A definition of beauty
"Guys dig chicks with scars." It's one of the many mottos that WWE Diva Candice Michelle now lives by.
Many of the Sexiest Women on TV had long, tough roads to achieve their place in WWE, but few have had as many obstacles as the Diva who defines beauty. The first challenge came just after she was hired, shortly after Candice fell short in the 2004 WWE Diva Search.
"When they called me back, I was really surprised and excited," she said. "I realized that if I wanted to be taken seriously, I had to do something on my own. So I started training in Los Angeles. I think everybody saw the passion I had."
Her passion drove her to become much more than simply eye candy. On her way to becoming Women's Champion at Vengeance 2007, Candice proved herself as one of the toughest ladies on the roster. This was nothing new for the Go Daddy spokeswoman. She claims she has always been able to kick anybody's butt when it comes to most sports.
"I was totally a tomboy, growing up," the former Playboy cover girl said. "I had a Hulk Hogan doll growing up. I didn't have Barbies. I hated Barbies."
WWE was in Candice's life long before she joined the company. Watching wrestling was a favorite activity for her and her stepfather.
When she wasn't watching WWE, Candice's life was occupied with skating. Her first job was working at a roller skating rink as a teacher, disc jockey, and concession stand server. While she was working there, the John Robert Powers modeling agency held a contest at the rink. Candice competed, won a scholarship to modeling school and never looked back.
The opportunity landed the Wisconsin native in Los Angeles, where she soon discovered her love for acting. She studied theater at Santa Monica College and said goodbye to her previous desires to be a model and a lawyer.
Soon, the chance to be a WWE Diva came, offering the perfect combination of acting and athleticism. Despite being eliminated from the 2004 Diva Search, Candice knew she was made for this role.
"It was such a hard journey for me when I started wrestling. I had to earn respect from everybody," she said, citing hardcore WWE fans who sometimes view Diva Search competitors as models and not true Superstars.
Candice was eventually able to win our fans over and take control of the Divas division, earning the Women's Championship in 2007, becoming the first Diva Search contestant to achieve the prize. But all of a sudden, it was taken away from her. She suffered a broken clavicle that led to the end of her reign as Women's Champion and a lengthy absence from the ring.
"It was really hard for me because I worked so hard to gain the respect of being a wrestler and I was really living my dream," she said. "It got swept out from under me in an instant. I went through a dark place."
Candice was not ready for her dreams to be taken away, but after some acceptance and regrouping, she prepared herself for another run in the squared circle … only to break her collarbone once again.
"The transition of going through something like that made me realize it's a blessing in disguise and God has a purpose for everything," Candice explained. "I need to have faith."
The Diva got her first tattoo after that initial injury -- the word "faith" scripted on her wrist.
"I got this tattoo because faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen. And it faces me because it's an affirmation for myself."
What she loves most about the tattoo, though, is when she turns her hand around. When she flashes our fans a sign of love, "faith" displays right side up for everyone to see. She attributes much of her success to their support, recalling all of our fans who stood behind her for each of those injuries.
"I think God has put me in a great place to be a role model for other people. Nobody thought I'd be a contender in the ring and be the first girl from the Diva Search to ever become Women's Champion. Dreams do come true if you fight for it and go for it. So have faith."
Candice calls her "faith" tattoo her first tattoo. The second, though, is not a traditional piece of body art.
"When the bandages were ready to come off after my second injury, it was like getting a tattoo. The scar is part of me. It defines me. It defines a turning point in my life of becoming a whole new person, so I just let it shine. I've earned this battle wound and I'm going to come back and I'm going to show it off and show people that I've had a transformation."
For Candice, the scar is not a blemish that needs to be covered up with turtlenecks or makeup. It's part of what makes her beautiful.
"I came back with this new slogan, ‘defining beauty,' and people might look at it and think it's because people think I'm beautiful, so I'm defining beauty," she explained. "But that's not it; it's being in a huge black hole and being depressed because my dreams were shattered. It's being at home with the pain and then injuring my collarbone a second time and having it shattered and going through surgery. It's about coming back."
Faith builds who Candice is. It defines beauty and it defines her.
Because of all of the changes she has been forced to go through, Candice's goal has changed. Initially, she hoped to prove she was a true Superstar and that her heart and passion was in WWE. Now, her new goal is to make a mark in this business. It's to be a part of WWE's evolution.
Candice's evolution is something out of storybooks. She has faced every doubter and every obstacle in her quest to achieve her dream and there is no denying that she has done it with grace and beauty on the way to achieving her special place in WWE history.