Ella – “The moments that you create everyday are worth more than anything”

We interviewed Ararose model Ella to share the story behind the beautiful images you see online. Have you ever felt that you don’t fit in because of the way you look, or because of your body shape? You are not alone. Find out how Ella empowers herself.
Age: 17
Nationality: American/Philippines
Profession: Student
Ararose Dress size: Medium
Do you have a favourite quote?
“If she’s amazing, she won’t be easy. If she’s easy, she won’t be amazing. If she’s worth it, you wont give up. If you give up, you’re not worthy….truth is, everybody is going to hurt you; you just gotta find the ones worth suffering for.”- Bob Marley
What does empowerment mean to you?
Empowerment is believing in yourself. It’s knowing that you are capable of doing anything and never giving up.
What is your favourite quality about your personality?
I’m very easy going and flexible.
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What insecurities are you overcoming that were previously holding you back?
Occasionally, there are times where I don’t think I look pretty. Sometimes I try and hide my arms because I think they’re too big. Other times, I try and hide in baggy clothes because I feel insecure about my size.
When you were growing up, can you remember becoming aware of what you looked like? Were you influenced by anything in particular?
I started noticing the way I looked when I was about 11 years old. I had just moved to Malaysia, and I noticed how people here are quite slim. I used to get teased by some of my classmates for not being as skinny as the other kids. This was also around the time when I hated to go shopping because I couldn’t find anything that fit. The clothes were either too small or too big, and I always thought it was because I was too fat to fit into anything.
Who do you look up to and why?
I look up to my grandmother. She became a single mother of five kids by the age of 25. To provide for her family, she started her own business. She would work late nights and sometimes barely get any sleep, but she never let that stop her from growing her business. Despite all the physical, mental, and emotional pain she went through, she never gave up. She did all she could to support all eight of her children. My grandmother is one of the strongest and courageous women I know.
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 What advice would you give to your 12 year old self?
Don’t worry too much about what others think of you. Be true. Hangout with people who like you for you and not people who want you to be someone else.
What do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
In my spare time, I like to play the guitar, piano, and ukulele. Sometimes, my friends and I get together and jam and sing. I also like to go hiking with my friends and just taking in the natural, outside world.
What advice would you like to share with other women? 
You don’t need anyone’s permission or approval to think that you’re beautiful. You ARE beautiful, and don’t let anyone tell you otherwise. The life you’re living right now is very precious, so fill it with love and joy instead of preoccupying your mind with how you look. Surround yourself with people you love and love you back. The moments that you create everyday are worth more than anything. Sometimes the first step to being happy and content is being able to love who you are flaws and all.
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