Jeff O'Handley, Author

Jeff O'Handley

The Doubting Writer Finds His Voice


Today I abdicate to Offbeat Mama. Not because I don’t have anything prepared, but because this particular shiny caught my eye and had to be shared. A link appeared on The Magpie’s Facebook page Wednesday night, a gift from her high school English teacher of the last two years (an amazing teacher who did much for Magpie’s confidence and growth in that time). I followed the link and thought, “That was…lovely.” Lovely is not a word that rolls easily from my fingers or tongue, yet it absolutely fits. Here’s a snippet:

I don’t want my girls to be children who are perfect and then, when they start to feel like women, they remember how I thought of myself as ugly and so they will be ugly too. They will get older and their breasts will lose their shape and they will hate their bodies, because that’s what women do. That’s what mommy did. I want them to become women who remember me modeling impossible beauty. Modeling beauty in the face of a mean world, a scary world, a world where we don’t know what to make of ourselves.

 “Look at me, girls!” I say to them. “Look at how beautiful I am. I feel really beautiful, today.”

It’s an important reminder. Confidence, self-image, self-esteem, so much of it starts in the home, and if we give our kids a solid foundation, it will make them better able to withstand the pressure that comes from their peers, and from society as a whole. Go to Offbeat Mama now and read the post. Whether you’re a parent or not, whether you’re a woman or not: Feel beautiful. Be beautiful. Model beauty.

Have a great weekend.

EDIT: I must add that the book trailer for Lisa L. Regan’s Finding Claire Fletcher debuts today – check it out!

10 Responses

  1. Wow! I got chills reading that. So true. We focus so much on our imperfections and we pass on those attitudes as normal. Definitely something to work on!

  2. It's always best to be taught how to feel beautiful, because it's such a hard thing to learn later. Having self-esteem and confidence is so important in today's society, because it really is just a big scary world full of people who want to tear you apart in order to nurse their own insecurities.

  3. Definitely best from an early age. The good news, though, is self-esteem and confidence can grow over time. I'm much better in that regard than I was when I was your age. Not that it's much consolation if you're in the midst of the swamp, so to speak.

  4. WOW! Impossible beauty! I love that. What a great post! Thanks for sharing. This resonates with me since I have a daughter. And thanks for the shout-out!

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