2021 Bold Beautiful Perfect: Ellen
“Showing compassion and kindness to others will help build your character, and your inner qualities will shine through on the outside.”
Tell us about yourself, Ellen!
I’m 34 years old, a wife, and mom to 2 precious boys. We have a 5-year-old Shih-Poo named Buddy. I’m an agent at United Risk Insurance; I’m passionate about my work and love the clients I work with.
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
It’s come with age and maturity. I’ve never been skinny, but I’ve always felt confident in my own size 10 skin. In 2016, we started a family in and I had two baby boys within 15 months of each other. I had easy pregnancies and healthy babies; I could not be more thankful. What was difficult, however, was the negative feelings that come with postpartum and feeling gross for the following two-and-a-half years. My clothes were nice but did I really want to wear a bag dress or oversized shirt all the time? No! I just felt so gross in my own skin.
I started to play tennis more, took walks with the kids, and just started to focus on myself. Did I feel selfish? Absolutely! But I don’t want to be the mom that lives the “Mom Life” without having any life of her own. I will always be there for every event my kids have and support them in every way emotionally, financially, physically, etc., but if I don’t take care of myself and my own health, how can I be Super Mom for them on a daily basis? I want to make sure I’m around when they are starting families of their own. I try to make time for selfcare and keep myself on the priority list too.
2020 really helped me realized what mattered most to me and how important it was to block out the noise and external distractions. More often, I pause to stop and think what makes me happy. What or who do I want to surround myself with that will help me become a better person? If I spend time with negative or ungrateful people, I’m likely to start acting the same way instead of focusing on all I have to be thankful for. I can’t be all things to everyone — been there, done that, and it’s exhausting — but I can be myself, which is good enough!
As a mom, it’s so easy to lose yourself in the routine and everything that involves your children. When I stopped to focus on myself, what lights me up, what I’m passionate about outside of my children, I found a new me. I have to take care of myself first so I can stay young and live long for my children. I want to be able to share in all the amazing experiences that have yet to come. I’ve learned to DO with intention and cut out the noise and distractions. Thanks to COVID and 2020, I’ve slowed down and soaked in every memory and had so many wonderful new experiences with my family. It’s been a life changing year but one I’ll never take for granted!
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?
It’s a learning process that never ends, but my advice to help develop your inner beauty is to eliminate negativity. Eliminate negativity in your relationships, in your home, your work. Develop your interests and try something new and exciting. Don’t be afraid to look in the mirror and say “I look great!” or buy a new sexy outfit that makes you feel amazing because it will definitely show from the inside out. Do for others: showing compassion, being a helper, and showing kindness to others will help build your character, and your inner qualities will shine through on the outside. Cherish your beautiful friendships: those friends who come to your house when it’s messy, who don’t need to be hosted, who that will lift you up on a bad day and loves you and your kids like family. Hold your head up high, don’t ever give up. Try something new, treat yourself — it’s okay!
Tell us about your experience with the photo shoot.
I rarely take the time for myself. Having Kasper work his hair and makeup magic was such a special feeling of pampering. His energy was amazing and we laughed through most of the makeup session. Brandi walked in and her energy was nothing less than angelic. I initially felt so awkward — I don’t pose, and “grace” is definitely not my middle name — but she made me feel so beautiful and guided me through every shot. What I appreciated the most was that she made sure the angles were the most flattering for my body type. She just knew exactly what to do, to show my figure in the most flattering way.
It was such a privilege and one that I needed more than I realized! I felt so amazing through the process, and I appreciate all those who made the experience so wonderful.
Anything else you’d like to share?
It really doesn’t matter where you are in life, take that first step to find your inner beauty and peace. Know that it doesn’t “just happen” for a lot of us; discovering your inner beauty is often a process. A quote I heard on TV the other day said it well: “What happened doesn’t define you; it’s one page in a very long book. YOU get to write the next chapter.” While it might take a few chapters to get to a place of self-confidence, self-love, and being Bold, Beautiful and Perfect, it is worth the work. Be positive, be kind, be happy. Life is an opportunity, and with every decision we make, we can decide which direction we take.
You are beautiful!
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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.