This Photographer Is Destigmatizing Scars By Sharing the Stories Behind Them
"My scars tell my story, and I'm never going to let anyone else's thoughts or opinions change that."
Lots of people have had accidents that left behind permanent reminders in the form of scars. But these scars often go undiscussed, even when it comes to conversations about body image and self-acceptance. One photographer is trying to change that. (Related: Victoria's Secret Angel Martha Hunt Proudly Shows Off Her Scars, Says 'Imperfection Is Beautiful')
Sophie Mayanne is a 24-year-old photographer based in the U.K. Her most recent project, Behind the Scars, aims to destigmatize these "flaws" by telling the stories behind them.
For the most part, Sophie documents everyday women whose wounds vary from accidents like broken bones from childhood to scars caused by more traumatic events like self-harm, gunshots, and life-saving operations-all of which tell extraordinary tales of survival.
Chloe Rose, for instance, shared how she learned to love her scars that were caused by self-harm as a teen. "It truly is an addiction and you get to a point where surgeons tell you that plastic surgery can't fix the appearance of the scars, so the only thing you can do is love your scars so much that all the negative connections that come along with self-harm slowly disappear - along with all the pain attached to the scars," she wrote. "My scars tell my story, and I'm never going to let anyone else's thoughts or opinions change that." (Related: Selena Gomez Shares How She's Embracing Her Post-Transplant Scars)
Sama Bullock shared how her scar is a constant reminder of the time she played with a handgun at 14-years-old, which cost her a lifetime in a wheelchair. "Despite what you might think, I've never found a reason to be victimised by my condition," she wrote. "My spiritual and physical scars made me grow stronger, empowered. I wanted to be a tennis player, so I became a tennis player. I wanted to be a model, and guess what... I am a model. As a model of diversity, I work in the fashion industry representing people that have limitations but are not limited. They love, they fight, they win, they lose. They are real and my story helps them to see how beautiful and meaningful they are. All scars included."
Together, these women are proving that self-acceptance is a life-long process that changes every day. Scars in some ways are similar. At times they are a reminder of your strength and resilience, and other times they bring back painful memories. Either way, they are a part of who we are so the best thing we can do is embrace and cherish them.