Introducing Just Be You, Girl

So, my amazing daughter Keeley helped me put together this video as an introduction to the book for anyone interested in a quick sense of what it is all about. While I am definitely more comfortable with a pen in my hand than a camera in my face, I am thrilled to be able to speak about why I think this book and speaking to our young girls about self-esteem is so important . Plus, it was one more project we got to work on together, and for that alone it’s a keeper!

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“This book seems very informative for my two grandchildren, ages 9-11. I hope that, as they have questions and concerns in the next few years, they will refer to this book… ”

Author Carolyn McMahon with her daughter Keeley – the inspiration behind Just Be You, Girl 

Have a look inside the book.

Chapter 1 – Your Power

"Think about it. If you told a girl every day of her life that she was not good enough or pretty enough, or thin enough, then soon she would start to believe it. You would never do that to someone else, because you are not mean. Yet, many girls will do that to themselves — always telling themselves that they fall short in some way, actually choosing to make themselves feel bad. "


I know that it might not always seem so, but you have a lot of power over how you feel about yourself. You can choose to embrace all of the positive things about yourself while learning to accept the things that you cannot change. This chapter helps you explore your self-talk – the messages that you tell  yourself daily and talks about some of the reasons why you may be a little hard on yourself right now.

Chapter 2 – Beauty Through Time and Across Oceans

What does beauty look like? You may think you know, based on what you see on current magazine covers. But the truth is, the notion of beauty differs according to personal preference. And what someone may find beautiful in you may have nothing whatsoever to do with your physical appearance.

"But as girls, we definitely don’t always remember that who we are is made up of so much more than how we look.  Girls (and women) are brutal on themselves. There is not a single body part that escapes our scrutiny – from the thickness of our ankles to the arch of our eyebrows. We relentlessly pick, pluck and process every square inch of ourselves in the pursuit of ideal beauty. But, and here’s the rub, what is “ideal beauty?” If you could be ideally beautiful, what would you look like and why? The answer to this question would most certainly depend on when and where you were born."

This chapter explores how the popular standard of beauty has changed over time and illustrates some cultural differences, which exist still today, with regards to the notion of beauty.

Chapter 3 – Marketing Madness

"Businesses love you. Young women control billions of consumer dollars. I know that you are thinking, I have like $20 to my name. How can I be so important? But consider how much money you have spent in the last year on clothes, cosmetics, books, movies, music, etc. You might not have spent all the money yourself, but it is not just how much of your own money you have spent, it is also how much was spent on you by parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles, friends and so on. All of the purchases these people made for you were based on what you like…..This is why businesses love you. They all want to get a piece of all that money that is being spent."

Advertising and Marketing plays a huge role in your life. It not only affects many of the decisions you make but can also greatly affect how you feel about yourself. This is why it is so important for you to at least be aware of the business of Selling– because the better you understand the influences around you, the better you can control how they make you feel.

So, this chapter reveals some of the secrets that Marketers use to help sell their products and talks to how some of these methods can affect your self-esteem. Utilizing examples of popular marketing techniques, Marketing Madness offers some insight into how you can remain balanced and true to yourself in the face of such overwhelming pressure to conform and consume.

Chapter 4 – Friends, Frienemies and Foes

"Why aren’t you as thin as your friends?"

How would you answer this question? More to the point, how would this question make you feel? The way we see ourselves is often a reflection of how others see us, so the relationships you have in your life can be critical to your self-esteem. And not just the relationships you have with friends, but also with family, teachers, boyfriends, coaches, anyone with whom you spend time.

This chapter discusses the role these relationships play in your life as well as the role that you play in such relationships. But most importantly, it discusses the power that you have to define yourself within any relationship because, while relationships may affect you, they don’t have to define you – only you should do that.

Chapter 5 – Technology, The Media and You

When you think about Technology and social media, you might immediately think about all of the safety issues that you have been taught surrounding the use of this stuff. And while important, that is not what this book is about. When you think about Media (TV, magazines, music….) you might not actually think of anything at all – mindless and so harmless. But just because you think something is harmless doesn’t mean that it is not leaving a mark. 


"The point of this section is to make sure that, like all things in your life, if you are going to be exposed to it, you keep your eyes open and understand the influence it can have on your attitude and your self-esteem. What your generation is being exposed to is relatively new territory. Experts can argue for days about the positive and the negative that has come from the availability of so much so fast. But, for our purpose, it doesn’t matter. It’s here."

Chapter 6 – Caution: Danger Ahead

This chapter is not about telling you exactly what choices you should make in life. That would be impossible. Sometimes the only way to find out if something is good for you is through trial and error. Harsh but true. But there are a few areas where those who have gone before can share some of their experiences and hopefully give you a little insight and save you a little pain. 

"You are going to hit some bumps in life, no doubt about it. And as a result, you may make some decisions that might not be the best for you – we all do. The purpose of this chapter is simply to highlight some of the areas where you may run into trouble, in the hopes that, whatever your decisions in life, you at least make them with honesty and with your eyes wide open."

Chapter 7 – There is a Light

It might be hard to believe when you feel like the most unattractive, awkward girl in the world, but there is a light at the end of the tunnel.
It might be hard to believe when you are so embarrassed by something that you never want to leave your room again, but it won’t always feel this bad.
When you feel sad, angry, lonely, stupid or invisible, remember that things will get better.
And when you feel like you just don’t measure up to everyone else, know that you do and that you have the power within yourself, right now, to start seeing yourself as the truly amazing girl that you are.

"It’s not always easy, but there are lots of choices that you can make in life to help you feel good about yourself. There is a Light, was written to help get you started. And while you might not agree with all the ideas presented here, hopefully, you will find something which speaks to you or maybe be inspired to come up with your very own strategies. But mostly, I hope that you will discover that sometimes just a small effort can make all the difference in the world!"

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