Thursday, September 17, 2009

The Girl With the Frizzy Hair

I decided to choose beauty as this week’s topic, because that’s the first topic that came to mind when I thought about THE LIFE OF GLASS. In the book, the main character Melissa believes there are two types of people in the world – the outwardly beautiful people and inwardly beautiful people. Her mother and her sister clearly fall into the first category, as her mother was once a beauty queen, and her sister is a frequent beauty pageant contestant. But Melissa does not see herself as beauty queen material, nor would she ever want to. While her sister, Ashley, worries about make-up, becoming queen of the spring formal, and losing enough weight to be a size double 0, Melissa likes to wear baggy sweatshirts, she avoids make-up at all costs, and she worries about dying like her father did a few years earlier. But when a new beautiful girl moves to town, everything changes for Melissa, and over the course of her freshman year in high school, her ideas about beauty, life, and love are tested.

When I was writing the book, I thought back a lot to my own teen years and thought about my own ideas on beauty. I was not one of those beautiful girls like Melissa’s sister, certainly no pageant queen or even a pageant queen wanna be. But I do remember the idea of beauty being on mine and my friends' minds a lot as a teenager. When I was Melissa’s age, I knew girls who starved themselves to be thin and then fainted in gym class, girls who were made fun of by other girls for not being thin enough, girls who wore too much make-up and looked ridiculous, and girls who didn’t wear enough and were teased for being “ugly.”

And then there were those girls who always looked perfect. Who showed up every day at school, with straight shiny gorgeous hair that never fell out of place, girls who were tall and skinny and dressed in designer clothes and dated the most popular boys. I was not one of those girls. But I kind of always wondered about them, which is why I created the character of Ashley – just to see what would happen, just to see what she was really like.

But me, I was the girl with the always out-of-control curly frizzy hair. I thought a lot about my curly hair when I was writing the book, because even all these years later, even with a multitude of anti-frizz product and straightening devices, I still take issue with my hair. And it occurred to me, that maybe I wasn’t the only one, that maybe, for everyone, there is one thing, that one thing that makes us question our own outer beauty. Maybe that’s just part of what makes us human. Melissa and Ashley sprung from there, and this was also part of why my original working title for the book was “Beautiful.”

So what’s your one beauty issue? Leave a comment or do any of the other things listed on our sidebar to enter to win an Advanced Review Copy of THE LIFE OF GLASS! And you'll also be entered to win $100 giftcard to Amazon at the end of the month!!

15 comments:

~*Jessica Rabbit*~ said...

My one beauty issue?...I would have to say lack of self confidence.If that even counts.I have a problem with people staring at me for longer then 3 seconds at a time,lol,I hate it.It just freaks me out.1) why are you staring at me? and 2)If you stare at me too long you will slowly start to notice my imperfections. And believe me I do have imperfections.When I was younger I had acne,bad,so I have some scars from that.My nose has been broken countless times,all by freak accidents,lol,and it's crooked.I wear glasses...which I wouldn't mind if my nose wasn't broken because my glasses tend to tilt off balance because of my nose.My teeth are crooked,not bad but they are.I have a lot of scars,most from my 'power ranger' wanna be days.
Listing these things I don't see anything that would make a person ugly.And very few people notice the acne scars {T.Y. makeup,LOL,} or my crooked nose but I know they are there and I'm just not used to peoples compliments.Yes,thank you, I know I'm not a hidious deformed beast but your constant staring just gives me the heeberjeebers. LOL.

...and Jill I want to read your book even more now.LOL. {{Fingers are crossed...I do believe in fairies I do I do...wait,wrong chant.}}

Tonya Kappes said...

I am one with stick straight shiny hair, but what we stick straight shiny hair people don't talk about it the vast amount of oil that accompanies our stick straight shiny hair! LOL!! I have always tried to have curly hair~big perms (public school poof!) BUT my hair wouldn't hold them.
Like everyone else-I have to grow up in order to appreciate my looks.

Faith said...

Uuuugh, my teeth. I hate them. I have a small gap between my two front teeth, and while it's apparently barely noticeable to others (*ahem* "apparently"), I certainly notice it and it drives me nuts. I don't open my lips when I smile because I hate showing my teeth... my husband claims the gap is so small that it's just cute, but he's supposed to say things like that, right???

Thao said...

When I was young I was always comfortable with my looks but as I grew up something felt really wrong about that. It could be my forehead or my nose or my teeth I don't know but I'm really insecure and always have the feelings that people are starting at me and pointing out the ugly features.

I sometimes want to know how to be a girl with a perfect look but that really doesn't matter. I just want to learn to embrace my look and be comfy/confident with it like I used to be.

Donna Gambale said...

This is a great post. I actually was more self-conscious of looking like a nerd in my glasses (especially when I had braces too) than I was of anything else. Although I've always felt I had an unattractive nose, it never bothered me too much. But yeah, queen of the nerds. I wore really dorky clothes in grade school (yay hand-me-downs), but thankfully I wore uniforms through high school!

Also, one of my 3 MCs in my WIP has wild curly hair, and though she puts in effort to keep it moderately tame, she never straightens it!

firstnovelsclub [at] gmail [dot] com

Donna Gambale said...

Also - I'm a follower, and I'm posting this contest on my blog!

Jillian Cantor said...

Thanks for all the great comments!It's interesting how we all find flaws with ourselves that other people often don't even see.

jessieharrell said...

By biggest beauty issue was clothes. I was pretty enough, but my single cleaning-lady mom was too broke to buy me many "threads." I agonized over what to wear the second day of school... I'd have a good outfit for day 1, but then what? Just pray no one else went to Wal-Mart and recognized my shirt. I can remember wanting to be like those rich (and there were MANY in my town) girls who seemed to have it all. And I hated how they could pull their hair perfectly back into a ponytail with no bumps. I'm 31 years old and still can't really do it.

~*Jessica Rabbit*~ said...

"And I hated how they could pull their hair perfectly back into a ponytail with no bumps. I'm 31 years old and still can't really do it"

Do you have thick hair?I have THICK thick wildly wavey hair.It has a mind of it's own,lol.I can never just toss my hair up perfectly.lol.It takes like 5 trys to get it decent.LOL.

Jillian Cantor said...

Yeah, I've got the ponytail issue too. *sigh*

kristina shields said...

It would probably be my hair. It never wants to cooperate with me. It can get very frizzy, and none of those hair gel things can do anything about it. Sometimes I just want to chop it off and then I think I would look terrible without any hair. haha.

Jill of The O.W.L Blog said...

My beauty issue? It's a classic one - my weight. Now I'm now someone people would look at think that I'm overweight, but I always remember how much I weighed in high school (waaaay stupid I know!) But it's something I have a hard time letting go of.

The one beauty issue I don't have is my hair. 6 years ago I went through chemotherepy for breast cancer. I lost all my hair and it helped me realize that my hair does not define me and that I'm beautiful in other ways. Hasn't gotten me over the weight thing tho!

ReggieWrites said...

My one beauty issue would have to be my insecurity...I start to feel uncomfortable when people look at me for too long. I don't really feel comfortable in my own skin.

Reggie :-)
regietc@gmail.com

Brodie said...

I only get to choose one? Yeah... I sadly have a lot of beauty issues with myself! I'm very self conscious and while I know that everyone is different and unique, it's sometimes hard to apply that to myself. I don't like my teeth, I don't like my hair, I'm not entirely comfortable with my weight... have I mentioned my teeth? What about that annoying colour my cheeks turn in the heat? LOL. Yes, beauty issues suck. Self confidence needed - working on it? Check!

Kristen said...

I still have these issues. I don't wear make up because I hate it (but I look decent enough), but I have had a weight issue since middle school and it's not going away any time soon. I hate being 24 and still not okay with myself, but until I really get onto some sort of less hectic schedule and start regulating diet and exercise, nothing will change. I'm hoping when I move things will work out a little bit more in that realm.