Keeping it Real With Author Miki Turner

Aug 27 • Uncategorized • 7011 Views • No Comments on Keeping it Real With Author Miki Turner

journey-to-the-woman-ive-come-to-love-coverWhen did you fall in love with yourself? That’s the question award winning photojournalist Miki Turner asked the women in her book journey to the woman I’ve come to love: affirmations from women who have fallen in love–with themselves (Volume 1). With beautiful pictures taken by Turner herself, she explores self-esteem and encourages us all to look inside and fall in love…with ourselves.


You included a diverse group of women in your book from celebrities to everyday women, how did you decide who to include?

Diversity in terms of race was always very important to me. Initially the book was going to be very celebrity driven but my spirit just wasn’t very responsive to that concept and I kept meeting these really extraordinary women who weren’t public figures like the Nazi war survivor in the nursing home. Or, the shop owner in the West Village, or the woman I met in the shop where I got my locks done. God just kept putting all of these really cool women in my path and said explore their journeys. I’m so proud that the book is so diverse. I think that’s what really sets it apart. It’s a reflection of the world we live in.


Were you surprised that so many women were willing to be a part of the book?

I think I was pleasantly surprised by some of the reactions from the women I approached about the book. I’m a child of the ’60s, so Angela Davis, Nikki Giovanni, Myrlie Evers-Williams and Gloria Steinem were huge gets to me on a personal level. And, I think with the celebrities, the question was something most of them had never been asked so that’s why they really wanted to be a part of it. Just about everyone said, ‘That’s a really good question!’


What do you hope women get from journey to the woman I’ve come to love?

I hope the book will reassure women that it’s just ok to do you. We’re so influenced by the images of the media’s interpretation of the so-called perfect woman that we often neglect to recognize the beauty inside of all of us. Real beauty has so little to do with the exterior package. Once you start loving yourself, none of the nonsense really matters any more. You love your big hips, your wrinkly skin, your age spots, your nappy hair, your slanted eyes–whatever it is that God has gifted you with. The beauty of being in that space is that you could care less what others think about you. You just do you and call it a life!


mikinikonWhat did you learn from doing this book?

I think the book just reinforced some things I already knew. Women are these really strong, nurturing, vulnerable and incredible creatures. The black one is different from the white one and the white one is different from the red, brown and yellow one but not necessarily because of their respective skin colors but because of their respective experiences. And that’s OK. If we all learn to celebrate our differences instead of using them as weapons against each other, I think you’d see racism start to dissipate. I think this is the wonderfulness of being a woman. We’re more interested in inspiring and empowering each other because in some ways it’s like we’re a totally different race. Sometimes it does feel like it us against the world so we have to continue to support each other and stop listening to all the noise.


Will there be a sequel?

I am currently working on the sequel. I’ll be traveling a lot this summer so I hope to encounter a plethora of interesting women to add to the mix. I’m also working on another book that I don’t really want to talk too much about yet.


Of course I have to ask you, at what point did you fall in love with yourself?

I think growing up in an era when Jim Crow was in a shallow grave probably jumpstarted my love for myself at an early age. As a kid in the ’60s there was still so much ugliness around. Thankfully, I grew up in a household where I was told I was just as good as anyone else and that I was worthy. I was also influenced by my clean-cut older brother who went to college in a suit and tie and came back with an afro, a tiki necklace around his neck and a raised right fist. And, once we had determined Black was Beautiful, I started to embrace my dark skin and impossibly thick kinky hair! I miss that time because people were real. They expressed their emotions and ideas freely and if you didn’t like it, then so what? That said, however, I don’t really think I started feeling comfortable in my skin until I moved to Oakland, Calif. and started experiencing a lot of success professionally during my early 30s. That was the missing part of that loving me triangle. The final piece was inserted when I finished the book. I have never been more in love with myself than I am right now!



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Website: http://www.

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Mestephanieet The Contributor:

Stephanie Kemp is a writer/poet looking to spread light into dark spaces. She has been published in several journals and anthologies.
Twitter: @Stephanie_poet

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