Actress Paige Billiot Creates Photography Project (And Poses Nude) To Celebrate Flaws

Actress Paige Billiot Creates Photography Project (And Poses Nude) To Celebrate Flaws

Though she once felt insecure about her birthmark, Billiot now wants to celebrate the uniqueness of her body.
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Love your flaws.

How many times have you heard that? If you’re a woman that is even slightly in touch with the media, probably a lot. But actress Paige Billiot, known for her role in "Road to Hell," is taking this clichéd saying and turning it into a meaningful campaign called the Flawless Affect.

Billiot was born with a large red birthmark across her cheek, called a port-wine stain. Port-wine stains happen when an area of skin gets an insufficient supply of nerve fibers. When there's a lack of nerve fibers, small blood vessels keep expanding, allowing a greater amount of blood to flow into the blood vessels and causing a stain to form under the skin. This is not an effect from anything that mothers do or do not do during pregnancy.

“When I was younger, the birthmark was hard for me to deal with. It was part of feeling vulnerable,” she told The Daily Mail.

Growing up, Billiot was bullied and questioned about her birthmark. Sometimes, the bullying turned from verbal to physical. As a kid, her family moved around a lot, and she had to explain over and over again what was on her face. But she eventually learned that standing up in front of her class, introducing herself, and explaining what the birthmark was, stopped a lot of the badgering and helped her accept her skin discoloration.

Now at only 23 years old, she’s continuing to take back agency and is loudly proclaiming that she loves her “flaw.” She created the Flawless Affect by collaborating with many photographers and even encouraging other people with “flaws” to get involved. She wants these artistic photos – some of them nude – to shed a positive light on skin imperfections.

"I created this project in order to give people a creative avenue to shed light on their 'flaws,'" she wrote on her Tumblr page.

Some photos feature her without many clothes on, while others feature her in gorgeous dresses. There's one of her in a robe, seemingly just chilling out at home, and several on her Instagram page in which is she covered in body paint.

Though her profession requires her to be in front of the camera, makeup covers her birthmark while on set. This project marks the first time that Billiot has stepped in front of the camera for a wide audience without cosmetics concealing her “flaw.”

“The whole goal of Flawless Affect is to redefine beauty and change the perspective of what a flaw is. I’m hoping that people will look at these photos and have a better understanding that whatever makes them different is simply beautifully unique,” Billiot told Yahoo Beauty. “The way we’re able to highlight a flaw in such a creative way will hopefully help erase any negative stigma one has imposed on themselves. I hope people accept themselves no matter how different they are and embrace that.”

For the photo above, Billiot outlined her birthmark to emphasize it.

Billiot doesn’t want the project to only focus on skin imperfections or discolorations, and anyone who feels that they have a flaw can join the project.

In the photo above, Billiot poses with artist and body painter Nick Herrera.

“This outlet is for anyone who feels they have to live with some sort of flaw, be it physical, mental, or emotional,” Paige explains. “The Flawless Affect project isn’t just for people with birthmarks, but is expanding to celebrate flaws of every shape and size and kind,” Billiot said.

She eventually wants to turn the project into a non-profit organization to further her efforts in redefining beauty.

“It has been amazing – I've got a lot of feedback from girls of all ages. They tell me their stories, they tell me how much they hide it and then tell me that this project has completely inspired them. I feel like I can help so many more and try to change their mindset to acceptance," she explained. "You must have the [mentality] that a flaw is flawless. It will still take a while, but it's about perspective."

Cover Image Credit: dailymail

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Poetry On The Odyssey: It's a Girl

An ode to the little girl raised to be insecure.

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They raise little girls to be insecure

Little girls grow to be big girls

People always ask big girls why they're so insecure

Big girls aren't quite sure

Day after day the big girl can't keep up

She's exhausted

Her soul feels worn

The big girl learns to grow hard

In a way, she's a bit stronger

People call her a bitch

Bitch

What is that?

How can she let that affect her

It's simply the only way to be her

She mourns that little girl

Hoping that one day

She'll be strong


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