author spotlight: Sarah Bowen Shea

Ever had a friend make you feel so bad about yourself that you carry it with you 30 years later? And if so, what would you tell her if you could? Sarah Bowen Shea cuts to the chase in her witty send-off letter “Plain as the Nose on My Face.”

“Even though it’s been thirty years, I still vividly remember you making fun of the bump in my nose. Repeatedly. You’d run your finger down the slope of your perfect little bunny nose and then wonder aloud what caused the bump on the bridge of my nose. The bump I’d noticed, sure, but hadn’t paid much attention to. (Heck, I was just so relieved to have jettisoned my bifocal glasses two years before that I fancied I looked kinda hot!)…

…While I realized on some level what was driving you, the comments still made a lasting mark. I entered high school feeling self-conscious about my nose, the bump looming larger in my mind than on my face. Even in college, when I started dating a movie star-handsome man, I wondered how he could think I was beautiful when I had such a schnoz. Hell, I’m in my early forties now, and when I meet new people, I sometimes still hear your berating comments reverberating in my head…”

SARAH BOWEN SHEA is a freelance writer who specializes in writing about fitness, health, gear, and parenting. She writes for a variety of magazines, including Runner’s World, Self, Health, and Fit Pregnancy, and she is the athletic footwear editor for Shape. Sarah’s especially proud of the pieces she’s written for the Thursday Styles section of The New York Times. She lives with her husband and three young children, including boy-girl twin preschoolers. Showing off her nurturing side, Sarah had her first book published in February: The Essential Breastfeeding Log: A Feedings Tracker and Baby-Care Organizer for Nursing Moms (see She blogs about juggling parenting, work, and working out at Her next book, tentatively titled Run Like a Mother and coauthored with fellow contributor Dimity McDowell, is due out in spring 2010.

Read the rest of Sarah Bowen Shea’s letter, plus 35 others, in P.S. What I Didn’t Say: Unsent Letters to Our Female Friends, now available on Amazon!



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