Companies have been known to create ads that inspire us to take action, but this year's campaign series from Equinox is making us take pause. Samantha Paige is a 41-year-old mom and cancer survivor whose ad that features her mastectomy scars is so striking -- and so powerful -- that you simply cannot look away.
Samantha's ad is a part of Equinox's 2017 "Commit to Something" campaign (in its second year) that tackles cultural issues (and perceived taboos) and reasserts boldness, strength, and self-confidence -- all of which describe this incredible mom who once battled thyroid cancer.
Samantha also tested positive for BRCA1, a human gene mutation that can increase a person's risk of cancer -- especially a woman's risk of breast and ovarian cancer. She finally decided to undergo a double mastectomy in a preemptive move when her daughter (who is now 9) was just 7 months old.
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This visual of a mother and cancer survivor (Samantha tells CafeMom she's been cancer-free for 20 years) is one of empowerment and a testament to the strength of a woman (a mom) and her relentless spirit to overcome adversity and live comfortably in her own skin -- scars and all -- for both herself and her daughter.
What's awesome about this ad -- aside from the badass imagery -- is that it shows Samantha empowered, in control, and free of the implants she once got in order to feel "normal." As she says in her ad, "Scars aren't ugly; scars are just beautiful badges."
Speaking to CafeMom about her personal projects, this ad campaign, and what it all means to her as a mother, Samantha tells us, "The best way I know to be a role model for my daughter is to challenge myself to do better, be more vulnerable, be more honest, be braver, and act with love and compassion." She continues:
I will continue to ask the challenging questions of myself and act on behalf of my truth. That is where I find deeper connection and greater freedom, and where I believe I can inspire [my daughter] and others to first find empowerment and love within.
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I'm in complete awe of this Equinox ad and Samantha's boldness -- heck, her willingness -- to stand proudly before us in her truth. This visual demonstrates strength and victory and makes me feel so empowered to overcome everything life may throw my way.
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As the daughter of a parent who battled and kicked cancer's ass, I can only imagine how proud Samantha's daughter is of her mother -- and how she'll likely share these stunning images of her mom with her children.
In addition to the powerful ad for Equinox, Samantha hopes her (photo) documentary book project Last Cut and the stories of those she interviewed for her Last Cut Conversations podcast will inspire us to embrace and #ownyourscars and tackle all of life's big decisions (our last cuts) head on.
"I strongly relate to the 'Commit to Something campaign,' and applaud Equinox for their message," she tells CafeMom. "Like this campaign, my project Last Cut focuses on the significant decisions, or last cuts, we make to stand up for what we believe in most."
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Thank you, Samantha (and Equinox), for this powerful and completely mesmerizing ad.