Bold Beautiful Perfect: Barbara
“Never let someone devalue you. You are stronger than you think, prettier than you feel, and braver than you ever thought you could be.”
Tell us about yourself, Barbara!
I am a mom to 2 amazing daughters and 1 foster child. I am married to my best friend and soul mate for the last 5 years. By day, I manage a store; by night I’m a Scentsy Consultant.
I enjoy spending time with my family. My kids play a combination of 3 sports; those are our favorite activities. I am my kids’ biggest cheerleader in all areas of life!
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
I have been through many struggles in my life, some traumatic. Growing up, I never thought I was “pretty or beautiful.” I thought beauty was on the outside and I listened to what the world said. Being a twin, I always compared myself to her in all areas.
After being in an abusive marriage and having a child that only lived 6 days, I soon realized beauty was on the inside not the out. It does not matter if you are the “prettiest” person on the outside, it is what comes out of your mouth and actions that really matter. I was in a dark place in my life for a few years and these are the years that truly showed me beauty was so much more than skin deep. I was able to walk away from the abusive marriage and get my life together.
In the meantime, I had my next two children (both born premature). I entered another marriage that was emotionally abusive. Again, I was able to escape. However, the two children I had were teaching me lessons in life I had no clue about. They are so beautiful inside and out. At this time in my life, I still never felt pretty and I allowed myself to devalue my worth.
After my second divorce, I made a point to get to know myself and to love myself. I went on a journey of finding myself and my inner beauty. During this time, I lost my dad suddenly. But there was a change happening in me. I didn’t let people dictate how I saw or felt about myself. I stopped worrying about how the world saw me. I stopped trying to have the “perfect” appearance, and I stopped comparing myself to other women. That is when I was able to see my inner beauty and the inner beauty of others. When I look in the mirror now, I can see all pain I have been through, but I also see all that I have overcome. That puts a smile on my face.
My most important goal is to raise my daughters to know their beauty inside and out. I won’t let the world brainwash them into thinking they have to be a certain figure, have a certain appearance, or be a certain way. I want them to be their unique selves.
This project is all about inspiring women to see their beauty. What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?
Being in abusive marriages or toxic relationships will make women devalue themselves. Never let someone devalue you. You are stronger than you think, prettier than you feel, and braver than you ever thought you could be.
Losing a child was one of the hardest things I have ever done. I didn’t feel pretty. I didn’t feel worthy. It took me many years to see my beauty. Please don’t let it take you that long! Always remember that your scars tell a story. Be proud of your story – it’s what makes you who you are today.
What did the shoot mean to you? What did it feel like to be selected?
When I applied for this shoot, my expectation was that I was never going to be chosen. But getting out of my comfort zone was listed on the vision board I completed in January, so I decided to apply. When I received the call that I was selected, I was completely blown away. Until the anxiety hit me! Oh Barbara, what have you gotten yourself in to? At one point I was going to back out, but I decided to honor my commitment. I am so glad I did. This has opened my eyes to a whole new level. This experience gave me the confidence that I was lacking. It provided a way for me to tell my story without feeling ashamed.
The photoshoot was an amazing experience. I was petrified when I arrived because it was completely out of my comfort zone, but Brandi and Kasper instantly made me feel welcomed. They talked with me like they had known me for years. Kasper had me completely relaxed by the time he was done with my hair and makeup.
To see myself after my makeover was amazing! I was blown away that I actually looked like that! Being a girl who doesn’t wear makeup or dress up very often, I was shocked. It was so pretty.
Brandi talked to me, explained the process and made me feel special, important, beautiful, and amazing. When she showed me a pose that she took, I had tears in my eyes. I had no clue that it was even possible. But one of the rules are no tears after makeup is on 🙂 So we quickly went on to another pose. That day was by far one of the most special days of my life. I can’t wait to share this with my daughters one day. This was a major confidence booster.
Anything else you’d like to share?
Every woman needs to know that they are pretty. I want to spread kindness, love, smiles, and happy thoughts to women. As women, we are always thinking about and doing for other people. Some times we need to slow down and take time for ourselves. It is not a bad thing to love yourself. It is important to know your worth. Treat people how you want to be treated. A smile costs nothing, but it could be a major thing for the person receiving it.
You are worth celebrating!
To book your own fabulous Portrait Session, contact us through the inquiry form below.
International Award-Winning Portrait Photographer
Brandi Stage is an international award-winning portrait photographer based in Bay St. Louis, MS. She creates an exceptional magazine-style photo shoot and timeless heirloom portraits for women, men, children and pets in her studio or on location.