The main character in Shine, Coconut Moon doesn't have any insecurities in the looks department, but she does feel very insecure about not knowing who she is. It's an "inside-out" sort of thing. She's fine on the outside, but there's nothing of substance for her on the inside, and that's what she sets out to discover.
For me, personally, the issue as a teen was always hair. Body hair. I'm not super hairy, but I do remember one of my male cousins saying when I was thirteen, "You're a girl. You're not supposed to have a mustache." Obviously, I was devastated, but at the time, I retorted, "You're just jealous because you haven't started puberty yet!"
This experience, however, really shaped the single, biggest insecurity I had all throughout high school. It wasn't until much later that I realized I'm not particularly hairy. And that many of the places i was waxing looked exactly the same pre-waxing as they did post-waxing. It was such an amazing and liberating experience to allow myself to be exactly as I was without worrying anymore, but also to see that it's all so subjective -- this whole beauty thing. Much of it is often not even remotely based in reality.
About Shine, Coconut Moon
Samar–a.k.a. Sam–is an Indian-American teenager whose mom has kept her away from her old-fashioned family. It's never bothered Sam, who is busy with school, friends, and a demanding boyfriend. But things change after 9/11. A guy in a turban shows up at Sam's house–and turns out to be her uncle. He wants to reconcile the family and teach Sam about her Sikh heritage. Sam is eager, but when boys attack her uncle, chanting "Go back home, Osama!," Sam realizes she could be in danger–and also discovers how dangerous ignorance is. Buy the book on Amazon here. In Canada? Buy the book here.
About Neesha Meminger
Neesha Meminger was born in India, grew up in Canada, and currently lives in New York City with her family. All of her writing explores the inner landscape of her characters, and how it merges or conflicts with the outer. She writes stories of women and girls defining themselves and shaping their own destinies within the confines of their day to day realities. To find out more about Neesha Meminger go to: www.NeeshaMeminger.com