This is one exceptional girl. A senior. She makes good grades, she is lightning sharp, and kindhearted.
A little about her: she can throw a baseball, pick guitar, make jewelry, drive a stick shift, and sew her own clothes.
She is pretty, humble, studious, loyal. She has a future so bright she needs sunscreen.
And a few days ago, her parents checked her into a clinic for eating disorders.
I’m not at liberty to tell her story, so I’ll stop here.
But I don’t mind telling you that I’m not happy about what’s happening to women.
I don’t like what television is doing to them. And I don’t care for what fashion magazines, underwear ads, music producers, and Hollywood stylists are up to, either.
Turn on a TV. The commercials all shout the same message:
“You’re too fat, too skinny, too tall, too short, too hippy, too flat, too broad-faced, too big-nosed, too gray. Your complexion is bad, you have a turkey neck, ugly ankles, you need a facelift, your hindparts need augmentation.”
Your house is a wreck, your kids dress like chimney sweeps, your old vacuum sucks, your husband is a minimum-wage loser, and your abs will never resemble the midsection of a thirteen-year-old Ukrainian gymnast.
So, I’m writing to the opposite sex. Every last girl, woman, and granny.
To Bobbi—who feels like the fattest, ugliest girl in her middle-school. Who gets made fun of.
To Catherine—whose husband of fifteen years left her for someone younger.
To Angelica—who’s been clinically depressed, struggling with self-esteem.
I’m writing Cassidy—the thirty-two-year-old with diabetes, who can’t seem to gain weight.
And to Michelle—single mother and nurse, who just had back surgery. Michelle is lying in bed while her sister takes care of her kids.
Katelyn—a girl once abused by her stepdad. Who can sing the yellow lines off a highway. Who’s getting married this month.
To sixteen-year-old Mila, whose family migrated here from Eastern Europe, last month. She washes dishes in a restaurant, and practices English with her brother every morning.
“One year ago, I know not single American word, not any,” a proud Mila tells me.
To eighty-five-year-old Nadine, who still fishes her bass pond, wearing a sunhat. She’s not as spry as she was once was, and her arthritis keeps her awake at night. But by God, she can still catch a fish with her grandson.
To my young friend with anorexia, who dislikes herself.
This world is trying to break you. And I don’t care how much money advertisers spend to make you feel bad about you. It’s horse manure.
Look, you have no reason to listen to me, I’m a nobody, with nary a credential to my hillbilly name. But I know something. Something important.
I know that you are a magnificent human being with the propensity to be whatever the hell you want to be. You are courageous. You are interesting. Brilliant. Talented. And you are enough, just the way you are.
And even though we’ve probably never met, I know all this for absolute certain. Not because I’m smart.
But because God made you a woman.
Edith - August 5, 2017 11:59 am
Thank you. I know many women who need the words you gave. Few listen to God anymore, they listen to the lying TV and believe the lies it gives.
Lynn - August 5, 2017 12:30 pm
Thank you. Sometimes words just as you have written have to be “spelled out and read”. We know these words. People say these things. Sometimes we need to “read” them to be reminded. Your words touched my heart today.
Margaret Platt - August 5, 2017 12:31 pm
It’s not just the television and magazines that are putting women down today. Our current government is doing their best to return women to subservient roles and taking away their rights. Also, women in government are being grossly disrespected by their peers in this administration.
Bobbie - August 5, 2017 12:36 pm
Thank you, thank you, thank you!
Kathy Lane - August 5, 2017 12:41 pm
Another amazing and uplifting blog-
Kathy Rondon - August 5, 2017 12:49 pm
I think I’ve said it before in this forum, but I’ll say it again. I agree that the denigration of women who don’t fit some kind of physical ideal is hateful, and those who give voice that denigration should be called out, no matter who they are. If such people aren’t appropriately ashamed of themselves, they’re not fit to lick the black suede boots of my beautiful, accomplished 19 year old daughter.
Lucretia - August 5, 2017 1:04 pm
Yes from one of His daughters 🙂 I thank you, Sean….
Cathi Russell - August 5, 2017 1:22 pm
Thanks Sean, for being our champion!
Sharon Sanders - August 5, 2017 1:55 pm
Woo-hoo Sean HURRAY for YOU! Thank you, thank you for your sttrong, positive words today about women. Your share the glory, potential and love in everyday people, cradle to grave, and remind us of the good in ourselves, and others and give us much needed hope!!! What a blessing you are son!
Sherrie - August 5, 2017 1:40 pm
That’s a beautiful post. Those words need to be shouted from every mountain top: “you are enough, and you are beautiful, just the way you are”. 🙂 I’m so glad that I discovered your blog. With all the bad news and ugliness on the internet your posts are lovely beacons of light. God bless your kind, pure soul. ♡♡♡♡♡
paula jones - August 5, 2017 1:44 pm
Don’t tell your wife, but I’m falling in love with you 😉
John Hay - August 5, 2017 1:46 pm
Steve - August 5, 2017 2:03 pm
From a man that appreciates a lady. No matter how round or wrinkled. Keep going. You are the queens that makes the world go around.
Carol - September 22, 2017 6:39 am
I am with you, Steve. The best thing a woman can be is a God-fearing lady with a kind and generous heart. That’s what counts. Man looks on the outside, but God looks in the heart. If a woman is that, she is always beautiful and perfect like God made her to be no matter her size or looks.
Judy Miller - August 5, 2017 2:09 pm
This Granny thanks you! Thank Goodness I grew up in an era where we weren’t barraged all the time about body image. I am quite tall, but never bullied about being taller than most of the other kids, boys included. I have been skinny, over weight, skinny, over weight and now skinny again. I have a son and 3 beautiful daughters. Back in the 70’s when all the women’s lib stuff was going on, I told my daughter’s, “Why would you want to be equal to a man? Don’t lower yourself. You can be and do anything you want.” Amazingly, they believed me! One wanted only to be a housewife and mother–unfortunately she had 5 miscarriages, but she’s the happiest woman I’ve ever known. One is a teacher–having home schooled 5 children and now teaches in a private school. One is an attorney–having raised 4 children, and now back to working. They all, including my son, are nice, respectful, happy adults. Sometimes they get too busy to check in with me, but that’s okay too, because I am happy just being and doing whatever I want to be and do. XX OO
Connie - August 5, 2017 3:32 pm
Amazing woman. God bless you.
Kathy Harton - August 5, 2017 2:15 pm
Pat - August 5, 2017 2:40 pm
A friend of mine shared with me that as a child her daddy told her not to talk about how people looked because that’s the way God made them.
Trudy :) - August 5, 2017 2:48 pm
I am woman hear me roar and listen to the soft, “meow” of now and then.
Marty from Alabama - August 5, 2017 3:30 pm
“We are fearfully and wonderfully made.”
Jackie - August 5, 2017 5:12 pm
Connie - August 5, 2017 3:31 pm
Thank you. That’s all.
ben martin - August 5, 2017 3:49 pm
Damn! son, you nailed it.
Julie King - August 5, 2017 5:06 pm
I was already in love with your letters, but this one made me fall in love with you!!
Jackie - August 5, 2017 5:08 pm
Right on point!
Debbie Galladora - August 5, 2017 5:23 pm
Kathy Daum - August 5, 2017 5:23 pm
It’s the human voices around us that cause problems: telling us we’re not good enough, too fat, too lazy, too stupid. Then we start telling ourselves those things.
Kenneth Somerset - August 5, 2017 11:34 pm
So well said. Never and I repeat never let anyone hold you back, tell you you cannot do something, believe in your self. Why God created you and he does not make mistakes. You have value just like you are. Don’t change, be yourself and be proud of who you are. We are!
Jack Quanstrum - August 6, 2017 3:21 am
I totally agree!
Jack Quanstrum - August 6, 2017 12:28 am
Amen! No one could say it better!
Julianna Farmer - August 6, 2017 2:34 am
Yasss! And amen!
Steve Welch - August 6, 2017 4:48 am
Once again, your voice is authentic and sincere. I became a plaintiff’s trial lawyer because my Pentecostal preacher father said that, as a minister, there was only so much he could do for the poor and uneducated. He is still my hero.
Please keep going and doing what you are doing for all of us, including women. Your e-mails stories everyday keep me going when I want to quit and retire. I am tired and need to retire. But as long as you are willing to keep writing your positive articles and helping our cause. I will keep going to help our less fortunate.
I have now bought and promoted your books (really enjoy reding them.) You have a gift-may need a better agent. your talents are so much better thatn your publications or books sold.
I would love to find more and better outlets for your works. You deserve it. E-nailme privately at firstname.lastname@example.org. You NEED a broader audience. You DESERVE a broader audience.
Rev. Steve Baccus - August 6, 2017 7:51 am
A good man’s perspective on women. Amen, my brother!
Donna - August 6, 2017 2:30 pm
Thank you! You know sometimes it’s not just the outside world that makes us believe we aren’t enough. Sometimes someone outside our circle has to convince us because those on the inside are part of the problem. This world needs more people like you.
Melodie - August 6, 2017 6:19 pm
Thank you just doesn’t seem to ‘be enough,’ but, I thank you. ♥
NovaLee - August 6, 2017 9:31 pm
You lift my heart, Sean. Thank you!❤
Deb - August 7, 2017 11:39 pm
There are few words to express what your writing adds to my days. In this world today, you are a bright light shining through to remind us of what is Right in our country and our lives. Thank you for being in my inbox everyday, never lose your voice. ???
Marion - August 8, 2017 1:52 am
Pam Norwood - August 8, 2017 2:40 pm
Alot of us needed this talkin to!!
Mary Lee - August 8, 2017 9:38 pm
One of my favorites so far. Thank you for writing this. I have to share it with others. You are a kind man to say the least. Thank you so very much.
Pam - August 9, 2017 4:37 pm
Carra Summers - September 20, 2017 1:12 pm
Another one that I’ll share with my young adult daughters… It will probably get an eye-roll because it’s from Mom, but maybe they’ll read it and let it “percolate”. Thank you, Sean.
Laura Goslee - September 20, 2017 1:55 pm
I join in with the others saying thank you Sean. A good man saying this and speaking for women does so much for the aching heart. I work with aching young women and I was one…still am at times as I battle the old demons that infused me played over and over everywhere in my youth. Even today the images are so utterly corrupted, insidious and hurting us all. We NEED men to fight this battle with us, to say all of the stuff you said, that we can just BE. thank you. Thank You for the healing words.
Sharon Norris - September 20, 2017 2:52 pm
From a woman who has heard most of those words to describe me for most of my life. Thank you for being a bright light and being a champion of all women. God bless.
G. Annette Hancock - September 20, 2017 8:32 pm
Sean, you are a wonderful find. My sweet friend Helen Taylor Andrews introduce me to your writing and I never miss a day without your sun shine in my life. I love the great down home feel of what you write and how you touch so many people. Thank you for making me realize that I am loved just for me, not my body shape, not my intellect but just me.
unkle - September 21, 2017 2:11 am
“My beautiful grandaughter Mary” is what my phone says when she calls. 16 tomorrow , a sassy ginger. Teaches me stuff like lol does not mean ” lots of love”, it does in our world . I teach her stuff like what will happen to any boy that forgets to respect her .Start early and assure all the little girls that they are the cutest kid you have ever seen. TV perverts the female image as you noted. It is up to dads and grandpaws like me and folks like you to point this out to them . Thank you for being you. Tell your lovely wife that you are a very lucky man. lol gp
Mary Grider - September 21, 2017 3:43 am
Thank you you are totally correct! We should turn the silly television off and enjoy who we are!!