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I had an amazing experience with a client recently that I can’t stop thinking about. This particular client emailed me several weeks ago. She told me that she was incredibly nervous about getting a Brazilian, and she has a significant amount of guilt and shame about even considering such a thing. I explained to her that, in my opinion, there is absolutely nothing to feel guilty or ashamed about. We see naked bodies all day long, in all shapes, colors and sizes. There is no judgement, there is privacy, and we treat the experience with respect.

So, a few weeks later, this gal came in for her wax. Let me begin by telling you that she is adorable. Slim body, glowing skin, beautiful smile. When she walked into my room she was so nervous she was trembling. She was terrified to get undressed, and she explained that she had been wanting to have a Brazilian for a long time, but she was too nervous. I chatted with her little while and finally she got undressed and onto the table.

After that it was smooth sailing. We talked the entire time about what had been keeping her from getting a Brazilian. She explained that she had very strict upbringing with a lot of shame involved. Shame about her body, nudity, her feelings toward the opposite sex as she was growing up. Now, as an adult, she worked hard to recognize those feelings and understand where they were coming from, but it was a process. The waxing appointment, baring herself in front of a complete stranger, was a huge step toward her feeling great about herself.

It made me feel so sad, honestly. I feel like women are such a mess! I mean, I see women day in and day out, and the majority of us think there is something wrong with us. Usually, it’s our bodies. We think we are too fat, too thin, breasts are too small or too big, cellulite, wrinkles, hair is too frizzy, too flat…I could go on and on. Women that are beautiful, that work out relentlessly, that are young and firm and smooth-skinned, these women hop on the table and make apologies for how they look. They say to me “AH! Don’t look at my cellulite.” I shake my head in confusion and I think: “Does anyone feel great about the way they look?”

I am absolutely no exception. I have struggled with body issues since I can remember. When I gave birth to Stella, her dad sat me down and told me that he absolutely did not want me to pass on my psychotic body image issues to our daughter. I agreed heartily. I feel like I have wasted so many hours of my life thinking that I was too fat, not shaped right, not perfect. It’s exhausting, and infuriating. The last thing in the world that I would want Stella to deal with is worrying that she isn’t “good enough.” I mean, good enough? For who? Who is this mysterious pillar of perfection that we are always comparing ourselves to, and finding ourselves lacking.

Anyway, I have to remind myself every day, (and usually every woman that I talk to), that there is beauty in everyone. I used to wish that I was a perfect size 4. Now, I try to reframe that thought and instead be grateful for a strong body, physical health and stamina. I can’t express enough that I look at naked women all day long and quite frankly, we all look pretty much the same. We all have the same parts. Some of us are a little smaller or bigger, but we are all lovely. Deeply lovely.

Walking around feeling ashamed is like walking under a shroud. It clouds every experience that we have, every touch, every conversation, every encounter. To access those feelings of guilt and shame, to hold them up to the light and see what they are all about, well that’s the first step toward freedom.

I was so proud of my client. She took a huge step, and in the process let me in to a part of herself that she keeps closely guarded. After we were finished, she looked lighter, brighter, younger. She was glowing. She looked so proud of herself, so amazed, that it made me want to cry. She rescheduled for next month and I am so excited to see her.

Every day is a journey for us. Some days are totally exhilarating, and some days suck eggs. Through all of it, do we really need our own garbage drowning us? I say, Hell No!