Dear Teen Me: The Art of Getting Stared At Blog Tour: Guest Post by Author Laura Langston

September 5, 2014 / 1 Comment / Blog Tour

Hey guys, today I’m excited to be part of the official The Art of Getting Stared At Blog Tour! I didn’t have time to read the book (too many BEA ARCs!), but I really
wanted to be part of the tour for this book because I think it addresses
self-esteem and appearance issues that we all faced – and still face –
as teens and adults.

Here’s more on the book!

Author: Laura Langston
 (website | twitter | facebook)
Publication date: September 9, 2014

After a school video
she produced goes viral, sixteen-year-old Sloane is given the biggest
opportunity of her life – a chance for a film school scholarship. She
has less than two weeks to produce a second video, something with depth,
and she’s determined to do it. The trouble is she has to work with
Isaac Alexander, an irresponsible charmer with whom she shares an uneasy

On the heels of this good news/bad news opportunity,
Sloane finds a bald spot on her head. The pink patch, no bigger than a
quarter, shouldn’t be there. Neither should the bald spots that follow.
Horror gives way to devastation when Sloane is diagnosed with alopecia
areata. The autoimmune disease has no cause, no cure and no definitive
outcome. The spots might grow over tomorrow or they might be there for
life. She could become completely bald. No one knows.

to produce her video and keep her condition secret, Sloane finds herself
turning into the kind of person she has always mocked: someone obsessed
with their looks. She’s also forced to confront a painful truth: she
is as judgmental as anyone else…but she saves the harshest judgments for

On a Personal Note: 

Penguin Canada asked me to talk about one thing I wish I could tell my teen self about body image/self esteem. Where do I start? I was definitely not a pretty teenager; I had braces, terrible glasses, and no matter how much I spent on my clothes or my hair or my body, I always felt like it didn’t look quite right. If I started losing my hair like Sloane, I don’t know what Teen Me would have done, because I already felt like a secondhand version of what was cool – a really artificial knockoff. 

In high school, it feels like everyone is holding you up to a magnifying glass and you can’t hide anywhere. It’s like you’re one of the giant people in Gulliver’s Travels, and the cool people are little Gulliver, seeing all the gross parts of you.

The thing that I’ve realized is that EVERYONE FEELS THIS WAY. And most of the time, they’re too busy scrutinizing themselves to see all of those things you see as imperfections. The people who do see them, and pick at them? Those are the people who are so scared that you’ll see their imperfections that they have to shift the focus to you.

What I would tell my teen self is this: You are the only person who is scrutinizing yourself this closely. You are the only person who sees every tiny pore in your skin, every little pimple, every scar. No one else is looking this closely, and if they are, it’s because they’re scared. You can’t control other people’s reactions to you, but you can control how you feel about yourself. And no matter what anyone else says, you should own YOU. Do what you love, wear what makes you happy, and smile at yourself in the mirror.

I hope Sloane learns to own it in this book. I hope she stops judging herself so harshly, like I did in high school. And I really hope that she doesn’t let her disease stop her from becoming the filmmaker she can be. 
On that note, because I’m a huge movie buff, I asked author Laura Langston to tell us a bit more about Sloane’s favourite movies.

Guest Post: Sloane’s List of Must-Watch Films

by Laura Langston

Sloane loves documentaries and wants to become a documentary filmmaker, so her picks are strongly influenced by her love of film making itself. Having said that, she also likes to laugh and she has a romantic streak too. Her picks in no particular order are:

See What I’m Saying (a documentary referenced in The Art of Getting Stared At)
Project Nim (a thought-provoking documentary with some dramatic re-creations and animatronics)
Juno (romance and laughter with heart)
Rise of Planet of the Apes (for its amazing special effects & because it’s set in her hometown of San Francisco)
Shrek (her favorite movie as a child)

Thanks, Laura! That’s definitely an eclectic list of movies. I think I’d enjoy getting to know Sloane.

Here’s more about Laura:

By the time she hit Grade Four, Laura Langston knew she wanted to be a writer. So did the teachers. It was the persistent daydreaming and invisible friends that tipped them off. Since Laura grew up knowing no writers – and consequently didn’t know how to be one – she became a journalist instead. The trouble is, journalists are expected to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth.

But making stuff up is way more fun. So eventually Laura traded one notebook for another and today she writes books for tweens, teens, children and sometimes adults.

When she’s not writing, reading or walking her Shetland sheepdogs, Laura can be found spying on people in the grocery store or twisting herself into a pretzel in yoga class.

To learn more, visit Follow her at

THE ART OF GETTING STARED AT comes out on Tuesday, September 9th! Will you be picking up a copy? What would you tell your teen self about body image and self-esteem? What would you do if you started losing your hair? Let me know in the comments!

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