By Clarissa Burt With Brooke Smith
In my lifetime, I have been exceedingly fortunate to come across a plethora of uniquely-talented women who are proactive warriors fighting for positive self-esteem. One astoundingly-talented woman whose efforts are extremely important for women is Rachell Hall. She is a long-time permanent makeup artist who gives hope and positive self-esteem to breast cancer survivors. Rachell reaches out to breast cancer survivors everywhere who have lost their breasts along with their self-esteem to this perilous disease.
When I spoke to Rachell about her patients, she said, "It's all about self-esteem. The psychological aspect plays a huge role in the recovery of breast cancer survivors. Typically, patients come to me ashamed, embarrassed and unable to change in public -- or even in front of loved ones." A completed, natural-looking breast can provide any breast cancer survivor the confidence, self-esteem and comfort that she deserves. Rachell decided that women who have fought through a grueling disease should never have to give up a body part in order to survive and is now fighting against that harsh reality.
As part of that lifelong fight, Rachell has spent more than 20 years perfecting the art of Breasthetics, a painless procedure that creates the illusion of a natural nipple. The "nipple" is tattooed onto the breast as an exact rendition in terms of dimension, color and shape of a real nipple.
Not only has Rachell perfected the art of Breasthetics, but she has also revolutionized the industry of permanent cosmetics by training surgeons in the art of nipple re-pigmentation, starting her own non-profit organization and spreading awareness of the importance of full breast reconstruction across the nation. Rachell began her journey at USC, where she made a life-altering decision to stop pursuing a career in dentistry and started studying the creative side of breast cancer recovery. She first got into make-up artistry and then took on permanent cosmetics. Rachell Hall continued her studies in Hong Kong, where she learned to custom blend ink colors and thus became a color specialist. Rachell took her talents back to the U.S. and began working on the virtually unknown and unlicensed business of Breasthetics.
Rachell's career-defining moment came when a prospective patient named Susan cancelled her appointment because her insurance company wouldn't cover the expenses. They had told Susan that nipple reconstruction was not medically necessary, and thus would not fund the operation. Rachell said: "She was so excited about the procedure. The fact that a company would call the full reconstruction unnecessary was obscene, so I said come in and I will take care of you." Rachell provided Susan with the entire procedure without charge.
As a result of this kindness, Susan sent Rachell Hall a letter expressing her gratitude, telling her how much Breasthetics had positively changed her life. Rachell forwarded the letter to the insurance company, who responded by changing its attitude to promote Breasthetics. Rachell raved: "They immediately changed their song. The company now promotes Breasthetics, recommends it, and covers it. They have to; it's federal mandate."
The federal mandate that changed the company's perspective is the Woman's Health and Cancer Rights Act, which allows cancer survivors to undergo complete reconstruction of the breasts. Rachell could not ignore such staggering results and decided to start a non-profit organization, Bridging the Gap. Bridging the Gap provides services for women like Susan and raises awareness for Breasthetics.
Another program Rachell started in order to make a difference is her training program. This training program brought forth the start of a beautiful cycle where students -- many of them women who have undergone the procedure and want to give back -- learn everything necessary to earn liability insurance and become certified so that they can successfully restore women everywhere with an improved sense of both inner and outer beauty.
Rachell Hall is truly dedicated to raising self-esteem and the quality of life for women everywhere through her permanent cosmetics. She declares: "Women always come out of mastectomies and breast cancer thinking they are less than a woman. I think we can create a paradigm shift. I promote the idea that you are still a sexy, beautiful woman."
As far as the future goes for Rachell, she eagerly awaits this year's Bridging the Gap fundraiser on Oct. 11 as well as letting the world know of the importance of Breasthetics and a healthy self-esteem. From eyebrows to nipples, Rachell restores outer beauty and inner confidence to grateful women everywhere.
To learn more about Rachell's Breasthetics or contact her for a consultation visit the following website: www.breasthetics.com.
For more by Clarissa Burt, click here.
For more on breast cancer, click here.