ugly to be loved.

It’s hard for me to broach this issue because it’s making me release these deep emotions that I have buried and never wanted to accept again.  Madison, in some part, is me, and it’s hard to write about someone who feels the way I felt.

Not many people knew how I felt.  I put on a brave face and kept my hurt inside.  Which wasn’t healthy.  Eventually, it all came out, and it wasn’t pretty.  It took a lot of prayer, and God showing me that I’m beautiful because He made me to feel better.  But even now, it’s still hard to wrap my head around sometimes.

If it wasn’t for a good friend of mine shoving how beautiful I really was down my throat on top of that other, I might still be having these issues.

So, anyway, I have this whole spiel just to say that I’m writing something new, something that is dear to my heart, to help teenagers who might be feeling this way.  I want people to know that they are loved for who they are, not the weight on the scale.  And it’s a deeper fight than we can ever imagine.

So, this story will have a twist.  I’m not ready to reveal that yet because it will ruin the entire novel (or novella, I haven’t decided on length yet).   My prayer is that it touches lives and changes them because this hurts, it hurts deep and a long time.

My novels, up to this point, have solely been entertaining and suspense-filled.  I haven’t put much thought into meaning and reaching kids emotionally because sometimes, it’s a nice escape from realism to read a book that is just entertaining.  But, like I said, this has to be written, and I think it’s important to touch on issues that make people think.  I don’t want just overweight kids to read this.  I want ALL girls  to read this novel when the time comes and see just how it feels, to embrace it, to feel the hurt of someone going through this, and if they’re the ones hurting, to find that release of hurt and find hope.

 

47 thoughts on “This hurts to speak about…(Writing something new)

  1. Dear Emerald,

    Let me start by saying you are Beautiful and thank for writing this post.

    I know as you mentioned this was not easy but had to be told. I know God most definitely anointed you to write this.

    I have also struggled with weight issues and I am so tired of people trying to lecture me about how I need to lose weight because I am not looking the way society and the ads on tv and social media want us to look.

    I am so proud of you my friend.

    I am sorry you have dealt with so much hurt because of this . I am also very excited to read your novel and that you are sharing Madison story with all of your readers.

    I know Madison will be relatable because you made this personal and this story needs to be told.

    There are so many young women out there who have felt like you. I myself am older and I still struggle with the insecurities of when I was young.

    Words can cut deep when someone makes fun of you. However I am fortunate to have someone who loves me just the way I am. I know that you will find that special someone because you are beautiful inside and out.

    You made me cry and I know this was not easy but again I wanted to say Thanks and know you are not alone.

    Syl Stein

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    1. Syl,

      I’m so sorry that you cried! But I’m also very thankful that it touched your heart. That was my intentions this whole time. Just to reach someone.

      I really hate that you cried though! Hugs!

      Thank you so much! And you too are beautiful inside and out! Everyone who has commented is!

      Like

      1. Dear Emerald,

        Oh no worries- my friend- I cried because as you said you wanted to touch our hearts and you did.

        Oh do not worry! I appreciate all your kind words and I am so glad you were so brave to talk about something so personal.

        You are truly beautiful and inspirational my friend!

        God bless you! Hugs! xoxoxoxo

        Syl

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  2. Emerald, this as beautifully written and I know the Novel/Novella will be too. There are a lot of lives you will be able to reach with this story. Jesus will heal through you and this story you are writing. If He had not set your path the way He did (you living through this experience) you wouldn’t be able to write it as vivid and with as much validity. There is purpose in every thing God does, including our suffering. Remember that when you feel the burn of hurtful words and hurtful memories. And by the way, You are very beautiful!!! Inside and out!!!
    Lynn

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    1. Aww, Lynn, thank you! I appreciate all of this so much, and you’re right. It’s been difficult writing this since my story shifted gears so quickly into this. It was never meant to be this, but in prayer one night, God revealed this to me. Ever since then, I couldn’t not write it this way. The story works so much better, and it gives Him all the glory.

      And you too, are a beautiful woman, Lynn!

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  3. Emerald,
    I was Madison Andrews as well. I have never been the skinny girl and am tired of being told to loose weight so that I fit into that societal mold. This what I have learned on my journey I am beautiful just the way I am if I choose to get healthier that is my choice but, I fit perfectly in my mold. Thank you for writing this story and your book. I hope beyond all hope that you can reach through and get some of these people to listen. By the way, you are beautiful inside and out. You have the most beautiful spirit. Thank you again.
    Tammy Hall

    Like

  4. Precarious Yates

    Emerald,
    It’s those stories that come from deep within us that resonate superbly and far beyond ourselves. It’s this kind of fearless writing that will stand the test of time. I not only commend you, I will be praying for you, since I know how difficult it can be to write from the depths in this way. Thank you for being willing to be this honest.

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    1. Thank you. I definitely can use all the prayers I can get. I’m already feeling resistance in writing this. I’m scared, and I don’t need to be. I cannot tell you how glad that makes me feel to have someone backing me through prayer. Thanks again!

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  5. Emerald, let me know when this book is out. This is a story I really want to read. I’m fat and have been all my life, so I know all about the teasing and what not especially in school. None of the kids would play with me because I was fat. I was called ugly as well. This was all before 6th grade. Even after I lost weight, I was down to a size 12/13. I was still called fat in high school. I’m at my heaviest now, but I’m trying to lose weight.

    It annoys me that all these YA novels (and adult novels) all tend to have a skinny main character. And if the character is “fat”, she’s usually about a size 12 or so. I’d like to see a bigger main character.

    Anyway, thank you for sharing your story =)

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    1. I’ll definitely let you know! I’m shooting for a release date for next year, hopefully early next year.

      It’s hard. I’ve always been over that size you mentioned, and it’s been hard for me to get smaller than that.

      It annoys me too that characters tend to stay on the skinny side. But, I’m bad about writing them that way too. I don’t know why, but maybe I was letting peer pressure get to me. Or, I was living vicariously through my characters. Anyway, thank you for sharing your story. It’s hard to talk about, I know.

      You are beautiful! 🙂

      Like

  6. Melissa Foster (@Melissa_Foster)

    Emmie, you dear, lovely woman, those who judge on what they see miss the most important aspects of who a person is. I never realized my ex husband was bald until someone mentioned it to me. Looks shmooks. Blessed are those that embrace us for who we are. Beauty exudes from within, and girlfriend, you SHINE! Love to you my dear – this must have been painful to write. You’re a brave woman and I’m proud to call you my friend. xox

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    1. I agree. Inner beauty is all that matters, but people judge based upon looks. And, it does bad things to those around them. I’m not sure if they don’t realize it or if they just don’t care. Either way breaks my heart.

      Thank you! And you shine as well! Love you so much! xxx

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  7. Dear Emerald,

    We met on FB about author blogs and websites. I’m very glad to have found you. My writer community has grown once again by another amazing author.

    This is a beautiful post. I was one of those tiny girls – metabolism of a giant – but I had sisters who were ridden pretty hard for being size 8’s in high school. It was at home, too. It was meant well but too much emphasis was placed on weight. I’m receiving those digs now. I’m nearly forty and I’ve softened up (my husband says, looking at pictures of me in my 20’s, that he prefers me with some meat). I don’t care what my weight is as long as I’m toned, have good cardio, and move a little every day. But I hear, “you’re getting fat!” “What’s wrong with your stomach!?!” and it gets under my skin. I’m having serious body issues and it’s beyond ridiculous!

    And for the record, elementary and junior high were the most miserable times of my life, too. I was bullied, scorned for not wearing the right clothes. I was skinny and still lonely. High school was better only because of the disdain I had for my peers. They couldn’t touch me because I thought so little of them. Apparently, I was a little scary. It makes me smile.

    That’s not what I came to write, though. LOL. In my first novel, I made my heroine heavier. She’s a size 12. OMG A SIZE 12! And she has zero self confidence. A reviewer hated how much Whitney waffled about everything. That made me sad because she’s a great girl, my Whitney – but confidence was hard to come by. She finds it in Strong Enough.

    I wrote her because I have friends and family who were beaten down for their weight. A friend’s mother put her on diet pills in junior freaking high. Talk about telling your daughter she’s not good enough. And she was active – she was just a bigger girl. I wanted a protagonist who they would know. Thanks to Jenn Weiner for her novels that helped lead the way!

    It’s sad. I’m tired of stereotypes but they abound in literature as short cuts for minor characters. So we must elevate the main characters past ideal. We need to make them flawed and beautiful for it.

    I adore your unedited opening. I know that girl. I love her self-effacing sarcasm because it’s real. And I laughed. I sad little laugh but I can tell that this girl has wit and it’s going to be a strength.

    Cheers,
    Ellen

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  8. M. Joy

    Good luck in writing this story. I think that it will be great. Know that boys actually have somewhat of the same feelings as girls as normally at a young age, girls are only interested in the good looking young boys. Although you are writing for teenage girls, boys would be able to relate to the story.

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  9. Thank you for writing this. My weight has fluctuated since I was a kid. I am only 5’3 and was really active as a teenager but never really was thin. I played basketball, ran track but I was still a size 14. Then when college came I gained a bunch of weight and then I would lose some of it, Gain, lose, gain, lose. Now I am taking my life back and just getting healthy. I don’t care about being thin, I care about my health. I just want to feel good. As a teen my friends were all thinner than me. I got made fun of a few times but I was blessed with a quick wit and and usually made a joke and they went away. I got my feeling hurt on more than one occasion though. Humor was my defense mechanism. Just remember you ROCK! No matter your size, You are Beautiful. =) *hugs*

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  10. So glad you wrote this blog, Emerald. I remember how cruel kids were when I was growing up and I truly believe growing up in today’s world is even harder for those that aren’t “perfect”—from weight issues, to being unpopular, to not wearing the correct clothes—so many children and teenagers have low self-esteem with their appearance, body, and emotions. It breaks my heart to see this and to read that children/teenagers resort to cutting, suicide, avoiding school and have to endure so much. Thank you for sharing your experience and for writing a book about this topic. I am sure that it will help a lot of people. Hugs to you. You are a beautiful and kind soul. Never forget that❤ —Joni Lynn

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    1. Thank you so very much! It is difficult, and the only reason I’m focusing on weight is because I lived it. I wasn’t popular, but I wasn’t unpopular either. So, that really wasn’t something I had to deal with. But still, I was looked down upon, and still am to some degree. Anyway, thank you again! It means a lot to me that you commented on my blog!

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  11. Hi Emerald, (I love your name, by the way.)

    I found the link for this blog post through a Facebook post by Mishael Austin Witty. I’m so glad she posted it. Even though I’m almost 50, my heart is stirred by what so many youth face these days. I also have weight issues, but I don’t remember dealing with that so much in my school years. Maybe it’s because I was always picked on for being short (4′ 10″ is the tallest I ever got), or maybe it’s because I was such an emotional wreck from a severely dysfunctional homelife, but I remember getting slim by high school and still feeling like a total outcast. I will be interested to see what inner strengths will help Madison through her outer struggles.

    Also, in case you want to find some other perspectives on beauty and size just for filler (in case you decide on novel length over novella), Lisa Bevere has a couple interesting books on weight (The True Measure of a Woman and You Are Not What You Weigh), and I’ve found some great inspiration in “Made to Crave” by Lisa TerKeurst. The latter is more about turning our food cravings into deeper cravings for God, so it changes the perspectives of dieting completely.

    Thanks again for the post, and may you find many blessings as you write, edit, and publish this much-needed book.

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      1. And thank you for liking my author page. I’ve been working on other people’s pages, but I hope to get back to mine soon. I hope you like my editor poem too.😉 Feel free to send me a friend request to my crystalwriter page. Also, let me know if you have an author page to follow back.

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  12. Thanks for sharing, Emerald. I think body issues are something we, us women, deal with all around the world. The magazines, the TV shows with all the perfect looking skinny women make the rest of feel crap. When will it stop? I don’t know. What’s worse is that a lot of the time, it’s women making other women feel bad. Pick up any celebrity gossip magazine and it’s female journalists pointing out with glee a women’s stomach in a bikini that isn’t quite flat, giving us tips on how to slim down after having a baby…

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    1. You’re right. Girls are almost worse than men about making others feel bad about their weight, looks, etc. It needs to stop, but I have a feeling it won’t. My voice might not do anything about it, but I’m hoping and praying it will.

      Thank you!

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  13. Oh thanks for sharing! I LOVE writers (and people, really) who are real and open. I struggle with weight issues, too. It’s not so bad anymore now that I’m out of high-school (turned 26 today), but I remember those days of feeling like the most disgusting and unwanted girl in school. I have an in-law that is always posting some really derogatory things on facebook and the other day he asked something like this “If you could rate your looks from on a scale of 1-10, what you rate it?” I don’t know that he intended to hurt anyone with this question as he was genuinely curious, but I quickly responded, “11.” just because the rest of the world would put me at a 2 or 3 doesn’t mean that I have to believe. Sure, I still want to lose weight and am actively working on adjusting my lifestyle, but that doesn’t mean I’m not attractive right now. If I want to wear cute cloths and go out, by golly I will. I hope that many young girls will read your post and know that they aren’t alone and that it does get better, even if you don’t lose weight.

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    1. Thank you! I hope that someone can find solace, peace, and hope through my words. It really is my goal. I’m not doing this for glory or honor. Just to simply show people that they aren’t alone.

      I’m so glad that you said “11” when prompted because we’re all 11s on a scale from 1-10. 🙂

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  14. Emmie, you are definitely beautiful because God made you. I applaud you to write something that comes from deep within your heart. I will be praying for you because I know how hard it is to write something that touches so close to home. Thanks for being brave enough to share your trials and I know it will help many many people.

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  15. Thanks for sharing the blog post! I loved Madison’s opening paragraph. I can’t wait to read the whole story! This is such an important issue, and you are very courageous to tackle something so personal. Write on!

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  16. Emmie, my dearest friend, you are the sweetest person I know yet, I understand where you’re coming from. I was picked on in high school (for being too skinny!!!!) and it took me a long time to get over my insecurities. I still struggle with it some days, but I’m no where near that shy, insecure girl I used to be. I LOVE that you’re writing about a topic near and dear to your heart, and I truly believe someone out there will benefit from it greatly. You are a confident, beautiful young woman, inside and out, and I know your next book will shine as brightly as you do. Love you much, girl!!❤

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    1. Aww. Thanks, Amy! See, it’s just not larger people getting made fun of! It should stop. We’re all beautiful, individual persons. We shouldn’t get made fun of for being different. People can be so cruel, and it’s a fight. A fight that shouldn’t have to be fought.

      Thank you again! I love you too!❤

      Like

  17. Heather Toppert

    I can not wait to read this! You are going to stike a chord with a lot of young women and teen girls. I just hope that they actually listen to you in your spiritual strength and learn from you! Thank you!

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  18. Oh Emmie, you are deeply beautiful in so many ways! I’m so glad you are writing this book. Sometimes the most painful things to write are also the most important. I know it will help a lot of girls and women stop judging themselves so harshly (and hopefully others, too.) Wishing you Godspeed in the writing of the book. I know it will be very special, just like you are. xoxo

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  19. I remember I saw a magazine once on a newsstand, and the cover was of an actress or singer (I have no memory of who it was), and how she was really packing on the pounds. The magazine next to it featured the same actress or singer, about how she was losing too much weight and she was too skinny. I wish I’d had a camera — I’d have taken a picture. Heavy girls get a lot of abuse, but skinny girls can get it, too. My ex-wife thought she was fat when I met her, and she weighed around 112 pounds at the time.

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      1. I’m not saying that thin women take the same amount and type of abuse that heavy women do (we are an increasingly fat society worshipping an increasingly thin “ideal”); I’m just saying that the entire game is rigged and it’s almost impossible to “win,” no matter what you look like. Among all the kerfuffle over Miley Cyrus at the VMAs, I saw at least two articles where doctors (with no evidence beyond what they’d seen on TV) said that they thought she had an eating disorder.

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  20. Pingback: Being an #author is hard! A dose of #inspiration | Emerald Barnes' Dreaming Awake Blog

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