Chloe Howard on new book ‘Stand Beautiful’
When Chloe Howard was born with a club foot, doctors said she would not walk or have a normal life. By the time she was 14 years old, she endured 5 major operations, castings, braces and years of difficult physical therapy to correct her physical limitation.
In her young life she endured being bullied and ridiculed by her classmates. Rather than transfer to another school, Chloe stayed, grew emotionally stronger, and made new friends. She encountered and overcame insecurity and depression, which is associated with those who have physical differences.
Now the author of a book Stand Beautiful: A Story of Brokenness, Beauty & Embracing It All (Zondervan/Harper Collins), which is a young adult book and also a children’s picture book, Chloe has made impressive accomplishments. Chloe Howard books and ministry are highly significant for such a time as this, as they address and provide solutions for critical challenges and problems today for all ages: bullying, suicide, abortion, and much more.
She had the amazing opportunity to meet BONO of U2. His words to her changed her life. Both Bono’s RED Organization and Cure.org have supported Chloe’s Stand Beautiful movement and efforts. Chloe Howard has also become a speaker for prestigious TEDx Talks.
Chloe’s STAND BEAUTIFUL shares the importance of accepting others for their differences, leaning on faith and family for support, embracing uniqueness, and allowing adversity to provide greater strength and determination.
Sonoma Christian Home has an exclusive, inspirational interview with Chloe Howard, who is now eighteen and headed for college after high school graduation. SCH Editor at Large Dr. Diane Howard reports.
SCH: How have young people responded to your book and speaking?
CH: Young people in different ways have responded positively to my messages about the following: the reality that we are all broken, that we can be resilient, that we can defeat bullying, that we need to accept ourselves and others, and that we can have hope. What I share resonates with all. Many whom I have been able to encourage have shared their similar painful stories with me.
SCH: How have you seen God work in surprising ways?
CH: God has shown up time and time again in surprising ways. For example, my dad won a contest which enabled him to take me to see and hear BONO of U2 in Denver. I was able to talk with Bono and he challenged me in positive ways that led to what I am doing now.
SCH: How have you seen that God’s ways are not our ways?
CH: I have learned that my timing is not God’s. I have learned that when I wanted something a certain way that His way was far bigger and better!
SCH: How has God provided for your ministry in wonderful ways?
CH: He has provided time and time again. As a shy teen who had never spoken in public, He enabled me to speak for a TED Talk. He has enabled me to minister to those with congenital deformities in the Dominican Republic, Kenya, and India. I was assaulted as a freshman, Harper Publishing Company heard about my story on Facebook, offered to publish a book for me, and it was published by the time I was a senior in high school. From the beginning He has provided. I was seen in my mother’s womb to have a hole in my heart and with two club feet. I was not to be born alive. My mother was advised to abort me. But my mother, a woman of faith, had me and I was born with the hole closed.
SCH: How have you been able to serve young people?
CH: I have been able to serve young people and help them overcome the following: struggles with friends, race, deformities, suicide and more.
SCH: What have you learned are the best ways to overcome bullying?
CH: We need to encourage acceptance, loving, and celebrating differences in ourselves and others.
SCH: What are some major lessons have you learned about the Christian life?
CH: I was assaulted in a Christian school. It was a hard time for my faith. I was disappointed in others in a Christian environment. I had to learn that there is a difference in the Christian life and faith than Christian institutions. I learned that people may fail me but that God never does.
SCH: What has brought you the greatest joy in your life?
CH: My fifteen-year-old brother has brought me a lot of joy. Knowing that God never leaves me has brought me the greatest joy!
SCH: What makes people beautiful?
CH: Confidence, authenticity; celebration of life, and uniqueness make people beautiful!
SCH: What does it mean to stand, as in Stand Beautiful?
CH: Out of my pain, I wrote the word beautiful on the biggest scar on my club foot. I stood out of and on that hole, literally and figuratively, as I stood firm in the truth that God loves us as we are.
Born with a severe, painful and debilitating foot deformity, it was a miracle Chloe was even born. Enduring her first surgery at six months old, she had five major surgeries by the time she was fifteen. Wearing special shoes, braces, and casts while doing countless hours of physical therapy, was all routine for Chloe.
Her parents kept reminding her she was beautifully and wonderfully made. She truly believed that there was something secret and unique about her that no one else had. She was different. And she was proud of it.
All that self-acceptance was wiped out in an instant when, as a high school freshman, she became the victim of an assault and was bullied at the hands of her peers.
Soon after, she had a chance encounter with Bono, the lead singer of the band U2, where she worked up the courage to share her story. Bono inspired her to find her voice and use it for those who have none. She started to think about what it would mean to stand beautiful.
In the young adult nonfiction book, Stand Beautiful, Chloe tells the story of her transforming assault at the hands of peers in high school. Through the support of family and friends and reliance on her faith, Chloe discovers that being unique is one of the greatest gifts she has ever received. It is through her uniqueness that she discovers she was created for a purpose. And that purpose is changing the world.
In the picture book, also titled Stand Beautiful, Chloe inspires readers to be bold and embrace the qualities that truly make them special. Alongside tender illustrations by artist Deborah Melmon, readers will be encouraged to appreciate their own uniqueness and as well as the ability to look for it in others.
Chloe Howard, who as a teen was bullied because of her club foot shares her inspirational journey in her two new books, Stand Beautiful: A Story of Beauty, Brokenness and Embracing it All. She as an author, TEDx speaker. and bullying expert is on a mission to empower people of all ages to embrace their uniqueness and boldly face their beautiful selves.
Having been born with a foot deformity and having had had five major operations by the time she was fifteen, Chloe has learned through her hardships the following: differences are unique, bullying needs to be stopped from the inside out, and worth is most valuable when it comes from within.
Today Chloe Howard is the voice of Stand Beautiful, a movement promoting the acceptance of self and others. She has been featured on NPR, in Teen Vogue, and as a TEDx speaker. She has been the subject of two documentaries and toured internationally with CURE.org.
To learn more about this author, please visit Dr. Diane Howard