Photography by Sincerely Bee Studios
Meet Savannah. She is Beauty Revived.
I met Savannah Otto on a warm autumn day and knew the moment we met that she was everything her friend and mentor, Natalie, had said she was… and that she was the perfect representative for Beauty Revived. Waiting patiently for me in an armchair at the boutique with her grandmother beside her, I could see she was feeling shy; but she was so incredibly sweet. Once we started skimming through dresses, shoes, and every accessory imaginable, I could tell we were going to have so. much. fun. Boy, was I right! We were lucky to have the ladies at Blush Boutique helping us choose, or we may have been there all evening! Blush ended up blessing us in more ways than one – they wanted to make Savannah’s experience extra special and let her keep her entire outfit. Wow! Savannah so graciously accepted, and I think I speak for both of us when I say their kindness won’t soon be forgotten!
So, who is Savannah? She’s a student, a sister, a daughter, a Jesus-girl, and a leader- marching to the beat of her own magnificently unique drum! Savannah is also a talented dancer, actress, and singer. Of all of these, dancing is her passion and favorite way to express herself. In the letter written to me nominating Savannah, I read about how a person can feel the joy and exhilarating freedom radiating from Savannah when she performs. This was so easy to see during our time spent together. She had me holding onto her every word when she spoke about the things she loved and rolling with laughter with her Miranda Sings impersonations while she was getting her makeup done.
I asked what her favorite way to give back was and why she enjoyed doing it. Her answer? Helping her church community, specifically with youth programs.
“I love working with kids and try to help any way I can. I enjoy it because it makes me happy to see their smiles and if I can give others joy, that’s what matters to me.”
She not only uses her time to help out with children in her church, but also an after school program. While we sat together, Savannah told me stories about the kids she works with. The fire in her eyes while she spoke so lovingly about them told me just as much, if not more, than her words did about her compassion, kindness, and love for children. My heart tells me that this girl is going to help change the world for the better. She expressed to me that she wants to be a positive role model by helping anyone in any way that she can. “If we can all do that, wherever we are, the world will truly change for the better.” Right on, girl! Man, I love her heart.
A few weeks after our afternoon together, this sweet girl wrote to me about a few things. The first being about her hopes for the future- that she wants to graduate college and become a teacher so she can continue to work with kids. She also wrote about how thankful she is for the lessons taught to her by her mother (her best friend) on how to be kind, loving, and face difficult times with strength and grace. And lastly, about what real beauty means to her. Savannah said that she believes women and girls are all beautiful inside and out, no matter what shape, size, or age they are, and should never let society tell them otherwise. “Love yourself!”
The word “amazing” isn’t adequate enough to describe this young woman. If somebody knows an adjective that mashes spectacular, kind, respectful, charitable, outstanding, humble, gracious, and passionate all together, let me know! I want to stamp it in bold on a t-shirt for Savannah. The last thing Savannah wrote was about her Beauty Revived experience.
“Beauty Revived has shown me that I need to celebrate who I am even on days that I need a little more oomph to get myself there. Let’s be honest, we all have days where we struggle with feeling good about ourselves for whatever reason. We just need to remember that our imperfections make us special and beauty that comes from within radiates outward. We are all wonderfully made, and loving ourselves is the most important thing we can do for ourselves.”
What a gift it’s been to work with such an exceptional young woman. I won’t soon forget the warm fuzzies in my stomach or the laughter induced aches in my cheeks that I was left with after photographing Savannah. There is no doubt in my mind that the light she shines makes the whole world ten times brighter. Here’s to Savannah. She is Beauty Revived.