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Army spouse wins glamour makeover

Contest winner says she’s ‘thankful for it’

Published: 12:31PM April 17th, 2014

Chelle Dean knows plenty of women who deserve to be pampered.

When the Joint Base Lewis-McChord Army spouse entered a Seattle radio station’s contest for a makeover, she was asked why she thought she deserved to win. Dean said she didn’t deserve it, but instead explained why she’d appreciate it.

Dean has endured a challenging journey physically and mentally with three cancer-related surgeries, weight gain and PTSD related to domestic violence from a previous relationship.

For the last six years Dean has been on a path of healthy growth. Feeling better inside, Dean entered The New Hot 103.7 Candy + Potter’s Makeover Madness radio contest on a whim for a chance to be pampered on the outside.

“I thought it couldn’t hurt nothing; they’re not going to pick me anyway,” Dean said.

But the radio staff were taken with Dean’s personality and selected her as one of five makeover participants. The mother of two spent the day in downtown Seattle April 4 and was pampered with a hair and makeup makeover, dressed in a glamorous outfit and photographed by a professional photographer. Dean shared some of her story on the air and checked in with the radio hosts periodically as she was shuttled around town in a Mercedes town car.

“I really don’t think I deserved it, but I’m thankful for it,” Dean said.

Dean’s emotions were evident over the air waves as she expressed her gratitude to the radio station for the opportunity. The experience was a huge step in a positive direction for Dean, who not too long ago didn’t venture further outside than her front porch.

Dean and her two children moved to the JBLM area in 2007 through a domestic violence relocation program. She lived with family and avoided leaving the house, ordering everything online, including groceries.

Dean met Staff Sgt. James Dean, a Soldier with 17th Fires Brigade, online and the two hit it off instantly. The couple married four months later.

Trying to keep her anxiety at bay, Chelle Dean was taking 11 different prescriptions at one point. She sought help from therapists at Madigan Army Medical Center.

Dealing with so much stress physically affected her and caused weight gain. After going through the Pathway Program at Madigan nearly a year ago, Dean has lost about 120 pounds.

“It’s huge how you look at yourself (now) and you feel better about yourself, and how much the world around you changes,” Dean said.

With a daughter in high school, Dean is busy during prom season, helping her daughter’s friends with makeup, hair and nails. The one who glams up others finally had her own chance to be pampered with the contest. Dean took her friend and business partner Ashley Skadan with her to Seattle.

“I’m glad she put herself out there to even try to enter it, because she does deserve it,” Skadan said. “She’s a beautiful person and to see that confidence coming from the inside, she’s contagious.”

During her time in Seattle, the radio hosts also checked in with Dean’s husband who is getting ready for his fourth deployment this summer. When Dean debuted her new look, she was compared to actress Angelina Jolie.

“Straight glamour,” Skadan said.