As a young girl, she hid her beauty beneath glasses, freckles and baggy T-shirts for years. After finding herself, she recognized her true beauty. Now she is proving her beauty to the world by entering a modeling contest for the retailer Maurices.
Kelli Golden is a geography major who hopes to become a professional pilot. While volunteering in China as an English teacher last semester, she realized her true beauty.
“I always thought I wasn’t pretty enough,” Golden said. “I want to show people that you don’t have to have a perfect body to model and be beautiful.”
Golden says beauty is not skin-deep. She recognized her unique beauty during her international experience.
“I had never received so much attention until I was in China,” Golden said. “Everyone would stare because I was the only white girl.”
According to Golden’s roommate, her beauty is apparent.
“Her inner beauty compliments her outer beauty,” said Cassie Jarvis, Golden’s roommate. “She is a good example of unique beauty and not fitting into a mold. She is beautiful to me because she cares about other people. She is very giving of her time. She is pretty selfless.”
Golden’s boss even agreed.
“She is friendly,” said Ed Godinez, her work supervisor at Print and Mail Services. “Her attitude is extremely cordial and helpful.”
David Williams, Kelli’s longtime friend, also said complimentary things about Golden.
“Kelli is beautiful because she smiles often, her eyes light up and she has golden hair,” Williams said. “She is beautiful on the inside because she is such a serving person. She never passes up an opportunity to serve. She is all-around beautiful. In finding true beauty, the outer appearance plays a part but also her heart, her aspirations, dreams, example and standards. The fact that Kelli is able to realize the sky is the limit and not passing an opportunity to serve, that is what true beauty is.”
Golden says true beauty is seen in one’s soul and eyes.
“Beauty has to do with personality,” Golden said. “You can’t always tell that from a picture. The way someone carries themselves. Some people have gorgeous hair and eyes but who someone is shines through in their eyes. To be a good person makes someone beautiful.”
Golden’s friends support her and hope for her success in the modeling contest.
“I think she should win because she would be a good role model for other women,” said Jarvis.
“She is one of the nicest people you’ll ever meet. She should win because of her hard work and dedication,” Williams said. “She gives 110% in everything she does. If she won, she would be nicely rewarded for all her work for the community and everything else she is involved with.”
Golden said more women need to realize their true beauty.
“Just don’t care what other people think,” Golden said. “We always see the worst in ourselves, but others can see our beauty. I was surprised what a difference it made to dress a little nicer. It’s good to remember other people think you are beautiful.”
The center for Women’s Services and Resources is currently promoting a campaign called “Recapture Beauty.” The campaign’s main message is to recreate ideas and attitudes about beauty. The campaign goal is to make a definition of beauty that is attainable and respectful to womanhood. The Women’s Services and Resources center aims to replace competition and envy with gratitude and respect for women’s bodies. The center fights the cycle of chasing after popular culture trends and fashion by instead reclaiming true beauty found in intellectual, selfless, spiritual, uplifting actions.
“The most common issues of BYU women are perfectionism, body image and eating disorders,” said Lanae Valentine, director of Women’s Services and Resources.