2020 Bold Beautiful Perfect: Alicia H
“Just remember you are what you think you are. So think beautiful and let the confidence of knowing you’re beautiful shine though for everyone to see.”
Tell us about yourself, Alicia!
I’m the oldest of three children. I was raised in a Christian home and have two wonderful parents who taught me how to be a loving, independent, strong, God-fearing, ambitious person. Throughout high school and college, I was very athletic and played several sports. This helped me to start my journey to obtain a college degree.
My career field is law enforcement. I hold an Associates Degree in Criminal Justice and I’m currently working towards a Bachelor’s Degree. I’ve been in law enforcement for thirteen years and have been a Criminal Investigator for twelve. I specialize in special victim crimes, especially those involving children. I’m a certified forensic child interviewer and a representative of the Harrison County Sheriff’s Office for the Multi-jurisdictional Disciplinary Team.
I’m a mother of five. My kids range from 29 to 2 (we have a yours, mine, and ours situation going on). My children are the reason I am in law enforcement. I look at them and know there are other children out there that are not as lucky as mine, who need someone to stand up for them and protect them.
I’m a wife to an amazing man, Chris. Sometimes I don’t always feel like the best of wives because I’m tired, or busy with kids or work and whatever else life throws at us. He always makes me feel loved and like I’m doing a great job. I was lucky enough to marry my best friend. We met years ago but it wasn’t the right time. After ten years, we met again and it was like we were never apart. He was my fate and we haven’t been apart since.
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
I know what it feels like to get older, to gain weight, to see a different person on the outside than you feel like on the inside. It’s sometimes hard to accept that no matter what is going on in your life, you’re still beautiful. Because “real” people see past the circumstances. We all have situations that we are dealing with. I am constantly reminding myself that I’m a good person and I’m worth it.
I truly believe that inner beauty is a personality and a presence. It’s how you treat others. I’ve learned through the years that genuine people see past the exterior of a person. It’s not about your size, or how much makeup you wear, or how long your hair is. It’s about how you treat others and how you present yourself. Some of the most beautiful people I know are those who exert confidence, intelligence, and kindness. I try to demonstrate these qualities in myself because I feel they make my inner beauty shine.
What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?
In the past, I’ve struggled to understand that I was truly beautiful. I would look back at old pictures and think, “I used to be beautiful.” When someone would compliment me and tell me I looked good or I was pretty, I had gotten into a habit of responding sarcastically. One day someone called me out: “Why can’t you just say thank you when you receive a compliment? Most people won’t compliment you if they don’t truly believe you’re beautiful.” I started thinking about what she said, and it made sense. I came to realize that I was the one who didn’t think I was beautiful.
My mother passed away in August. Before she got really sick, she told me, “Stay just the way you are because you are beautiful.” She told me how before she got sick, she always wanted to lose weight because she hated the extra pounds. After getting sick, however, she lost a lot of weight. But she still wasn’t happy. Now all she could see in the mirror was sickness. It wasn’t the weight that was problem; it was her mindset.
She told me that the people who truly love you will see how beautiful you are whether you are overweight, underweight, or in between. Your weight can’t make you happy. You have to be happy with yourself on the inside or it won’t matter what you look like on the outside. That has stuck with me, and I try everyday to tell myself I’m beautiful on the outside because I’m beautiful on the inside. I try to stay confident and keep a good and witty personality and let my inner beauty shine through, especially when I’m not feeling as beautiful on the outside. Just remember you are what you think you are. So think BEAUTIFUL and let the confidence of knowing your beautiful shine though for everyone to see.
Tell us about your experience with the photoshoot.
Initially I wondered why I was chosen. What did I have to offer over so many other people? But for what reason I was selected, I was excited! After doing some research and looking at photos from other Bold Beautiful Perfect photo session, I knew this was just what I needed. It was a chance to be pampered and feel like a beautiful woman on the inside and the outside.
When you see the things I see in my cases, sometimes it’s hard to leave work at work. Brandi exceeded that expectation.
This was the best photography session I have ever had, and I already want to do it again! It meant so much to me to be selected, but it meant even more to be treated so well. Through the experience and photographs, Brandi helped me see that I am beautiful, and I can’t thank Brandi and her colleagues enough for making that happen.
The photo shoot was amazing. I mean, who can say they don’t love being treated like a celebrity? As soon as I arrived, I was greeted and pampered with professional makeup and hair styling. But that’s not all… then I got to consult with Brandi on wardrobe, jewelry, and have her pose me like I was a model.
As I was putting my first outfit on, I was a little doubtful as to how good my photos could really turn out. But once I got out there and began the shoot, Brandi quickly made me feel very confident in myself and the whole process. Several times I thought, “this is the weirdest pose,” but she assured me it would turn out amazing. By the end of the session, I truly felt like a super model.
Then came the moment of truth. I had packed up my wardrobe and waited to see these images and if any had even turned out decent enough to want. Oh my amazement! Who was this person in these photos? She was beautiful, she was gorgeous – this couldn’t be me. But it was, and I’m not going to lie, I started to cry because all I could hear in my mind looking through those pictures was my mother’s voice saying, “You look so good, baby.”
Anything else you’d like to share?
I believe women need to start lifting up other women more. We’re on the same team! I think women who empower other women are beautiful, and I love that this project does just that. The confidence in yourself to take the spotlight away and put on someone else is truly a remarkably beautiful quality. I hope that more women will start to do this in the future. Stand tall, be confident and let your inner beauty shine through and everyone you meet will speak of how beautiful you are.
You are more beautiful than you know!
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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.