Tara West

YA paranormal/fantasy and New Adult author

Self-esteem part II – Your differences are what make you beautiful


I’ve never thought idol worship was healthy for young girls. That’s why when the Hanna Montana craze spread throughout the country, I discouraged my daughter from following the millions of other young girls.


Because I think a girl needs to focus on feeling good about herself as an individual, not try to follow in the footsteps of another. 

Why do you want to wear a Hanna wig and pretend to be her when you can take pride in being yourself?

Recently, though, Miley Cyrus did something that I think is worth admiration. She shared with the public that she has food intolerances, the same intolerances my daughter has.

My little girl was actually happy to learn that a Hollywood celebrity has the same dietary restrictions as her. And though I think girls should take pride in what separates them from others, every once in a while, a girl likes to feel like she belongs.

It’s hard for my daughter sometimes when the class has a pizza party or the kids’ parents bring in cupcakes and she can’t eat what they’re eating. Although, I think it gives her some perspective. Now she understands why the kid in the wheelchair feels left out when the other kids are on the swings.

In this country, we place so much emphasis on eating as part of reward and celebration. We equate good food with good behavior and success. Often times, teachers and other parents don’t take into consideration how the kid with food intolerances will feel when he/she is left out of the celebration. Many parents end up leaving my daughter off the Birthday party invites because it’s easier to not invite her than to accommodate her.

This is why kids with disabilities or restrictions, physical, emotional or mental, can feel so isolated and depressed. Though I tell my daughter she is unique and special, sometimes she would rather be like everyone else.

Her dietary issues are just one example of the many challenges kids face today. Sadly, young girls are bombarded with ads about body image at an early age. It’s so easy for a young girl to feel isolated or depressed because she thinks her breasts are too small or her nose is too big. It’s so easy for her to overlook the fact that nobody is perfect. Nobody. And those Hollywood celebs they idolize are most-likely air-brushed and professionally styled.

I tell my daughter to focus on what makes her special. Though she’s not at the age yet where body image is a big deal, I know it won’t be long. By then, I’m hoping she will have the inner strength to realize that her differences are what make her beautiful.


Author: tarawestauthor

A former Texas high school teacher, Tara enjoyed coaching her writing team and even the hectic deadlines that came with running the school publications. After taking a break to raise her baby girl, Tara now works from home as a cover artist. In her spare time, Tara loves to read, exercise and spend time with her family and friends. She contributes the cover art for her own novels and has designed covers for over 500 other books. She’d love for you to visit her at www.tarawest.com where you can check out her Whispers series and sample her artwork.

4 thoughts on “Self-esteem part II – Your differences are what make you beautiful

  1. This is a lesson that I wish I learned much earlier in life. But it’s one I firmly grasp now.

    I recently had new author photos taken and they asked me if I wanted them to airbrush out my scar and my moles. I just smiled and said, “No, thank you. They’re part of me and I think they’re interesting.” She agreed!

  2. This is so important. More and more media is pushing the images that aren’t always healthy or realistic. Unfortunately, the icons of those famous aren’t much better. I understand the need for role models and for those people kids can look up to, but, I just wish there were more who are healthy role models.

    Shea, I am there with you. I need to have some done, but terrified to do so. 😦 Sadly, body image issues is something that will follow most of us around all our lives.

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