2021 Bold Beautiful Perfect: April
“I went through a period of feeling unwanted and unimportant. I turned to God and he helped me see that I was very important. He had chosen me to be strong, patient, and understanding. This not only strengthened me but gave me peace.”
Tell us about yourself, April!
I grew up in Oregon and graduated from the University of Oregon with a BA in Foreign Language. I also served in the Army National Guard for 27 years. How did I come to live here over 20 years ago? I married a Mississippian! I met Mark in Honduras while there in support of Hurricane Mitch. We have a 19-year-old daughter and I have a 25-year-old son from a previous marriage. I have traveled to Mexico, Central America, Canada, and Germany. Needless to say, I love to travel! I am the only one in my family to earn a college degree. My father had a ninth grade education and my mom graduated high school. My two brothers and sister went to college but didn’t finish. During my time in the National Guard, I went to flight school to fly helicopters. It had been a lifelong dream; unfortunately, I didn’t finish. It was a good failure. It forced me to accept the person I am and to be content. It was a hard thing to do, but I have put it behind me and moved on.
How did you come to understand your inner beauty?
Understanding my inner beauty has been a continual journey. I was born independent and with a happy disposition. Growing up, I always felt like I didn’t exactly fit in. I didn’t wear the latest fashions. I had friends of course, but I struggled to find a best friend. During my marriage, I went through a period of feeling unwanted and unimportant. I turned to God and he helped me see that I was very important. He had chosen me to be strong, patient, and understanding. This not only strengthened me but gave me peace. I still struggle from time to time, but I fear no more.
What parts of your story can you share to help women to understand their own beauty?
God had given you a talent, probably many talents. Pursue them! It could be something as basic as being a good listener or a good business owner. A talent is anything you do well.
Turn to God for all things. He has protected me from countless situations that would have turned out very badly.
Seek other women to talk with. It’s a comfort to share your concerns and excitement with each other. Sometimes it helps to see a different perspective in order to understand your own predicament.
Tell us about your experience with the photo shoot.
I needed something to lift my spirits and I thought the photo shoot would be fun to do. I felt this could be the redirection I was looking for. I was excited to be selected but it didn’t really sink in until later. I’m still amazed!
I enjoyed the experience very much! It was fun picking out clothes and jewelry. Brandi was so nice and helped me with posing (“Chin up!”). She is so personable.
The shoot also helped me see my new age wrinkles! I have usually accepted myself the way I am but this is the first time I’ve had to reassure myself.
My daughter and I want to do a Mother Daughter session together now!
Anything else you would like to share?
When you’re feeling really down, do something to lift your spirits. When I was at my lowest, I cut my long brunette hair short and dyed it flaming red as a start! “Take a look at yourself in the mirror and make a change.” Then put it behind you and move on.
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.