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Photographer: Alexander Slanger

Since crushing my spinal cord in a car accident in 1982, I’ve had to actively question social standards of perfection to rediscover that sense of beauty for myself.

I went back to school, graduated and pursued my dreams of fame and fortune by becoming the first woman with a disability to pose for Playboy magazine. I got a masters degree and lecture on self-image and sexuality at a state university. I ski, surf, bungee-jump, scuba dive, and race in marathons. I got married, bought a house, and have a daughter who is challenging me in ways that make coping with my physical disability seem like a piece of cake.