I have known the sixteen year old author of this letter since she was a toddler. She was barely walking and talking, but already bright eyed, engaged and able to hold her own with the adult small group I attended with her parents. Leora has blossomed into a wise young woman with something to say.  I will let her letter speak for itself.  If you support what Leora has to say, please share it elsewhere.  This is a message that needs to be heard.


I love your store. I love the scent when you walk in, the feel of the material, and the creative way everything is displayed. I love the candles, the sweaters, the doorknobs, the dresses, the high-heels, the many patterns, and the painted dishes. I love getting the catalog in the mail and dreaming about the day that I will be able to pitch my tent in the tide of the Bahamas, just because it would be a beautiful sight.

I've Got Something To Say

I am not complaining because I am one of those curvy, big-bosomed women who never see anyone their size in a magazine. I am a tall, petite young girl who usually fits in a size small, does not have to watch what she eats, and does not have to worry about finding clothes that minimize her waist. I am complaining because true BEAUTY is DIVERSE. True BEAUTY is tall, short, thin, curvy, fat. True BEAUTY is not limited to how thin your calves are. True BEAUTY does not care whether one’s stomach is as flat as a board and can flaunt a bikini. True BEAUTY does not say one must be size 2 in the waist of their jeans. True BEAUTY is synonymous with VOLUPTUOUS, MAGNANIMOUS, OVER-FLOWING, and BENEVOLENT.

I am complaining because one day after I have given birth, gained the weight that comes with raising a family, and gotten the wrinkles that come with living a laughter filled life, I do not want to pick up one of your catalogs and see that my beauty is behind me. Because BEAUTY is CONTINUOUS. BEAUTY does not end once you reach the age of 30. BEAUTY does not last only until you have gotten married and settled down.

I am sixteen and have not yet fallen into the trap of limiting beauty to a certain type. But I know people who have and I see people who will. I do not want my little sister growing up and wanting to have the shape of the women in your pictures. I want my mom, who has BEAUTIFUL curves that came from carrying 5 babies, to be HONORED by being proclaimed as beautiful. I do not want women and girls everywhere to hear only from their families that they are beautiful; I want them to be SURROUNDED by media supporting that truth.

With much encouragement,

Leora M.