Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Body Image Week Guest Nose: Leigh Brescia

I’m so excited to be hosting Leigh Brecia during the Body Image Challenge. Her wonderful debut One Wish really shows how girls can slip into disordered eating. I highly recommend this book for older middle-grade as well as YA readers.

Remember to check in at MyFavoriteAuthor today! One (or more) winners will be chosen tomorrow from all the comments made today.

My personal challenge for Thursday: compliment three strangers. Read how it goes tomorrow.

Okay, here’s what Leigh has to say about her own body image struggle:

In One Wish, Wrenn has to learn to love herself for who she is . . . a lesson that most of us could have benefited from in high school.

There are several things I don’t like about myself, but the battle with my hair is long-standing. In high school, I had *seriously* curly/kinky/frizzy hair. It was uncontrollable, so most of the time I kept it pulled back in a bun or a french twist. I tried *so many* different products to straighten and tame my hair, and nothing worked.

One day I decided to try a Dark and Lovely relaxer. (No, I am not the appropriate ethnicity for this product.) Still, I was actually surprised to find out that it worked. So . . . every two or three months, I would relax my hair. It didn’t get rid of all the problems, but it definitely tamed my frizzies.

I think I was a junior or senior in high school when this happened:

I went to the drugstore to pick up my Dark and Lovely (which I’ve gotten some *strange* looks over, let me tell you), and I saw this new straightening product for white people hair. I figure since I’m white that this will work better. I buy it. I use it. It sucks. It did absolutely nothing. So . . . a few days later I go get my usual Dark and Lovely relaxer.

Okay, there is a *reason* you are supposed to follow instructions: like *waiting* several weeks before you try to relax or color your hair again. Because after a few minutes, my hair started to smell funny . . . like it was literally burning off my head. I freaked out, and headed to the tub, but as I was rinsing I noticed that my hair was shedding more than usual.

Oh my gosh. . . . I prayed to Jesus that my hair would Not Fall Out. And I swore that if I could keep my hair I would *never* complain about it ever again.

My hair didn’t fall out, and I never saw any bald spots, but I did have some pretty bad split ends for a while.

I use a straightening iron now, so I don’t have to worry about crossing chemicals as much. I don’t use relaxers anymore, but I *always* follow instructions whenever I’m coloring my hair.

I might hate it, but I will definitely work with what I have.

Lesson learned. :)

About One Wish
Overweight Wrenn Scott desperately wants to be popular and snag a hot boyfriend. Her amazing voice (for once) overshadows her weight when she lands a lead role in the high school musical. Pushing to get thinner by opening night, Wrenn's waistline shrinks as she learns all the wrong ways to lose weight from a new "it-girl" friend in the show. By opening night, the old Wrenn has almost disappeared. After a crisis reveals her weight-loss tricks, Wrenn realizes there are much more important things than being thin, popular, or even dating a hunk. Buy one wish at here.

About Leigh Brescia
Leigh Brescia grew up in North Carolina, spending most of her days playing in the woods behind her home and imagining she was a princess. She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in English Communication from Mount Olive College and her Master’s degree from Fort Hays State University. She currently teaches online English composition courses for three universities, and an online “Writing Novels for Young Adults” course for UC Irvine.

When she’s not grading papers or writing, she enjoys reading and watching movies. She sings when she’s in a good mood and has killed every plant she’s ever owned. She currently lives in North Carolina with her husband and her three-year-old. Read more about Leigh at


  1. Thanks for having me, Sydney!!


  2. I wanted my hair to be lighter so I used sun-in like crazy. My hair was a mess! I had so many split ends, I had to chop most of my hair off...