About the Author
Nancy Rue has written over 100 books for girls, is the editor of the Faithgirlz Bible, and is a popular speaker and radio guest with her expertise in tween and teen issues. She and husband, Jim, have raised a daughter of their own and now live in Tennessee.
Read an Excerpt
The Skin You're InDiscovering true beauty
By Nancy Rue
ZondervanCopyright © 2010 Nancy Rue
All right reserved.
Chapter OneYou've Got It GOIN' ON
The morning Betsy Honeycutt turned eleven, she took a big ol' long look in the mirror, and she didn't like what she saw.
That was pretty weird, since she had seen the very same face the day before (and the day before that and the day before — well, you get the idea), and she hadn't thought much about her freckles or her blue eyes or her honey-brown bob one way or the other. Yesterday she was just Betsy. But today — yikes!
Has my nose always been that long? she thought. Gross! It looks like a fishhook!
And what about my eyes? They've gotten closer together — I know they have!
Betsy watched her upper lip curl. Her very thin lip — not plump and luscious like the girls' mouths in the magazines that she'd just fanned across her bed. In fact, there was nothing about her that was even remotely like a model, or, come to think of it, like any of the girls at school that everybody was imitating. She narrowed her eyes at her reflection.
Her hair wasn't long and shiny and thick like Madison's.
Her teeth weren't perfectly white and straight like Taylor's.
And where in the world had that zit come from? Ashleigh didn't have zits!
Betsy gasped right out loud and shoved her face closer to the mirror. It was a pimple between her eyebrows, all right, red and ugly and growing bigger by the millisecond.
She stepped back, hoping it wouldn't look so hideous from farther away, but it was like there was a spotlight shining on it so the entire world could check it out. And not only that, but now she could see her whole self in all her glory.
"Uh, I am so not glorious," Betsy said.
The girl in the mirror looked to her like a shapeless blob, dressed in a too-small T-shirt and a too-big pair of shorts that revealed legs hairier than her cocker spaniel's. When she put her hand up to her mouth in disgust, all she saw was the froggy green nail polish she'd put on at last week's sleepover and had been steadily gnawing away at ever since.
"And this is before I turned the lights on," Betsy told the stranger-self. "EWWWWW!"
She turned away from the mirror and looked down at the clear-skinned faces of the perfect girls on the magazine covers. Will I ever be that pretty? she thought.
She didn't see how the answer could ever be yes.
Which of these comes closest to what you were you thinking as you read Betsy's story?
___ I don't get it. I hardly ever hang out looking in the mirror.
___ Um, I kind of like what I see when I look in the mirror.
___ Hello-o! I know exactly how she feels!
Just about every girl between the ages of eight and twelve starts to think — at least a little bit — about the way she looks. But did you know that the minute you're aware that your appearance is a big part of yourself, you're on a journey?
It can be a lifetime of visits to the mirror where you can always find something wrong. Or ... it can be an adventure of discovering the true, absolute, no-denying-it beauty that every girl has — that you have.
The choice is pretty much a no-brainer, which is why you have this book in your hand. This book is here to help you set out on the way-fun path to finding your beautiful self. And not just the hair-and-skin-and-clothes outside self, but the unique, one-of-a-kind inside you, which is where real beauty comes from. More on that later.
Before you begin the adventure, it's good to know where you are right now. Write in the space on the next page what you would say to Betsy if you were in her bedroom, watching her suffer in front of the mirror. Look back at what you checked off above to help you. There are no right or wrong answers, so be free and real as you write. If, as you read on in this book, you change your mind about what you want to say to Betsy, you'll have a chance to express that when we get to the end.
Here's the Deal
o When it comes to thinking about the way you look, you're probably somewhere between "What's a mirror?" and "I want to put a bag over my head!" Whatever you think about your beauty, chances are you've gotten some ideas about what beautiful is by looking around and listening. Maybe you've heard things like this:
"She's so thin. I wish I looked like her." "Her skin is perfect. Look at that! I bet she's never had a pimple." "Long blonde hair and big blue eyes — now that's what I'm talking about." "Train to be a model or just look like one! Call now! Operators are standing by!" To hear people talk, you'd think the only girls who could be considered beautiful are pencil skinny with flawless complexions, long blonde hair, and big blue eyes; and they dress only in the trends that just started this morning. But think about all the girls and women you know that you consider beautiful. Do they all look like that?
* your best friend? * your favorite female teacher? * your cool aunt, the cousin you want to be like, and your mom? * And, hey — what about you? Yeah, you. If you counted up all the people who like you and love you, you'd run out of fingers. Ask any one of them if he or she thinks you're a beautiful person, and you'll hear, "Honey, you're drop-dead gorgeous," or something like that.
The point is, no matter what people say about being beautiful, when you get right down to it, the ones who count in your life know real, true, unique beauty when they see it. So how do girls get the idea that they have to look like the cover girl on Seventeen to be pretty? Simple.
From the media. That's TV, movies, billboards, magazines — anything that a lot of people see. The beauties there are all different, but they have one thing in common: they're perfect. Oops — wait. They look perfect. But if you met one of them outside the studio, you'd see right away that she has flaws just like everybody else: A piece of hair that won't stay out of her eye; the retainer she just popped in; maybe even a zit — yikes! You don't see those things in an ad or on the movie screen because (1) a team of makeup artists, personal trainers, and wardrobe consultants were all over her before she went before the camera, and (2) film editors can do amazing things with digital enhancing, just the way you can in Photoshop. A couple of clicks and that piece of flyaway hair or that enormous pimple disappears. The eyes are darker. The dress fits better. Get it? A famous model named Cindy Crawford once said, "Even I don't wake up looking like Cindy Crawford."
From models. You may have seen a professional model in person, and she did look pretty perfect to you. There wasn't an ounce of fat on her body! Before you consider yourself a hippo because at ten years old you weigh more than she does at twenty, remember this: A girl who becomes a model tends to be naturally thin and very tall to begin with. Then it becomes part of her job to keep her weight low so the curves of her body don't take attention away from the clothes she's modeling. Many models diet constantly, practically living on water and celery, and they work out daily for hours on end. Don't even think about doing that. You have healthy growing to do.
From what boys say. Like you care, right? But you can't help hearing them because they're so loud. They're going through their own stuff right now, so a lot of them think they have to be funny all the time. You've probably noticed that what boys consider funny is different from what cracks up you and your friends. They think it's hilarious to call you Tinsel Teeth because you just got braces or to swat at cooties when you stand next to them. Even though you know they're just being absurd little creeps, you can get your feelings hurt. Give them a few years. They'll get nicer. Meanwhile, don't take beauty tips from them.
By comparing yourself to the "cool" girls. Sometime in elementary school, it starts to become obvious that some girls are considered "cooler" than others. We don't know who decides that. Unfortunately, it just happens. Because the cool girls get a lot of attention and have a bunch of friends, almost everybody wants to be like them. And then the comparing starts:
"Her hair is blonder (or darker) than mine."
"Her eyes are bigger (or bluer or sparklier) than mine."
"My clothes aren't as cute as hers."
"She doesn't have to wear stupid braces like I do."
It can be pretty tempting to try to change yourself to be more like the cool girl. Or you may dislike the cool girl because seeing her makes you feel so bad about yourself. Or — if you happen to be a cool girl — you may work overtime trying to stay cool. None of that is any fun. And none of it makes you beautiful. It makes you worried, unhappy, and resentful — but not beautiful.
Besides, here's the deal — and if you get nothing else from this book, get this — YOU ARE ALREADY BEAUTIFUL!!!! Maybe on the outside you haven't "grown into yourself" yet. Maybe you haven't learned to make the most of what you have. Maybe you have hard stuff going on in your life that keeps you from really showing your beauty. But you were made to be a beautiful person. She's in there. After all, God doesn't make ugly. Okay, so maybe roaches are ugly ... but the boy roaches think they're kinda cute.
You were made to be your unique, shining, beautiful, true self. This journey you're on is about finding that self and letting her shine.
Who says? Well, hello-o ...
You believe in God, right? You believe God's in charge because he's perfect, yes? So you agree that all the things David says about God in Psalm 139 are true:
God knows everything about you (vs. 1 – 4). God is everywhere (vs. 5 – 12). God created your "inmost being" (vs. 13).
If you believe that, then you can say this right along with David:
"I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; your works are wonderful, I know that full well." — Psalm 139:14
Fearfully, by the way, doesn't mean like Frankenstein's monster (although even he turned out to have a soft spot). It means awesomely. You were made to be awesome and wonderful. There it is, right in the Bible. God knit you together with love in every stitch. He thought of you, and you became. And as David says, "How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!" (Psalm 139:17).
You are the result of God's precious thought. How cool is that! Not some modeling agency's thought (though there's nothing wrong with being a model), or a cool girl's thought (although a lot of cool girls are really nice), or that boy's thought (which he doesn't even understand himself!) — God's thought.
You are a beautiful person. Believe it.
God doesn't just want you to know you're beautiful. God wants you to show it — not by plastering on makeup or spending a bajillion dollars on clothes, but by shining from the inside. Jesus talked about that in his teaching.
You can — and should — let God's "precious thought" out where it can shine like a light. Be every bit the beauty God created you to be, so other people will see Christ in you and be drawn to you. Then you can love them and show them more about God's works. No one can do that when she's hiding her beautiful self.
Okay ... go ahead and ask it ... You know you want to:
"But aren't some girls more precious than others? Don't some just naturally shine brighter?"
Okay, picture God creating a new baby girl. Imagine the God whose works are wonderful saying, "Oops, I didn't make little Megan as precious as baby Brittany. I hate it when that happens." Can you honestly imagine him saying that?
Uh ... no. Every tiny being God creates has his beautiful fingerprints on her. She's shaped with love and "breathed through" with her own gifts and special brightness. Each child is an original. Each one is God's art. Each is priceless.
And that includes you, Precious Thought. You are fearfully and wonderfully made. Your part is to uncover the beauty — inside and out. It's a journey. Are you ready to begin?
You're Good to Go
It's time to pack your bags for the journey. Be sure to do the following Beauty Search before you move on to chapter two.
With The Skin You're In and a pen or pencil, go to a mirror where you can see a lot of yourself. This works best if there's no one around who's going to tease you for gazing at your reflection.
Be honest about the beautiful things you see in the mirror. Look at every detail — your nice hairline; that cute little chicken pox scar; and your big, white, shiny teeth. Look at your hair, mouth, complexion, face shape, eyebrows, smile, eyes, chin, nose, arms, legs, height, shoulders, and hands. Describe those precious things. Again, be honest, but make sure everything you include is a compliment to you.
Look in the mirror again and smile at that girl as if you want to be her best friend. Check out what happens to your face.
Now stare at her as if you totally can't stand her.
Which face looked better?
This doesn't mean you have to grin 24/7. It means look for what you can like in people, which will make you smile. That's true beauty coming out of you. It also means be a best friend to yourself. Love you the way you do your BFF (best friend forever) and treat yourself as kindly. It looks good on you, girl!
That Is SO Me
Start by being really honest with yourself. Complete this quiz alone or with a friend you totally trust. If you're afraid a curious younger bro or sis will get those little hands on this book, keep track of your answers on another piece of paper and make confetti out of it later. This is your very private stuff.
Put a star [*] next to each thought below that you've ever had for more than, like, two seconds. Even if you don't believe the thought, if it nags you sometimes, give it a star. There's no right or wrong. No good or bad. There's just you.
___ I'm fat.
___ I'm ugly.
___ I don't look that bad except for my __________________.
___ I'm too tall (or short).
___ I have my father's _______________ (ex: nose, lips), which is not good.
___ I want to look like a star (model, singer, actress ...).
___ I'll never look like a star, which is depressing.
___ Some people tell me I'm pretty, but i don't believe them.
___ Some people tell me I'm not pretty, and i believe them.
___ I don't do that much to look prettier, because it isn't gonna help.
___ I wish I were cuter, so I'd have more friends.
___ I don't care about my appearance. I'm not the girly girl type.
___ It drives me nuts to have to wear _____________ (ex: glasses, braces, a school uniform). They make me look lame.
Now count your stars and put your number here: _____________
If you have between 11 and 13 stars, this book is So for you. You seem to be having a tough time seeing your own beauty. This journey is going to be especially amazing for you, because every discovery will surprise you. You're going to love the real you.
If you have between 4 and 10 stars, you're not alone. Most girls your age go back and forth between thinking they're not so bad and deciding they're total freaks. But read on, and get a true picture of yourself that gets better all the time.
If you have between 0 and 3 stars, you're in a great place to have some fun with your beauty right from the start. As you read, be aware of the things you did star, because we're going to chase those thoughts away.
Whatever your score, you're about to set out on an expedition. You won't turn into a model (unless that's what God has in mind for you). You won't suddenly become like the "cool" girls. But you will find your own cool — the beautiful person you were made to be.
Excerpted from The Skin You're In by Nancy Rue Copyright © 2010 by Nancy Rue. Excerpted by permission of Zondervan. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
Table of Contents
Contents1 You've Got It Goin' On....................7
2 The Skin You're In....................21
3 Love the Do....................39
4 Smooth Moves....................51
5 Things that Will Come in Handy ... and Footy....................61
7 Don't You Hate That?....................99
8 What About ...?....................109
9 Inside Out....................125
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
This is a great book to use for preteens. We are using it and having a different woman teach each chapter. The girls really like it.
Its awsome but if ur looking 4 make up tips pass it up. Other than that its awsome
Dude, who gaves this 3 stars????????!!!! it deservves 5
I mean what the headline says for real
I herd lots of good reviews but i dont if i should get it thats why i only have one star