When publishers asked for photos of Martinez author Regina Franklin for the cover of her book, Who Calls Me Beautiful? Finding Our True Image in the Mirror of God, she agreed, under one condition.
She told the publisher, Grand Rapids, Mich.-based Discovery House, not to touch up the pictures.
She wanted a natural photo because the book addresses the struggle many women face with self-image and self-worth, especially in an age when ideal beauty exists only in airbrushed advertisements in magazines.
The publisher ended up not using photos.
Ms. Franklin will hold book signings from 4 to 6 p.m. Sunday and 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday at New Hope Worship Center, 715 S. Old Belair Road in Grovetown.
A high school teacher and wife of New Hope's youth pastor, Scott Franklin, she has observed teenage girls in many settings, but she wrote the book with women ages 25-45 in mind.
Her own struggle with self-image changed the day she stopped praying to be thin and beautiful. Instead, she asked God to help her understand the beauty he saw in her.
"As I walk past my reflection in mirrors and store windows, I must choose to view myself through either the mirror of God's Word or the mirror of this world. The choice I make is the difference between life and death ... between creating an idol and being the temple" where God dwells, she wrote.
Links among beauty, power and sexuality are examined in the light of scripture.
Men need to understand that they have a role to play. While their wives and daughters need to hear from them that they are beautiful, they also need to hear when their style of dress is inappropriate.
The word "sexy" is used so casually that people hear it passively, she said.
"To say that a person looks sexy is to say that she is desirable for sex. Moreover, it is to suggest that she is available for sex. Is this the message we want young girls to have?" she wrote.
Mrs. Franklin played around with the idea of writing a book for a couple of years before she sat down at a computer four years ago. With rearing children, helping at church and teaching, it wasn't until spring 2003 that she could complete the book and look for a publisher.
She got her share of rejection notices before Discovery and another company expressed interest. She signed with Discovery in September.
The publisher chose the cover depicting a young girl sitting in a grassy field.
"One of the things that I love about the cover is that she is looking away," Mrs. Franklin said. No one can tell whether she is beautiful.
For more information, call 868-6410 or see the church Web site, www.nhwc.org.
Reach Virginia Norton at 823-3336 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Who: Regina Franklin, author of Who Calls Me Beautiful? Finding Our True Image in the Mirror of God
Where: New Hope Worship Center, 715 S. Old Belair Road in Grovetown
When: 4-6 p.m. Sunday and 5-7 p.m. Wednesday Phone: 868-6410