This Woman Used To Compete As A Bodybuilder, But Then She Changed Her Body In A Unique Way

In the last few years, Jolene Jones’ physical appearance has changed quite dramatically. She was once a bodybuilder, you see, dedicating a significant period of her life to the vocation. But after Jones decided she’d had enough of that lifestyle, her body naturally started to transform – and she’s been keen to share just how different she looks now.

It was back in 2010 that Jones, who is a resident of Billings, Montana, fully embraced her passion for bodybuilding. By day, she held a position at a firm that dealt with technology materials; away from that, though, she began to spend a lot of time in the gym in order to achieve her desired look.

Jones then stuck with her new workout routine for the next few years before embarking on an exciting next step. After all those hours spent in the gym, the young woman applied for her very first bodybuilding competition in 2015. But given all of the hard work that she’d put in up to this point, what she did next may just come as a surprise.

Incredibly, later that year Jones decided against competing in any other bodybuilding contests. If that wasn’t enough, she eventually abandoned her gym routine altogether. And two years later, when she’d settled into a life without hours spent at the gym, the Billings resident shared two photographs of herself on Facebook. She wanted to reveal the dramatic change in her appearance – and she had good reason, too.

For a lot of us, though, the thought of becoming a bodybuilder in the first place is something of a daunting prospect. And if you wonder why so many are passionate about sculpting their physiques in this way, then you certainly aren’t – and have never been – alone. Even after bodybuilding competitions were first established back in 1901 in London, the sport took another five decades to catch on.

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After the International Federation of Bodybuilders – better known as the IFBB – was created in the mid-1940s, however, the sport soon found its groove. Then, over the next few years, bodybuilding publications became available to the public, offering them a glimpse into that world. This helped to pique people’s interest, and from there the intrigue surrounding the sport only continued to grow.

And thanks to the likes of Lou Ferrigno and Arnold Schwarzenegger, bodybuilding hit new heights during the 1970s. Even today, competitions such as Mr. Olympia and the Universe Championships are still bringing together some of the world’s brightest talents in the arena. Yet outside of those lofty contests, you may be wondering how someone begins to add significant bulk to their muscles.

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Well, for starters, you’re advised to draw up a routine before hitting the gym. In order to achieve the best results, you should apparently only prioritize a couple of areas in any given workout. For instance, you may want to build up your back and chest muscles one day before switching to your arms and shoulders the next.

But as you may already have guessed, bodybuilding isn’t just about exercise. That’s right: it’s likely that your eating habits will have to change drastically, too. Bodybuilders are heavily reliant on protein for building muscles, you see, while specific types of carbohydrates also fill up around half of their daily calorie intake. These carbs normally come from fruits, grains and vegetables.

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As well as increasing your carb intake, you must also cut out “processed carbohydrates” and sugary foods from your diet. Healthy fats can stay on the menu, however, as they make up 25 percent of a bodybuilder’s eating regimen. Foods such as vegetable oils, nuts and seeds are all good examples of these.

Yet while men have been grappling with these unique dietary and physical challenges for decades, the story is a slightly different one for their female counterparts. Interestingly, women’s bodybuilding didn’t really come to the fore until 1977, at which point a contest was organized in Ohio. Since then, it’s slowly grown in popularity across the world.

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The head of Ireland’s branch of the IFBB, Mick Bullman, elaborated on this point back in July 2017. According to him, you see, it took a bit of time for women to fully embrace the concept of bodybuilding. And his comments highlighted just how far we’ve come since the ’70s.

Bullman said, “Going back even a few years, we would have been lucky to have five, maybe six women entering these [bodybuilding] competitions. But at our last competition in Limerick, at the end of April [2017], we had more than 100 female competitors.” He then elaborated on why this may have been the case.

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“Around five years ago, the IFBB decided that it wouldn’t hold any more women’s bodybuilding competitions as such,” Bullman continued. “They would take on a different form completely, focusing on the aesthetic view of the physique rather than seeking out big, muscular women.” It seems, then, that this was a way to open the door to lots of other female competitors.

Some of those women also came forward to speak with The Irish Times, offering their insights into what it’s really like to be a female bodybuilder. To start with, a personal trainer named Siobhán O’Hagan explained why she had been reluctant to get into the sport at first. And if you’re looking to follow her lead, her comments are somewhat enlightening.

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O’Hagan told the newspaper, “I always thought [bodybuilding] involved being miserable, eating very little and putting your life on hold. [But] I [eventually] felt like I could do it. And I wanted a challenge. It seemed like the right time for me, when I felt like I could enjoy my life at the same time.”

Fellow competitor Jade Wilson has also shed light on what she has to put her body through ahead of bodybuilding contests. Firstly, she’ll start her day by waking up for a workout at 5:00 a.m. Then, following her shift at work, she’ll hit the gym again for another grueling session.

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Wilson, it seems, began the regimen after struggling with her weight. Once she’d started bodybuilding, however, she shed over 55 pounds and transformed her appearance. And according to the woman herself, her workouts made a difference on more than just a physical level.

“Training is my therapy,” Wilson revealed to The Irish Times in July 2017. “That’s why I got into it: for my mental health. I suffered a lot when I was overweight. I couldn’t run, but lifting a heavy weight off the ground, something just clicked.” Still, the sport isn’t without its challenges, as another competitor was sure to point out.

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Jenni Murphy told the paper, “[Bodybuilding] takes up a lot of your life. I always ask people, ‘Are you in a good place mentally?’ It’s the best thing I ever did, but it’s mentally tough. You start doubting yourself: are you good enough? And you don’t see your body the same way. You’re looking at every fault.”

And Jones may have possessed a similar mindset during her time as a bodybuilder. As we mentioned earlier, the Billings resident worked on her physique over a five-year period, meaning she, too, had to make some sacrifices along the way – particularly when it came to her diet.

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Yes, like all bodybuilders, Jones had to consume a lot of protein. From specialized drinks to chicken dinners, those dietary additions helped her maintain her appearance. And, of course, she had to rely on countless sessions at the gym to boot.

But it seems the work paid off, as in 2015 Jones was rocking a toned physique that showcased notable muscles in both her arms and legs. She also had a flat stomach, which arguably completed the look. Even so, after competing in her debut bodybuilding contest that year, the young woman made a bold decision to once again change her lifestyle.

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After the competition, you see, Jones’ trainer asked her to lose an extra 30 pounds in weight. Given her svelte figure at the time, she elected to opt against that advice and ultimately leave bodybuilding behind. And about two years later, the former competitor shed more light on the choice she’d made.

To kick things off, Jones posted two images of herself to Facebook in July 2017. The first photograph was from 2015, and it showed her flaunting her physique as a bodybuilder. The second, however, was from that very summer when she uploaded the post. And according to Jones, she’d put on about 25 pounds between the two snaps.

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Perhaps what’s more important, though, is the lengthy message that accompanied the two photos. In the social media post, Jones both detailed her personal journey and explained why she had given up her old routines and lifestyle. And some of you may find her words completely relatable.

Jones wrote, “[From] bodybuilder to body lover. This isn’t your typical transformation photo. I went from being controlled by my grueling gym regimen and weighing chicken and having protein shakes in my purse to fully enjoying a social life. Some people might say this is ‘letting yourself go,’ but you can’t put a price tag on happiness.”

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Jones continued, “I call this finding myself and realizing I can have more than one passion in life – whether it’s hiking up in Glacier Park or enjoying beers with friends. A six-pack didn’t make me happy. I was never enough and always needed to improve.” At that stage, she raised another intriguing point.

After Jones confirmed that she was less strict with what she ate now, she looked to spread another important message. Specifically, the former lifter encouraged people to reach physiques that made them happy, as they’re the ones who have to live in their bodies.

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“Today I went rafting with friends and enjoyed food the old me would have drooled over and wouldn’t have dared to touch,” Jones revealed. “Your body is quite LITERALLY the only thing that gets you through this life. Your worth and joy isn’t weighed by what you can lift or what the scale says.”

Jones added, “My worth is weighed by those I surround myself with and the smile on my face.” And to conclude her message, she added a hashtag that simply read “body lover.” But not even Jones could’ve predicted the level of attention that the social media post would go on to garner.

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Jones’ Facebook post quickly went viral, in fact, with online users flocking to read her story. The inspiring message earned close to 275,000 likes and 90,000 shares on the social media website. It also generated around 27,000 comments, as people offered their thoughts on the ex-bodybuilder’s journey.

“Wow,” wrote one social media user in the comments section. “You look absolutely beautiful now. Exactly as you are. I much, much prefer picture two. You look happy, very healthy, and you have a lovely, natural glow about you. Gorgeous.” Those words were also echoed by another individual.

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But in addition to complimenting Jones’ current physique, the other Facebook user also focused on the message’s closing thoughts. In their mind, you see, the Billing resident had achieved something worthwhile by abandoning a lifestyle that hadn’t made her happy.

The user wrote, “Wow, such an amazing and [enlightening] experience. What matters isn’t for the eyes to see. It’s a balance from our soul, mind and body. If you feel great, that’s the greatest thing to do. Don’t ever stop. You’re so much more gorgeous now. Thank you for inspiring the world just by being you.”

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As the comments continued to flood in on Facebook, however, another message seemed to stand out from the rest. Unlike the previous users, this individual explained that their passion for lifting had put them in a similar position to Jones. And, interestingly, they had also come to a very similar realization on their own.

“I am going through this same thing right now,” the Facebook user said. “A few years ago when I started lifting, I deprived myself of so many things. I love lifting, running and hiking; they make me feel incredible. But I’ve learned that I can enjoy them all while still having beer and wine with my friends, and it won’t kill me.”

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The user concluded, “Balance. [It] seems as though you have found yours. Bravo!” And altogether, the post’s popularity meant that Jones’ story quickly hit the headlines, with the Daily Mail website and ABC News covering her tale. In fact, the network organized an interview with the former bodybuilder in July 2017.

During that conversation, Jones made a rather frank admission about her early reaction to the more recent photo. Yet even despite those initial feelings on the snap, she wanted to put other people’s minds at ease about their own appearances and physiques. She also went on to reassure people that she still felt positive about how far she’d come.

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Reiterating her social media message, Jones said, “I was kind of disgusted [by the current picture]. And then I felt bad, like, ‘Why should I be disgusted with my body? My body does so much for me.’ Start thanking your body for what it does for you instead of hating it. Foster a sense of being grateful for not only where you are, but [also] where your body took you.”

Sometimes, though, it doesn’t take years to transform your look – but a matter of mere hours. And a quick transformation doesn’t mean that it will be any less dramatic, either. For instance, after one cosmetics guru gave this grandma her dream makeover, her own family didn’t even recognize her.

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Many people appreciate the makeup industry and how certain products can transform you or restore your confidence. A grandmother called Kelly certainly seemed to be aware of the power of cosmetics, as she sought a brand-new look from makeover guru Christopher Hopkins – a man renowned for completely overhauling the style of his clients.

And Hopkins accepted Kelly’s request for a makeover, after which he began some epic cosmetic applications that changed her appearance completely. The makeup artist utilized his considerable experience to intensify Kelly’s natural features, for instance, and to tweak qualities that the grandmother wasn’t happy with – such as her hair – to bring her inner beauty to the surface.

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Then, by the end of her beauty treatment, Kelly couldn’t quite believe what she was seeing. Indeed, it seemed like another person entirely was looking back at her from the mirror! And Kelly’s new appearance also impressed her family when they came to visit afterwards. Her relatives’ mouths dropped open as they entered the room, in fact.

And Kelly’s heart-warming reaction to her makeover was subsequently recorded and uploaded to Hopkins’ YouTube channel. But before we see why the grandma’s nearest and dearest were so amazed by her transformation, let’s remind ourselves that her clip was far from the first to be featured on the makeup artist’s social media site. Yes, Hopkins has a plethora of similarly impressive videos under his belt. So who is the man behind the makeup, and where did he come from?

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Well, Hopkins, who’s now 55, originates from Minnesota. During his youth, however, he initially focused on the performing arts; in fact, Redwood Falls High School awarded him state honors not only in piano but also voice and declamation. Hopkins’ singing continued during his time in further education as well, when he joined the St. Olaf Choir as a freshman.

But while Hopkins’ career path remained in the entertainment world, he branched out from singing to include cosmetics, too. To be more precise, he founded his own beauty parlor called the Christopher Hopkins Salon in 1990. And the budding entrepreneur chose the Hubbard Broadcasting complex – which serves as the base of three Minnesota media companies – as the site for his business.

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This location was convenient considering that Hopkins subsequently landed a job as a makeup artist for those radio and TV stations. He even became a recurring guest contributor on a Minnesotan daytime talk show called Good Company. Four years later, though, he made another important move.

Hopkins transferred to Minneapolis, you see, and gave his business a new name: the Christopher Hopkins Image Center, or “CHIC” for short. And following his move, the makeup artist got spots on several daytime talk shows across the U.S. Yes, Hopkins began to cater to celebrities on the likes of Today and The Oprah Winfrey Show.

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During all that time, though, Hopkins didn’t neglect his musical talents. He sang at a series of high-profile concerts during the 1990s, for instance, including shows at the Grand Teton Music Festival and performances with Pennsylvania’s Erie Philharmonic and Germany’s Hannover Radio Philharmonic orchestras.

In addition, Hopkins published a book in 2008 called Staging Your Comeback: A Complete Beauty Revival for Women Over 45. And the title is actually a good thematic representation of the makeup artist’s recent activities. You see, Hopkins is now known on YouTube as MAKEOVERGUY – and that brand has quickly become a worldwide success.

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What’s more, in addition to his internet channel, Hopkins also co-owns a beauty salon called MAKEOVERGUY Appearance Studios with his husband. The cosmetic treatments at the salon have reportedly attracted patrons from across the globe. And in 2019 MAKEOVERGUY’s social media activity has showed off some of the stunning new looks that he creates.

For example, one of Hopkins’ makeovers went viral in March 2019. His general aim for these projects is to give women the boost to their self-esteem that they deserve, and the client in this case – a lady called Debbie – appeared to be no exception. She had contacted Hopkins with a request for a new hairstyle.

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Debbie, a 60-year-old grandparent, arrived at MAKEOVERGUY’s studios with two-tone curly hair down to her shoulders. The dual color was actually the result of regrowth after she’d used hair dye, as the brown shade had grown out. The catch, however, was that Debbie had no idea what style was likely to best really suit her.

“I have always wanted to have a makeover,” Debbie reveals on the resulting MAKEOVERGUY YouTube video. “But I have never found somebody who I thought could make me look my best.” Despite her previous hesitation, though, Debbie explains that she has complete faith in Hopkins and his team.

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“If you told me that I would look best with green or purple hair, I would say, ‘Let’s do it,’” Debbie elaborates. And to mark her 60th birthday, she’d finally decided to pursue her dream new look. Yet despite being undecided about the exact style, Debbie does still have one stipulation.

“I’m not looking to look any younger or more beautiful,” Debbie tells the studio crew. “I just want to look the best version of myself.” With that wish in mind, Hopkins was content to have been given carte blanche to style his client as he pleased. “She said the magic words, ‘Do whatever you want,’” the makeover artist wrote, “and so I did.”

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“She didn’t know her ideal colors were not gray and black but warm and spring-like colors,” Hopkins added. So, once the shade is decided, the MAKEOVERGUY team get to work with a lighter hair dye. They also change the hairstyle to take advantage of Debbie’s fabulously curly locks.

And the end result is amazing: the stylists give Debbie a shorter pixie haircut in strawberry blonde colors. She looks like a totally new woman, in fact, and the 60-year-old tells the camera that her husband will think so, too. “He’s not going to recognize me at all. At all!” Debbie says. “I don’t recognize myself!”

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“My family’s not going to recognize me, either,” Debbie adds. Hopkins explained in the video’s description that the style was designed to draw attention towards her eyes. In addition, the team dyed her eyebrows to better match the new hair color and then applied makeup, using contouring to accentuate Debbie’s best facial features.

Monaya from Moorhead is another woman who came to the MAKEOVERGUY to rid herself of two-tone regrowth hair. Her locks were a lot longer than Debbie’s, though, and exposed her natural silver-white color at the roots. She’d hidden the hue behind brown hair dye for three decades, mind you, before deciding it was time for a change.

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“I just felt kind of blah in the last couple of years,” Monaya explains in her makeover video. She goes on to reveal that the purpose of her salon visit is to “feel fun” and “look different.” Well, the MAKEOVERGUY studio certainly achieved that, as the reaction from Monaya’s husband proves.

When Monaya’s husband first sees his wife, he raises his glasses and wipes a tear from his eye, after all. But what could have caused such a response? “I loved her natural color, so this is what happened,” Hopkins wrote in the video’s description. And when the video shows Monaya next, you can see her new look in all its glory.

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In a similar fashion to Debbie, the MAKEOVERGUY team have trimmed Monaya’s hair into a much shorter style. And as Hopkins previously explained, he kept silver as the base color instead of applying any dye. Monaya’s huge grin then gives away her feelings about the makeover, while her husband tells her she looks beautiful.

There was perhaps another reason for her husband’s emotional reaction, though. “I kind of had this in mind, to be honest,” he says of Monaya’s hair. Apparently, the pair began dating in high school, at which time Monaya had a similarly short haircut. The do may therefore have stirred a lot of memories of that happy time.

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Going back to Kelly, there’s no doubt that hers was one of the most amazing transformations to come from the MAKEOVERGUY brand recently. And her video begins with the woman introducing herself to viewers. “My name is Kelly,” she says. “And I came from Iron Mountain in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula.” So, what exactly brought her to Hopkins in the first place?

Well, as a mother and grandma, no doubt Kelly spends a lot of her life with her family. “It’s time to do something just for me,” Kelly tells the MAKEOVERGUY studio camera. “Hopefully, this is going to be just the ticket.” And one thing she wanted to change was her hair, which had become rather unruly.

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To illustrate her point, Kelly shows the studio crew her locks, which are initially tied up behind her head. “Here we go. Hold your breath,” she says as she shakes her tresses free from the hair tie. Her wavy hair is indeed fairly wild – a feature that has developed over time, according to Kelly.

“[My hair] used to be pin-straight,” Kelly elaborates. “But it’s changed now from, you know, my age.” Furthermore, if the video description is anything to go by, Hopkins agreed that Kelly’s locks presented his biggest challenge. “Kelly came in from the Upper Michigan Peninsula with very fragile and overly processed hair,” he wrote.

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In addition, Hopkins discovered that Kelly might have had curls all along, and the straight hair had simply concealed them. And just like previous clients, Kelly was happy for the studio to do whatever they liked for her makeover. Thus the team began by changing both the style and color of her hair.

Before the MAKEOVERGUY reveals Kelly’s transformation, though, he first shows her family’s reaction to her astonishing new look. That’s right: her children and grandchildren come to visit Kelly at the salon, and they enter with utter amazement on their faces. Kelly’s reaction to their arrival also indicates that she’s surprised to see her family.

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“Oh, my babies came to see me,” Kelly coos as they walk through the door. Among the guests are Kelly’s daughter Jessica Books and, presumably, Kelly’s grandchildren. Books’ reaction to her mother’s makeover says it all, too; first a huge grin lights up her face, and then her mouth drops open.

But they aren’t the only people who’ve come to marvel at the new Kelly. Yes, a bunch of other family members crowd in behind Books as well, with one of them carrying a phone to capture the moment. It’s a good thing he does, in fact, because no one can believe what they’re seeing.

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You can hear Kelly off-camera asking her visitors, “Does it look like me?” The children must have answered in the negative, because she then says, “No, it doesn’t? It is me – it’s Mimzy!” And for a moment, the assembled crowd are speechless. Even when Books tries to talk, she seemingly can’t find the words.

“Look at… guys… Look at,” Books begins saying, but then she trails off, still stunned by her mom’s transformation. “Oh my God,” one of the male visitors adds. “You look great!” Meanwhile, the only exclamation that Books can manage is another “Oh my God!” And faced with such an impressive makeover, it’s no wonder that the witnesses struggle to articulate themselves.

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To begin with, everything about Kelly’s hair – from color and length to style – is completely different. Hopkins took advantage of her natural curls and created a hairstyle that frames his client’s face. He also changed the color, turning it brown and putting in blonde highlights – which seems to help add volume.

And for a good few seconds, Kelly can’t believe it’s her in the mirror. The only thing she can think to say is “Wow” before falling back into stunned silence. Then when Kelly finally finds her composure, she shows how happy she is with a little dance of joy.

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“I feel gorgeous,” Kelly eventually says. “It’s not pretty, it’s freaking gorgeous! I’m glad we’re going out for dinner tonight because I can be glamorous and fabulous.” She’s not done dancing yet, though. Indeed, Kelly’s so overjoyed that she treats viewers to a little ballet performance at the end of the video.

In the video description, Hopkins revealed that he chose a specific style for Kelly in order to accentuate her features. The hairdo’s width was selected to offset her “pear-shaped” face by making it appear wider at temple level, for example. In addition, artists made Kelly’s lipstick subtle in contrast to her darker, attention-grabbing eye makeup.

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As for the general public, they were equally impressed with how Kelly’s transformation turned out. “Well, that’s how to shed 20 years in one day, oh wow,” one viewer commented. “She’s got a wonderful personality, and now her outside matches the inside – beautiful, spunky and funny!” And other YouTubers agreed, too.

Another commenter added, “[She] looks great, but the most awesome part is the confidence.” Kelly’s daughter also voiced her appreciation. “This is my mom, and it was so incredible to see her transform,” Books wrote. “[Hopkins], you’re so wonderful inside and out, thank you to you and your glam team!”

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