I wanted to do a book for teens because I see so many beautiful girls who don't appreciate what's special about them. It's easy to find what's pretty in other people but in ourselves we tend to see only what we don't like. I'm writing the book I wish I'd had when I was a teen. For the days I felt "unpretty." For when I felt that I'd never look like the "tall blond girls." For straight answers to all my stupid beauty questions. But mostly, I wish I'd had this book so that I would have known that I was okay just the way I was, that there's more than one way to be pretty and that none of my questions would ever be considered "stupid."
Try to think of every young woman in this book as your friend - someone who's here to help you figure out those confusing things that keep you from being happier and more relaxed about your looks. The point of this book is to take the mystery out of all those confusing acts (like, How do you curl eyelashes anyhow? What do I do with shadow?) and rituals (How do I deal with my eyebrows?) that the totally together girl seems to do with her eyes closed. But the fact is that even the Patty Perfect of your life (that girl you envy deep down) probably has a few insecurities of her own.
The one thing I wish I'd known as a teen is that most women and girls suffer from a lack of self-esteem. The good news is that, with time, all of us gain a certain amount of self-acceptance. And self-acceptance to me is the key to looking pretty - if you are happy being who you are, you will look your prettiest. If there's one thing I want every girl to take from this book, it's the ability to discover and celebrate her own unique beauty.
I know the teen years are not the easiest time to "just be you" or in any way different from all the girls around you. It's natural to want to fit in - and to be accepted. But it's also important to know when fitting in means losing yourself - when conforming takes you past the point of knowing who you are. That's not healthy or positive.
We can change our hair color and even our eye color. We can improve our bodies and our skin texture. We can learn to use makeup to emphasize our eyes or downplay a feature. But self-acceptance involves learning to live with (and treasure) those fundamental things we can't change - our height, build, skin color, strong nose, pale skin, freckles, etc., the very features that make each of us beautiful and unlike anyone else. So turn the page and start picturing exactly what makes you special: together we'll turn that into your own personal beauty style.
Excerpted from Bobbi Brown Teenage Beauty by Bobbi Brown Copyright © 2001 by Harper Collins
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