2021 Bold Beautiful Perfect: Jan
“I’ll never be a size 4 (or even a 10), but I can be healthy and happy with the real me.”
Tell us about yourself, Jan!
I’m a single female, recently retired, who is all about my family and friends. Everything I have is through the grace of God and my own hard work. I work hard and play hard. I love children, but I wasn’t blessed with any of my own. I always say, “I don’t have children of my body; I have children of my heart,” referring to my six beautiful nieces and one nephew (and now, their children too). I am truly blessed! At times, it’s hard to understand why things happen, but I keep believing this is the life I was meant to live.
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
The journey to understand my inner beauty was a long one. I have been a bigger girl my whole life. As a child, well-meaning relatives would say, “She’s such a pretty girl — if only she would lose weight.” The thing is, I didn’t need to lose weight. I had the body of a woman as a child. Statements like that can mess with your mind and make you feel as if you aren’t beautiful. It affects your self esteem.
Years later, I found myself in an abusive relationship. I kept thinking, “If only I try harder; if only I do more, it will be okay.” I started therapy, I stopped using food as a coping mechanism, and I dealt with my issues. Success, right? Not exactly.
After a while, I went back to using food and I ballooned to my highest weight. I didn’t forget my therapy, but I was confused. I truly didn’t think I was beautiful inside or out.
Then one day, God reached out to me. My niece Amanda thought I was awesome, and so did her sister Abby. These children could see my inner beauty when I couldn’t. They didn’t care what I weighed; they saw who I was. Their love helped me realize that I was a beautiful person. I was kind, loving, fun, and I have a big heart capable of giving so much love. I realized that I am me, and that’s enough. I’ve stopped comparing myself to others. I’ll never be a size 4 (or even a 10); my body doesn’t work that way. But I can be healthy and happy with the real me. My inner beauty can shine through.
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?
I think the biggest lesson is that we were created by the Supreme Being. Do you really think He makes mistakes? I’ve learned to be as kind to myself as I would be to a friend. Being a size 14, 16, or 18 doesn’t make me fat, plus size, or unattractive. Your confidence is what makes you attractive. Embrace who you are. You are special and one of God’s most beautiful creations.
I read this quote and it really resonated with me. Could it be you too? “I love the person I’ve become, because I fought to become her.” – Kaci Diane
Tell us about your experience with the photo shoot.
It felt amazing to be selected, to have someone recognize what I had to offer.
The photoshoot was sooooooo much fun! I felt beautiful and alive; it was like playing dress up. The makeup and hair — talk about being pampered (it made me want to look into modeling). And Brandi made you feel so beautiful and Dow oak.
The shoot was a validation of the fact that I am beautiful. Take the time to find your inner beauty. It’s so worth it! Never judge yourself by others. And never let other disrespect you.
You are more beautiful than you know!
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.