I recently took a long, over-due beach trip with my family. And you know what that means – swimsuits. I have a suit. It’s a tankini with shorts and a tank top-like top, for those of you who don’t know what that is. If you’ve seen my newest release, Entertaining Angels, around, you’ll also know that I’m trying to promote a healthy body image in women–and men–who need it.
Do you know how hard that is when you’re an overweight woman who is seeing all these cute little women running around in bikinis? You feel worthless and fat and ugly. Well, I did anyway. But, you know what, I went out there in my swimsuit anyway. I went in the ocean and got rolled by a wave, and I felt like a beached whale some. But, I also realized something, if people thought that about me, they didn’t say it. So, they probably weren’t thinking anything about it. It was just in my head.
What I’m trying to say is that, even though I’m trying to get this across to everyone that they are beautiful, I’m still human, and it’s a daily struggle to feel beautiful and have a healthy body image of myself. It’s not easy to look in the mirror some days and see myself as beautiful. I have a friend who will not let me doubt myself. He’s much like Chase, and I didn’t even realize that I had used him as an inspiration while I was writing Chase! Still, we both talked about the similarities the other day, and it was uncanny! But, the point of that is to tell you that he still won’t let me talk down about myself. And it took him years, but he’s gotten in my head. When I doubt myself, I think about what he would say if I told him my thoughts. It helps, but I also have to learn how to love myself and find myself attractive. Self-confidence is everything, and I was seriously lacking in that. I’m slowly gaining it, but I’m gladly gaining it.
That’s why I’ve written Entertaining Angels. I realize that not everyone has a Chase to tell them how beautiful they are. So, I want to them to come to that conclusion on their own. Much like I’m working on myself. I want my book to do that for them too. I want people to see just how beautiful they are, and how much God loves them for who they are. Yes, this is a Christian novel, but it’s also a novel about self-esteem issues that even non-Christians have said was a beautiful reminder about learning to love oneself.
So, although I’m working on loving myself in a swimsuit and trying not to judge myself based on what others look like, I also hope that other women out there are doing the same thing. I hope that they’ve maybe read what I had to say in Entertaining Angels and are applying it to themselves. I hope they truly learn to love themselves. I don’t care if I never sell another book. I just want women–and especially teenage girls–to see that THEY ARE BEAUTIFUL JUST THE WAY THEY ARE!