As 2020 continues to burden millions of Americans with unprecedented trials and tribulations, many are bracing themselves for what may still be yet to come. One Miami native has found comfort and strength in writing a book.
Miami native Jupshy Jasmin’s book “The Untold Secret of Her Beauty” reinterprets the biblical story of Leah.
Jupshy Jasmin’s “The Untold Secret of Her Beauty,” a self-help book rooted in faith, is the author’s debut title.
Miami native Jasmin grew up in a religious Haitian household. She admires the stories of the Bible and the impact each can have on one’s day-to-day life.
“I always felt like I was a quiet person, and I would rather sit down and write my thoughts [than verbalize them],” said Jasmin. “I still have journals from like, high school, and I have poetry journals from middle school on my own little philosophies about life.”
Over the last decade, she journaled more than 20 entries on the biblical figure Leah, Jacob’s first wife.
Leah first appears in the Bible in Genesis 29. She wasn’t as attractive as her twin sister Rachel and is described as having “tender,” or weary eyes. Leah was lonely and unloved in her marriage; God blessed her with children to console her.
“I originally wrote about Leah as a woman who just suffered. No one liked her because she was unattractive,” said Jasmin. “Instead, everyone just felt sorry for her.”
Until Jasmin got into a debate with a fellow religious friend on Leah and changed her perspective.
“I read [Leah’s] story to point out how prayer is not just kind of like a genie in a bottle type of thing,” said Jasmin. “You have to take action as well.”
Her friend expressed that faith shouldn’t be questioned. That inspired Jasmin to come to a new interpretation of Leah’s story.
“I realized I had painted such a negative picture of Leah. … I got a little deeper in her story and realized she was picked by the Messiah,” said Jasmin.
She began writing the book in 2019; its primary message is that beauty lies beyond the skin. The book’s cover features a woman wearing a colorful headscarf, a representation of Leah. She hides behind the scarf from a judgmental society, one which holds her back from her purpose in life.
“Leah was chosen by Christ and had more to offer than her looks,” said Jasmin. “Her inspirational message allows women to gain a new perspective about themselves from Leah’s struggle towards magnificent glory.”
Jasmin currently works at Florida International University as a research nurse. She said she has seen firsthand how patients like Leah are treated.
“Patients who look better tend to get more attention and care than those who don’t,” said Jasmin. “Those who don’t fit society’s beauty standards have less visitors and less interactions, [and are sometimes] neglected unless family visits them.”
Having come to a better understanding of Leah’s story, Jasmin said she feels even more empathy toward them.
“I always speak to all my patients and engage with them more because I may be the only person they socialize with for the entire day,” she said.
Living in a competitive society, Jasmin said, where the beautiful are often granted the upper hand, those who aren’t favored get overlooked.
“Everyone's trying to be American Idol, you know, being on top,” she said. “It’s like crabs in a bucket. People try to bring you down so that they can step over you.”
Jasmin added that she herself seeks comfort in times of turmoil through self-help books. One of her favorite authors is Bishop T.D. Jakes.
“For the past 15 years, I've read so many of his books,” said Jasmin. “He's not your traditional pastor; he preaches from light in unconventional methods.”
After a year of writing and more than five edits, the book was published in May. Jasmin hopes to translate it into multiple languages so its message – to remain strong no matter what comes your way, and that there’s more to offer the world than physical traits – can reach more communities.
“At the end of the day, when you’ve experienced failure, rejection,” said Jasmin, “[Remember] that it’s not the end, not a period; it's a comma, it's a detour. Keep motivated, keep going, keep holding, keep it, keep believing and keep reaching.”
“I encourage women to find the beauty that's been laying dormant inside of them for so many years in a locker,” she added. “We’re not here by accident. We have a purpose, a legacy.”
“The Untold Secret of Her Beauty” by Jupshy Jasmin. Available in paperback, $18, and Kindle, $9.99, on Amazon.com.