“I look and feel more healthy and beautiful than I ever have because I no longer tell myself I am ugly and worthless. I am beautiful because of my desire to help, motivate, and inspire others.” – Edna
Tell us about yourself, Edna!
My name is Edna Renee Cornette and I am proud to say I am 45 years young. I love life! I have an amazing and supportive husband named Tim. We’ve shared 13 years together, and we will celebrate 12 years of marriage in August. We have a beautiful 11 year old daughter named Isabella. We are close with our families on both my side and Tim’s; I would not trade them for the world. I lost my dad to Sarcoma cancer in 2017 and my world was crushed. He was my cheerleader in everything I did. My mom is my best friend and someone I look up to because of her Christian values.
I am an artist by trade (self taught with some mentoring), a substitute teacher by day, and a student. I love to learn! I earned my Bachelor’s in Business Administration from Purdue University Global (2017), my Master’s in Business Management and Leadership from Purdue University Global (2019), and I am currently pursuing my Master’s of Art in Teaching at Belhaven University.
Although my original career plan was to be in Human Resources, I chose to be a teacher instead. I decided to begin substitute teaching during the 2020 coronavirus pandemic. After my first day, I knew that teaching was the plan for me all along! I love being a role model for others and helping students grow. I feel my positive attitude, motivating personality, and inspiring soul will help in their success for their future.
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
Many things have contributed to my understanding of my inner beauty.
Tim helped me find my inner beauty by showing me the values within myself.
Becoming a mother has helped me to find my inner beauty. My daughter, Bella, reminds me daily how beautiful I am because of how sweet I am. She also says that my “happy paintings” reveal my inner beauty because my soul comes through.
Moving back to Long Beach, MS helped me to find my positive and happy self again. I look and feel more healthy and beautiful than I ever have because I no longer beat myself up nor tell myself I am ugly and worthless.
In 2003, I weighed 399 pounds. I did not love myself and I made it difficult for others to love me. When I look back at old photos of myself, I don’t see myself as ugly. I simply could not find my beauty because I chose to listen to other’s negativity.
After many years of praying and searching, I found my inner beauty in my soul and my personality. Finding the positive in every situation is what makes me beautiful. Being a positive role model is what makes me beautiful. I have undereye bags from many nights of studying hard to be successful, I have wrinkles on my forehead and around my eyes from smiling so much, my teeth are not perfect due to things I could not control, but my friends and family see beyond those things and into my heart. I am beautiful because of my desire to help, motivate, and inspire others.
What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?
I always thought if I could just lose weight, then I would feel beautiful. But once I did, I discovered that I still did not like who I was. Then I thought, if I get my hair and nails done, buy a new expensive outfit, have Botox injections done, etc… still I did not feel beautiful. Though beauty is inside all of us, I was living in negativity at that time and I did not like myself.
It is easy to lose ourselves to negativity, but when we do, we lose ourselves and our beauty. We fill up with more hatred and anger, which is never attractive! Your heart and your soul are the two values that make you beautiful. My beauty comes from staying positive and encouraging others to stay positive instead of focusing on the negative. We have to discover who we are and use it for the good.
Take time for yourself to introspect and find the beauty within yourself that everyone else sees. Know with confidence that you are beautiful. You can do this without feeling you are being conceited.
When I was a weight loss counselor, I would tell my clients: “A mirror is a reflection of what you see in your mind, but a picture will tell you the truth.” When they looked in the mirror, they saw a negative image of themselves, but when I took a picture, they saw something more attractive. It was because I talked to them and helped them love and appreciate themselves before I took the snapshot.
My advice to you is this: Find the most beautiful assets God gave you, find ways to make yourself look and feel more beautiful, tell yourself you are amazing and that you deserve to see your inner beauty, and most importantly, ask others what they feel makes you beautiful. You will be amazed with the responses!
What did the shoot mean to you? What did it feel like to be selected?
I felt honored to be a part of this inspiring message. Brandi captured me in a way I had never seen myself. I left feeling beautiful, full of life, more confident, and ready to inspire others.
My experience was amazing and inspiring. Kasper was so friendly and greeted me with open arms when I walked through the door. I spoke to him for a little while as he did my hair and makeup. Brandi came in and introduced herself to me. She was so kind and caring. I had so much fun talking to Brandi and Kasper as she took my pictures. She had so many great ideas and made me feel confident and comfortable – and of course beautiful.
Is there anything else you’d like to share?
You can spend all the money in the world to look beautiful, but your heart and your personality is what makes you truly beautiful. Chin up, smile, have confidence, and be there for others in the way you want them to be there for you. Remember, life is short. Have fun being the happy and positive you, knowing others will see your spirit shine through. Then you will hear “you are beautiful” more often.
You are beautiful!
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