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Body Image: The Woman’s Edition

   Recently reading news about the first ‘plus sized’ model not only making it into the coveted pages, but onto the cover of the famous swimsuit edition felt like my own personal victory. I felt like screaming, crying and jumping up and down for joy. This woman is my soul sister, and I want to hug her! The wait is over to see a female who looks like me, has cellulite like me, be labeled and glorified by the media as beautiful.
     This is 2016, and I know there are thousands of women of all shapes and sizes who share my story. It is a story that can relate to all of us. How do we see ourselves? How do we feel about ourselves? Do we love this skin we are in? This is the year to push the boundaries of what is beautiful and the perception of what our world truly looks like.
The media needs to stop influencing society and expand beyond all of the beautiful faces and divine souls that it already features to include the variety it is missing. It’s time to stop touching up photos and show how absolutely fantastic every scar and wrinkle are. I believe that if the media portrayed the beauty of all shapes, sizes, colors and ages that we would come full circle as beings.
     Women of all ages, shapes, sizes, ethnicities and cultures all have the same battles with their self-worth because of their views of their bodies. We are constantly being bombarded with body standards from society that we are unrightfully expected to meet. We are criticized by others and made to feel less than.
This has been a problem for many years. I had seen delicate girls in high school hospitalize themselves and risk their lives for feeling inadequate; for not feeling beautiful. I have seen friends criticized and put down by their partners and allow the wrong people in their lives because they don’t feel worthy; because they don’t feel beautiful. It’s as if beauty has become an exclusive club who few are allowed to have membership. It’s devastating and heartbreaking.
Even as a child, I remember idolizing my mother. As far as I was concerned, she was my hero and the most beautiful woman I have ever seen in my life. I was always so proud to be her daughter. The problem was that she was not proud to be her. This woman, who was sought after by the New York Playboy Club to become a Bunny, thought she was nothing; not good enough. She never complimented herself, always criticized. She was not thin enough, not pretty enough. She felt she was not worthy. Being a chubby girl bullied in school, I would look at her and think to myself, “If she isn’t good enough, than what am I?”
     My own personal journey persists, and from time to time I still question if I am good enough. However, I can honestly say that after incredible amounts of emotional work, there are more days where I am feeling beautiful instead of less than. I have promised myself love. I have made a promise to all women to fight for them to be seen and loved. I have embraced my calling as a woman, I have found myself and my love.
I see and treat women everyday that feel lost in their bodies and do not feel beautiful. I feel that my charge in this life to go beyond just repairing the tissue and function of the body. I want those in my presence to realize how beautiful and divine they truly are.

Beauty is not definable by or with any other word, meaning or message.

     The question I am often asked; “Having seen so many different people, how do you perceive the human body, and has your career changed you?”
      I answer this; I have realized that we are all alike and all different at once. I have never seen a fault with any body on my table, and especially have never seen anything close to what my clients see as flaws.
The human body has no flaws because it is not possible for a masterpiece and miracle to be wrong in any way. We are all incredible. We are all truly beautiful.
     All of my beauties from size 2 to 28 can and do have the same struggles with feeling and being in their unique and indefinable beauty. Body image is all about what we see as ourselves. The only opinion that matters is our own. Far too often, our view is skewed by invaders and bias. Everyone has their own journey with self-love, self-worth and how and if they feel beautiful.
     We can love ourselves. We can heal. We are allowed to feel beautiful because we are. We can have cellulite and be on the covers of magazines. We can wear bikinis. We can wear anything we want. We can create. We can do absolutely anything we put ourselves into. We can jiggle. We can be blissful. We can be proud. We can stand for one another with love. We can support each other. We can change generations. We can change the world.

We are flawless.
We woke up like this.

-Paige