Today’s post is part of the rally cry started by Young Adult author Courtney Summer‘s project #ToTheGirls. Courtney writes some of the best YA books I’ve ever read. She is one of my favorites. #ToTheGirls is a project for young women, filling their minds with love and advice, encouragement and support in hopes of drowning out everything that’s not.
I’m an author of young adult fiction and I write about girls. My newest novel, All the Rage, examines the shame and silence inflicted on young women in a culture that refuses to protect them. It’s about a girl who is ostracized by her community for speaking up about an assault. The absence of support takes a huge emotional toll on her. On April 14th, 2015, take the opportunity to tell the girls you know—and the ones you don’t—that they are seen, heard and loved. Share advice. Be encouraging. Tell us about or thank the girls in your life who have made a difference in yours. Use the hashtag #ToTheGirls along with your personal message of support and encouragement across your social media platforms (Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram etc).
I write books about curvy young women fresh out of college who have struggled with seeing themselves as beautiful. In this media addicted world it has become nearly impossible to see real, un-photoshopped beauty all around us, let alone in ourselves. I am so tired of that message. It’s exhausting. It’s pretend. Digital dress-up sold as reality. Beauty and worth are not conditional. You get them at birth and they are a part of you always. No one grants you those traits and no one can take them away. No one has that power but YOU.
I write books about curvy young women who are smart and talented and funny. They are daring and passionate and brave and all of them take risks against the world and with their heart. It’s romance, but it’s also a lot about falling in love with yourself one word at a time.
So if I had a piece of advice, something I want all young women to know, it’s this:
Love yourself absolutely unconditionally. You are beautiful and worthy. There are no conditions on worthiness and it sure as hell isn’t tied to some arbitrary beauty standard. Learn to love yourself now, right now, today, this very second. It will make the rest of your life cake.
There it is. That’s the secret to happiness. Capes and tiaras can’t hurt, of course, but they are strictly optional.
What advice and encouragement do you have for the girls in your life? What do you wish someone would have told you when you were a young woman?
Share them in the comments!
Romance Author, BBW & New Adult
All photographs for this project have been purchased and licensed for use. You are welcome to Pin and share them! You cannot alter them, but I absolutely want you to share them.