Kelly Falardeau is a Stony Plain author and public speaker. She was badly burned as a toddler when sparks flew out of a barrel where her cousins were burning old shingles. She is touring with an AMI documentary, talking about her experiences and attempting to coach others to improve their self-esteem.
Kelly Falardeau used to imagine her mirror was telling her terrible things: that she was ugly. That nobody would ever love her.It was more than teen angst. When Falardeau was two, she was badly burned on her face, neck, arms, chest and back when a spark flew out of a burning barrel of old shingles on her grandfather’s Spruce Grove-area farm.Although she’s had more than 40 procedures, the tight and discoloured scars are still visible on the 52-year-old Stony Plain woman.But now, she talks about those scars as a gift that propelled her into life as an entrepreneur and author helping others boost their self-esteem.One of her latest ventures is the documentary film Still Beautiful, which she’s hoping to screen at events around the world.“My film gives women and teens permission to feel beautiful,” Falardeau said in an interview on Saturday.Shot mostly in the Edmonton area in 2017, and first released for TV in 2018, the film follows Falardeau as she speaks to groups about conquering negative self talk and how she grew up thinking she was the only girl bearing burn scars. She also wrestles with a decision to have laser surgery on her face, because she worries it will contradict her messages about the importance of inner beauty.She had to give herself permission not to be the “ugly girl,” said Falardeau, who is a mother to three teens.
Kelly Falardeau is a Stony Plain author and public speaker. She was badly burned as a toddler when sparks flew out of a barrel where her cousins were burning old shingles. She is touring with an AMI documentary about her experiences and attempting to coach others to improve their self-esteem.
Co-produced with Accessible Media Inc., the script of the film is written in integrated described video, meaning a blind or visually impaired person will know what’s happening on the screen without an interpreter describing it for them.A longer theatrical version of the film includes Falardeau’s mentorship of a teen girl struggling with mental health and self-harm issues.Last week, five Calgary women’s groups hosted a worldwide screening of the film in that city. Falardeau is now attempting to organize screenings in Edmonton and beyond.People experience poor self-esteem because it’s easy to be defeatist, focus on perceived imperfections and listen to a doubting inner voice, she said. She started shutting down that negative inside voice and thinking about the parts of herself she liked, like her beautiful eyes and her cute nose.“The reason people have self-esteem issues is they’re looking for validation from everybody else instead of from themselves,” she said. “It’s so hard to feel beautiful for some people.”email@example.com