Interview with Beauty.Beyond.Bones creator

Photo courtesy of Beauty Beyond Bones blog

Photo courtesy of Beauty Beyond Bones blog

Few blogs are encouraging and inspiring like Beauty.Beyond.Bones. It tells real human stories about life, struggles, faith, weakness, strength, but also about hope. I had the priviledge to interview its creator, writer, and chief editor, who prefers to remain anonymous. I have respected that anonymity for this interview. Check it out below, her answers are in bold. I want to apologize for the odd formatting. For some reason, the text had trouble adjusting, but it is still readable.

I ask this of everyone, what city do you call your hometown? I’m a midwestern girl, born and raised!

Did you do a lot of writing in High School?
Surprisingly no. I loved to write as a kid – we’re talking 4/5th grade, but I never really found enjoyment in it in high school. It was more, just writing papers with the pressure of getting an A. So, other than the normal school-related writing, I didn’t pursue it. Too busy with sports/acting, and eventually an eating disorder…
Was that when you also got into acting? If so, was there a particular play that stands out?
I started acting when I was five. I did professional theater, television and a couple movies/films. I acted my entire childhood, minus a few years in high school when I was a) pursing athletics, and then ultimately had to stop when I became too sick with my anorexia to continue. Gosh, my favorite play. That’s tough, because you pour so much of your soul into each and every role. And with each project, the cast is always different, so you really form a family with the people you’re working with, so that also plays into it. But, I think my favorite role that I ever played was either Annie, for obvious reasons, or Mary Lennox from The Secret Garden, simply because the storyline is so beautiful. 
I ask all my writing interviewees this. They say writers, no matter what genre or field, were readers first. What was a favorite novel or book you enjoyed? Oh my gosh I actually hated reading. I know that’s horrible. And I actually don’t really like reading today either. I just don’t have time! I do like to listen to podcasts, which I do a lot. I love Serial/Undisclosed/Truth & Justice. I love The Happy Hour with Jamie Ivey. And I love listening to homilies by Fr. Mike Schmidt and sermons from Cross Point Church. But gosh, I can’t even remember the last book I read, or a favorite book growing up. Well, I take that back. I did enjoy reading about Anne Frank as a child. But I think probably Captivating by John Eldridge was my favorite book. I loved that one.
When did you get started blogging?
I started BBB back in February of 2015. So I just celebrated my one year “blogiversary” the other month. I wrote a post about it here: State of the Union . But yeah, that’s when BBB got started. It started as a blog geared towards parents and loved ones of kids suffering with eating disorders. Kinda like, all the things I wish I could have told my parents when I was in the thick of my disease. All the things I wish they would have known. Things that could have possibly helped. And then it morphed into being geared towards the girls themselves, and then finally into just a broad, all-encompassing message of God’s love for us, and how we all can grow to love ourselves. It’s a place of hope. A place where it’s okay to be vulnerable. And it’s been really healing for me as well. I’ve gotten to “unpack” a lot of different things that I thought I had dealt with. And it’s been really healing for my family as well. My mom says that she’s learned so much about me that she never knew. She’s my biggest fan. She reads my blog every night. 
Was Beauty Beyond Bones your first blog? If not, what was your first blog like? 
It actually wasn’t! I started my first blog when I was recovering from an autoimmune disease back around 2011/2012. It was a food blog that was actually pretty successful. I self-published a cookbook and everything! It’s still around to this day, but I don’t keep it up. But yeah, that was my blog baby:) And always will be.
Why that title? What does Beauty Beyond Bones mean or represent? 
Oh, BBB. So, along the vein of telling worried parents what their daughter was going through, it started out being called “AnorexiaRevealed.” But I decided to change to BBB because “AnorexiaRevealed” sounds kinda dark. My story is one of hope, and I wanted the name to reflect that. I wrote a whole post on the significance of the name: Beauty Beyond Bones . But basically, there’s a story in the bible of God breathing life into these old, dried-up, dusty bones, and they came to life. And that was really my story. So I felt it just fit. And plus, my initials in “real life” are a triple letter, so it works. (wink wink)
When did you move to New York City?
I moved to NYC, gosh, probably around 2010. I moved to pursue acting. Best decision of my life.
Was it a culture shock living in the Big Apple?
You know, it was and it wasn’t. I was at a point in my life where I really needed to carve my own path and so it was really a time for me to grow up and find out who I really am. 
Do you have a favorite spot in NYC where you go to just sit and relax?
Oh gosh YES. I love where I live. I don’t leave “The Village” if I don’t have to. In fact, I hardly go above 14th street unless absolutely necessary! 
You are an actress, what is your acting style? Shakespearian? Method? Classical?
Method. Method. Method.
Hypothetically, is there a particular film director you would like to work with?
Oh gosh, what a question. I would love to work with Harold Cronk, who directed “God’s Not Dead.” I absolutely loved the film, “Bella” and would love to work with Alejandro Monteverde. Oh oh oh, and Fireproof’s Alex Kendrick. That was a fun exercise 🙂
You talk pretty openly about struggling with anorexia on your blog. Is it hard opening up to tell your story? 
I do. You know, it was and it wasn’t. As you know, my blog is anonymous. Which has really been helpful when opening up. Because it is scary. But I’m not attaching my name to it, so I almost feel like it’s cheating. Because to be honest, I don’t bring that part of my history into my present life or present relationships. I’ve only told a handful of my friends in NYC about my past, and even they don’t know the blog title. They know I have a blog, but not what it is. And that’s also true for my friends that went through this period of my life with me. My family are the only people who know the blog title. And it took a longggg time for me to share the address with them. At the end of the day, I want to help people. Yes, I went through this horrible disease. But I am not my past. And I’m willing to share because God can use it to help even one person. So I am willing to open up, even if it’s painful, in order to bring Him glory. I’m just not sure I’m ready – yet – to bring that into my present life. And also, coming “out” with who I am does not just involve me, but my family, too. And I want to protect their privacy as well. My father and sibling are both in the medical field, and so it could implement their careers. There’s just a lot to consider. 
Something else you speak pretty openly about your faith in Jesus. What part did your faith play in your recovery?
Oh yes, yes, yes. My faith WAS my recovery. I mean, it’s that simple. Without Jesus, recovery wouldn’t have been possible. I did not want recovery. And I was so depleted, I was not capable of sound thinking. At 78 pounds, your brain’s fat pads deteriorate, so you’re literally in a brain fog all. the. time. So I couldn’t recognize the danger of my physical condition. And even if I did, I didn’t care. I didn’t want to get well. It took Jesus, breaking through that iron fortress I had built around myself to come and comfort me and whisper to me my worth, and that I’m forgiven, and loved and worthy of recovery. I’ve written a lot about it, but this one is one of my favorites: Don’t Tell Me I’m Beautiful
What part does your faith play in your life today?
It influences everything I do: the things I listen to, how I speak and how I think. Decisions I make. I go to mass every Sunday, and throughout the week as much as I can. Jesus is my best friend. 
Do you have a life scripture that you hold onto? 
It’s funny, I was thinking about that the other day. Ever since I was little, I always loved Deuteronomy 20:1. Which is so random. As a kid, I played “bible roulette” where you just open up to a random verse. And this was one I opened to. And it just really spoke to me for some reason, and I always remembered it: “When you go out to war against your enemies, and you see horses and chariots and an army greater than your own, do not be afraid, for the Lord your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, is with you.” And at the time I thought it was cool, and kinda obscure, like — a girl liking a quote about war? But now, looking back over the true life or death battles I’ve had to fight in my lifetime, this is really fitting. It’s kinda scary how appropriate it is.
What is something you want people to take away from your inspiring stories?
Just that there’s hope. That no matter what you’re going through at this very moment — be it an eating disorder, bulling, addiction, loss of a loved one, depression, feeling inadequate, or just the pressures of everyday life, — you don’t have to go through it alone. And that there is Someone who will give you the strength to get through it. That you are so incredibly loved, and forgiven, and worthy of a life lived to the full, free from the bondage of fear or addiction or whatever your “thing” is. That is what Jesus wants for you and me. That is why He died on the cross. 
Is there a “Beauty Beyond Bones” book in the future?
You know, it’s funny. I’ve been sitting on a manuscript I wrote when I was about 3 months into the blog. The blog actually was a supposed to be a book. And then it morphed into a full on blog. But in the beginning I had thought it was going to be a book. So, yes, at some point I’m going to send out the manuscript to publishers to see if anyone “bites.” So I guess we’ll just have to see what God has in store. 
Was there someone who inspired you to pursue your dreams? 
My parents, for sure. They’ve always supported me and loved me and inspired me to go after my passions. I look up to them so much. Their lives are an incredible example of what it means to live for Christ and to love one another. They’ve been married for 30 years and are amazing human beings. 

One last question, what would you say to someone who wants to follow their dreams of acting? 

Oh gosh. I’d say go for it! Have fun! But don’t find your worth from the stage. Because there’s a lot of heartbreak. A lot of let downs and rejections. Acting is seriously a numbers game. You’ve just got to stick with it. Develop some thick skin and know that your worth comes from above, not from the judge sitting across the table. 

That concluded our interview. I would like to say that BBB was one of the kindest and gracious ladies I have interviewed. You can follow her blog by clicking: Beauty Beyond Bones and on Twitter: @Ana.Revealed, Instagram: @Beauty.Beyond.Bones and Facebook: Beauty.Beyond.Bones

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14 thoughts on “Interview with Beauty.Beyond.Bones creator

  1. P.S. my reply was to the owner of the website beauty beyond bones, but I want to also credit lonestarjake88 for conducting such an excellent interview and the questions he asked were great ones 🙂 Keep up the great work 🙂

  2. This was a great interview 🙂 When you talk about your favorite acting style, I love it when you mention the word method three times 🙂 I also thought that your belief that faith was your recovery fascinating because I truly believe any person would find recovery through that 🙂 I also agree with you about High School too, all i focused on was doing the best I could just like you imply with that one question 🙂 Everything about this interview is great though 🙂 Anyway, keep up the great work as always 🙂

  3. Pingback: Identity | BeautyBeyondBones

  4. Hey friend! Wow, thank you for such kind words about my blog. It really means a lot❤️ I am so honored that would would want to interview me on your blog! I’ll definitely pass this along to my readers when I post tomorrow! Hope you’re having a wonderful week! Hugs and love xox

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