"The thing that is really hard, and really amazing, is giving up on being perfect and beginning the work of becoming yourself." ~ Anna Quindlen
I have the special privilege of introducing Nicole Sellitto who is featured on today's blog! Nicole works with me at 1604 Salon and Spa. From day one I've recognized the beauty that Nicole is. She is one pretty amazing young lady striving to become the best version of herself. When I learned that Nicole wanted to take charge of her health, I was all for it! I knew that it would be a challenging time for her so we made a pact that I will help increase her motivation to lose weight by following her on this journey.
We took a before shot of Nicole when she started her diet. Every now and then I would check up on her to see if she was ready for her 'after' photos. "'I need to lose a few more then I'll be ready!" would be her typical response..sound familiar, ladies? So one day I just told her, "We are not waiting for perfection! Leave it up to me to make you see and realize how beautiful you truly are. The most important part of this experience is that you finally find self-love."
Although Nicole was nervous at the beginning of the shoot, I was there to witness her newfound sense of self-love that radiated from her smiles. Nicole, I'm so proud of you and I hope that these photos and your story will inspire other women, young and old, to be unapologetically beautiful.
Here's what Nicole wrote for y'all:
"My name is Nicole Sellitto and I am 20 years old. I live in Stoughton, MA with my family and boyfriend. I'm currently working as an assistant in a hair salon and trying to work my way up to the floor and be behind the chair. Throughout my whole life I have always been shy and on the quiet side, although I have broken out of my shell quite a bit the last few years. I decided to work on my health around November of 2014. I've always wanted to lose weight but I was never in the mental state to do it. I gave myself through the holidays to indulge and then it was time to change my life.
In January I started the Optifast diet which consisted of shakes, bars and soups. Optifast helped me lose 55 pounds and I am continuing to lose even though I'm back on food. Since about second grade I have been heavy. Growing up bigger than everyone else was extremely difficult emotionally. Always being the last to finish the mile run in gym class, never having clothes from the popular stores, and constantly feeling like the fat girl no one wants around. I always felt like I had to hide myself because no one wanted someone like me around. Being the shy person I was, I was too afraid to try to talk to people. In high school I was lucky enough to find a store who sold cute clothes for plus size girls and even luckier to have parents who paid for those clothes because plus size clothing is not cheap.
Doing this photo shoot with Effie has shown me that I am just as beautiful as any other woman. I have always said that to myself but never actually believed it. The shoot made me realize that just because I don't meet society's standards of being a size 4 doesn't mean I'm not as beautiful as someone who is a size 4. During the shoot I kept picturing other plus size women looking at my photos and realizing that they are gorgeous too no matter what size they are. Every woman, plus size, thin, short or tall should feel beautiful."
Here's a song for all you ladies, young and old, who's ever felt less than beautiful..
Lots of love,
(hair/make-up/photos by Effie)