By Takiya Smith
So, Takiya La’Shaune Smith has wrote a book. A book. What, pray tell, could the pages of this book possibly enclose? What further words of encouragement or inspiration could this memoir spark, ignite or seek to find a flicker of hope within? We read her columns weekly, and get the underlining point that beauty goes deeper than just the exterior. We get it!
Well, that, my dear friend, is exactly it. I want you to get it! According to Merriam-Webster, beauty is defined as “the quality or aggregate of qualities in a person or thing that gives pleasure to the senses or pleasurably exalts the mind or spirit”. Contrary to culture and our popular beliefs, I find it intriguing that the overall connotation of beauty is not described according to outer appearance or visual attractiveness, but as “qualities in a person.”
You see, Takiya La’Shaune Smith, as successful as she has been blessed to be, as friendly as most have come to know her, as happy, confident and self-assured as she is, and as beautiful as many have called her, once was not.
Takiya La’Shaune Smith grew up in a home filled with disconnect, discord and depression which resulted in tons of low-self esteem, a poor lack of self-image and no value of self-worth at all. Takiya La’Shaune Smith grew up, carrying these traits well into her adulthood and because of lack of direction, anyone in her life to teach and reassure her that she was loved, beautiful, smart and worth it, she succumbed to a lifestyle less desired. Takiya La’Shaune Smith encountered hurt, both physical, mental and emotional from a string of abusive relationships because she thought this was all she ever deserved. Takiya La’Shaune Smith became a single mother by 21, had multiple encounters with the law by 23, drank, smoke and spiraled out of control by 25, was angry, mean and selfish through 27, never thought she was acceptably attractive until 29, and was homeless and broke by 31.
So, you see, Takiya La’Shaune Smith has a story and behind that story is a voice that needs to be heard. It’s the voice of your neighbor, hurting silently inside, but smiling on the outside. It’s the voice of that little girl who sits next to your kid in class, desperately longing to have what she sees you give. It’s the voice of those scantily-clad promiscuous teenage girls, whom you judge instead of encourage, not knowing that they have never been taught to respect themselves better. It’s the voice of your boss, who unjustly scolds you daily, because she is so full of anger due to the abuse she received the night before. It’s the voice of a bully, picking on a child because they are picked on at home, told they are nothing and never will be. It’s even the voice of that abusive man who needs to be freed by finding another way. Please, please, please … listen to the voice.
Visit www.Takiya-LaShaune.com for information, speaking engagements and to purchase books.
IF YOU GO:
What: Pre-Launch Book Signing of “Never Forsaken”
When: Monday, April 15, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Where: Beautique Lash & Brow, 2201 Boundary Street, Suite 203, Beaufort (located in Carolina Cove)
What else: Open to the public with light refreshments and drinks. Purchase of signed copies available ($14.99)