I’m often asked “why” I’m an author, or why I’m inspired to write certain books or series. The easy answer is that I love it! But there’s another answer, too. When I consider my life purpose and clearly define it for myself every day (and tweak it a little each time), it consistently comes down to this: “To master ["put to skillful use"] my creativity and joy to heal and inspire others to recognize their true innocence, child-likeness, and glory.”** A major way I’m fulfilling my purpose is by creating good content (ie, content of substance that is fun and enriching, not dark or degrading) to celebrate strong girls (hence my Strong Girls x Good Books logo)
An ongoing conversation we are having with readers and other interested parties is, “What about boys? Why don’t you write something for boys; they need it, too.” No doubt! One of the reasons we’re specifically marketing to girls is because there is an organized concerted effort to market to girls that devalues everything good that they are by sexualizing them and undermining their worth. When people (girls) feel like they have nothing to contribute, they may be less likely to contribute. Girls need to see strong, fresh, unique, positive, active heroes that they can relate to and/or aspire to. Having said that, we definitely see the importance of getting the same positive messages to boys and it’s also necessary for them to see a good, strong female characters in the story lines I write. If you doubt the importance (and urgency) of offering positive content for girls to counter the ickiness they are being bombarded with, I invite you to read this recent article about the effects of objectifying/sexualizing girls, like how: “Chronic attention to physical appearance leaves fewer cognitive resources available for other mental and physical activities;
• It limits the form and effectiveness of girls’ physical movements;
• It leads to increased feelings of shame about one’s body;
• It creates appearance anxiety;
• It leads to greater body dissatisfaction among girls and young women;
• It is associated with negative mental health outcomes in adolescent girls…”
…And other issues. The great thinkers through the ages seem to be in agreement with how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. put it, “He who passively accepts evil is as much involved in it as he who helps to perpetrate it. He who accepts evil without protesting against it is really cooperating with it.”
With the massive onslaught of marketing propaganda (billions of dollars a year) directed at girls that their worth is to be found in how they appear (not what they achieve), what they wear (not what they believe), and what size they are (not what they do), it’s no wonder that girls are celebrated for being ornamental and little else. “The most common way people give up their power is by thinking they don’t have any.” (Alice Walker).
There are many areas where we have the opportunity to take back the true worth of girls and celebrate their substance and uniqueness; I’m starting where my heart is: I’m starting with books. If you agree with me and want to add your voice, please buy, read, and share my books and visit these websites:
**My fave way to define my purpose is from the book of Matthew: “You’re here to be light, bringing out all the God-colors in the world.” (The Message, Matt. 5:16)
What was your inspiration for Fifties Chix?
Great question!! Here is my video answer. Keep the questions coming and we may post your question along with my answer!