Today I am excited to announce a new feature and benefit of being a part of See Jane Write — the Member of the Month Spotlight. Each month I will highlight a member who is busy sharing her story and empowering other women to do the same. This member will be celebrated in the See Jane Write newsletter, on the See Jane Write blog, and on social media.
Our first Member of the Month is Sharon Williams.
Sharon is the author of The ABCs of Real Beauty and the founder of Real Beauty A to Z LLC.
Sharon is a woman on a mission and if you visit her website you’ll learn exactly what that mission is: “To be the change agent that helps women and young girls break the bondage of negative self-image; appreciate their God-given uniqueness; and get on the path of being all they were created to be!”
Writing a book was just the beginning. Sharon maintains a blog and is active on Facebook and Twitter. She’s showcased her book (and her message) at the Visions Beauty Distributors Natural Hair and Health Expo in Birmingham and the Taliah Waajid Natural Hair Show in Atlanta. She’s appeared on ABC/3340’s Talk of Alabama and landed an article in The Birmingham Times. Sharon also offers five-week coaching sessions to help women overcome issues of low self-esteem.
Tell us more about your book The ABCs of Real Beauty.
The book is a really easy read that focuses on internal character traits. Just like the title, I have taken the alphabet and assigned each letter a character trait. From there, I define the trait and support it with Biblical scripture and a few discussion points. The whole premise is to take the focus off external looks and demonstrate the fact that we are so much more than what you see. The dictionary definition of beauty speaks of something that brings pleasure to the senses. The last time I checked, we have five senses and sight is only one of them.
What inspired you to write the book The ABCs of Real Beauty?
My inspiration came from several different places — part from my own personal struggles with negative self-image as well as conversations and observations of other women. We do a great job painting on the face that says “I’m OK,” but will walk around in silent struggle on the inside. I then ran across a survey that was done by Dove. It stated that only 2 percent of women would describe themselves as beautiful. I then began to do some research and was absolutely amazed by the amount of money people spend to alter their appearance. This somewhat reassured me that I was somewhat “normal,” but it also greatly disturbed me. As I began to recall the issues I had growing up, even into adulthood, I remember comparing myself to others and this is what I suspected the other 98 percent of women in the survey were doing. I then began to wonder what God thought about all of this—and then a light bulb went off! I believe that He created us all and if the intent was for all of us to look alike, He would have designed it that way. On the contrary, when you look around, you see different skin tones, different hair textures, different physiques. How can we NOT appreciate the variations of His handiwork? It’s almost like putting your absolute best into a project and then having that project tell you that you did it wrong. My revelation was that instead of celebrating the things that make us unique, they are being wielded as flaws, flaws that must be fixed! We have certainly bought into that line of thinking — so much so that we have created multi-billionaires on one hand, and numerous internally-conflicted souls on the other. Women and girls are being ousted, bullied, ignored, and oppressed (externally and internally) because they don’t fit the mold of what’s being sold as “beauty.” Instead of just complaining about it, The ABCs of Real Beauty is my personal attempt to change a few mindsets. It’s my reminder that real beauty is not all about looks.
What do you enjoy about being a member of See Jane Write?
This group is where I learned not only the importance of getting on social media, but some of the fundamentals as well. I can always find helpful tips and beneficial information. The opportunities to learn and grow as a writer, as well as network, are invaluable. This group has inspired, challenged, and disciplined me, as well. I really have to put on my “big girl pants” each November for the Blog Like Crazy Challenge!
To the members of See Jane Write and to those who are thinking of joining, we have a great thing here! I have come to learn that success comes in community, a community where there is support, freedom to share, and accountability. I used to get a little intimidated when I would find myself in the presence of someone who I perceived to have a greater knowledge or skill set than what I possessed. I have since learned that it’s the only way to grow! Your comfort zone will do nothing for you but hold you back and, yes, keep you comfortable. Something greater awaits those who are willing to step outside the zone! So, surround yourself with the people and opportunities to grow you to that next level.
If you would like to nominate someone for May’s Member of the Month, send your nominations to email@example.com.
If you would like to become a member of See Jane Write, click here for more information.