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Photography by Ryan Jackson


Age: 28

Occupation: hairstylist/educator

Tell us about yourself in under 100 words:

I am a 28 year old female who lives life to the fullest. I am married to a wonderful man named Adrian and have been with him for eight years. I have been a hairstylist since 2007 and am so grateful I chose a career that excites me everyday. My job has given me opportunities to travel, see, and meet some of the most amazing people and gain some great mentors along the way. On my days off I enjoy hanging out at the lake fishing, playing slow pitch in the summer, and spending time with family. I enjoy dressing up for work but on weekends I prefer to be make up free and dressed down. I also have an obsession with cats, not in a bad way but just really love my two cats — Belle and Aspen. I believe myself to be loyal and a good friend, and if you are in my life it is because you have made a impact on me in the same way. I also believe in looking at life in a positive way and have learned that in any situation you just have to understand why or what your feeling and you can get through anything.

Marie-1You shared your story with us in a vulnerable letter. How did your past unfold and what did it teach you?

I truly wouldn’t know where to begin sharing my story…I was born into a family with a loving mother who only wanted the best for me but was always stuck in terrible relationships. My father was mentally ill and was abusive until we escaped when I was in grade 3. He almost killed us. My second role model for a father was around until I was in grade ten, and he was an alcoholic abuser who was incredibly jealous of us kids. More verbally abusive than anything but occasionally physical. Both these “fathers” taught me to hate men and trust no one.

I was a very broken mixed up teenager who could not hurt anyone, but if they hurt me they certainly paid with misplaced anger. Anger was all I knew because being sad was too hard. My mother finally met a nice man when the second man went to jail. Finally a proper role model, someone who did not drink, smoke, or hit anyone. I had high hopes for a happy life but had no idea how to create it so I withdrew and became depressed. I tried so hard to be fixed for everyone around me but in return I suffered in silence. I felt I could speak to no one because it was always a family member who harmed us.

I could of gone either way in my life but at twenty years old, I met my now-husband who showed me what it’s like to be in a healthy relationship, even though we had both never witnessed one. He taught me how to trust and be myself. He never wanted to change me. He accepted me for the way I was and the scars that will forever be attached to me. I was broken but healed because of him, and because I made a decision to live and love my life despite the fact so many years were taken from me. I thank my mom for being here for me today, and I would not change anything from the past because it has made me who I am today, which I feel proud of. No matter what you endure in life and no matter what people tell you, if you stay true to yourself and surround yourself with good positive people. The future is yours. You win.


Marie-2What is your favorite thing about yourself?

My favorite thing about myself is my inner strength and I do not allow anyone to take it away from me anymore.

What is the most amazing thing your body has done?

My mind has helped me accept my body for what it is, I am what I am. Me.

What is your biggest insecurity in regards to your appearance, if anything and where do you think it comes from?

My biggest insecurity would have to be my eczema, I have had it my whole life. Growing up my eczema was far more severe, covering my face legs and arms. As an adult I really only get it on my hands and arms, but there is always those people who ask in rude ways what it is. I used to dress in clothes which covered to avoid the teasing, now I wear whatever I feel like that day — not concerning myself anymore.

Take a moment and stand in front of the mirror. What do you see? What thoughts go through your mind?

I see a woman who does not have a “perfect” body but it is perfect for me, it is my home and you have to love your home.

Marie-4What are your self-care and/or wellness rituals?

I love sitting by the water and listening to nature, my mother-in-law lives at the lake and it is for sure one of the happiest places I go. Quiet and peaceful. I also love doing yoga as it centers me into a good place, and it’s just for me and my thoughts.

When do you feel like the best version of yourself?

I feel my best self when I am around my favorite friends or family, people who accept everything you are with no judgement. I love connecting with people whether it’s some of my clients, friends, or family. I love learning from people. Whenever I get the opportunity to learn or be inspired, I am excited.

If you could give one message to women of the world what would it be?

Us as woman should stick together, be kind to one another. We are all fighting the same battle, trying to find our mark in the world. I think woman should know beauty is so much more than on the outside. Woman are so powerful and strong and we should support one another and encourage each other. One of the things I see woman do is self-hate, say terrible things about their bodies and talk down about themselves. If you start accepting yourself for who you are, and shift your energy into something positive, your life will change.

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