2021 Bold Beautiful Perfect: Kristen
“I realized that by hiding from the cameras, I was denying myself and others of the beautiful gifts that were given to me by God. My beauty shines brightest when I stand in the light and embrace both my talent and my flaws as the things that make me so uniquely me.”
I am an opera singer, voice teacher, wife, mother, daughter, sister, friend… so many things to so many people, as most women are. For many years since having my children, I had felt fat and unworthy. Living a life in the spotlight as a performer had led me to focus on my appearance and to worry that I would never look the part–whatever the part was for which I was auditioning. I worried that my voice and my talent would be overlooked because the package it came in was damaged, or somehow undesirable. Sadly, this destroyed my confidence and the courage that led me to pursue a career in the arts. Even a former teacher once told me the reason I was not as successful as I could have been as a professional singer was because of my weight. Her confirmation of my fears led me to audition less and less.
It is only in the last few years that I have begun to find my courage again and to step into the light, no matter how I feel about my weight or my body. I realized that by hiding from the cameras and the spotlight I was denying myself and others of the beautiful gifts that were given to me by God. My beauty shines brightest when I stand in the light and embrace both my talent and my flaws as the things that make me so uniquely me. Do I still see things in the mirror that I don’t like about myself? Of course. It is human nature to see flaws and imperfection. But I am learning not to dwell on those things and to step into the light and lead the way for my children and voice students to do the same.
Working with Brandi Stage in my photoshoot, I could already feel those fears and insecurities welling up inside of me as I stepped out of the changing room and onto the floor of her studio. I was nervous about looking my best for the cameras and for those directors and conductors who might see my photos and my flaws that were going to be on display. But the moment Brandi saw me, she reminded me how beautiful I was, and she used her incredible gifts with light and a camera to capture the best of me. I could feel my insecurity melting as we continued through the shoot, and I felt so silly for being anxious at all before we started. After all, I had been chosen because I was “bold, beautiful, perfect” so why was I feeling like an imposter?
I think even the most confident and bold among us wrestle with feelings of insecurity and fear. It is only human. But those who can embrace their uniqueness and courageously step into the light are the ones who shine the brightest. Being chosen for this important project was such an honor, and it was a reminder that though I often chase away those feelings of self-doubt, I am bold, beautiful, and perfect just the way I am, and I choose to lead the way toward the light, so that the gifts I have been given can shine brightly.
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.