Have you ever been afraid to share something special about you? Our guest has, but her journey has shown her how to overcome that fear and stand beautiful in her uniqueness.
Chloe Howard joins us on The Portfolio Life to talk about being born different, and what happened to give her the strength and courage to speak her truth.
Chloe may be our youngest guest yet at only 18! But in those 18 years she has experienced much, so much that she recently published a new book called Stand Beautiful.
To fully understand her tale and where her unique voice has come from, we start at the beginning, literally. Chloe was born on April 17, 2000. She was born a healthy, happy baby with a club foot. Her left foot was upside down and backwards, with only three toenails total.
Growing up was interesting she says! Chloe has had 5 major surgeries to correct her club foot, and 4 minor medical procedures. Feeling like surgery was always imminent was hard and Chloe was very aware that she was not a normal girl. As she got older those feelings of being different became bigger and bigger.
But her family's faith helped Chloe, they taught her that her foot was special and God had a cool plan for her. She believed in that plan until her freshmen year of high school, when everything changed.
Chloe shares that she was the victim of an assault in high school. She was restrained one day during lunch and, without her consent, articles of her clothing were removed and her deformed foot was shown to a group of her peers.
For the first time in her life, Chloe saw her foot in a different light, and she saw them as negative. She wasn't proud of her scars, and it started a confusing, difficult time in her life. She didn't understand why God would allow that to happen to her if he really did have a plan for her.
Chloe talks about the incident in great detail, and with true courage. Listen in to hear her story, what happened after and how she has reclaimed her story as her own on today's The Portfolio Life.
Listen to the podcast
To listen to the show, click the player below (If you’re reading this via email, please click here).
In this episode, Chloe and I talk about:
- What does it mean to have your story told for you?
- How did Chloe reclaim her story as her own?
- What was it like to give a TEDx Talk at age 16?
- What did Bono say to her that changed her life so dramatically?
- When did she know she had a story to share and a message to be heard?
Only you have the power to determine what your labels are.
What it means to stand beautiful
- Why has she given up on “normal”?
- How did she come up with the term stand beautiful?
- Why we all have our own unique stories and we were all made to stand out.
- Has her condition made her more sensitive to the needs of others?
- Why the “what if” game is dangerous and not helpful.
Stories are meant to be shared.
The Stand Beautiful tour
- When was the first time she met someone else with a club foot?
- Why did she decide to write a book?
- How does she approach fear when it comes up?
- How to say yes to sharing your own story, even if you are hesitant to do so.
- What is the smallest and largest word we have access to?
- Chloe Howard’s web site
- Stand Beautiful, by Chloe Howard
- Stand Beautiful, (picture book) by Chloe Howard
- Chloe’s Stand Beautiful Tedx Talk
- Real Artists Don’t Starve
- Subscribe, rate and review on iTunes
What unique story or perspective are you sharing with the world? Let us know in the comments.