November 29, 2017
Scars are things we carry with us from the moment we receive them. They don’t define us, but they are a part of us. They are our experiences and challenges displayed on our skin. They shape you into the beautiful woman that you are. Why be ashamed of them? Why hide them? There is no reason. You should be proud of your scars. They make you who you are.
There is an old saying that I keep in my mind at all times. “A knight in shining armour is a knight that has never had his metal truly tested.” This could be implied to many aspects of our lives. Your scars prove that you have lived. You have fought your own battles and you survived. Even at a time when you may have felt your world falling apart around you, you chose to survive.
Some of our scars bring joy to our lives. We look at them and can remember the times when we were brave and strong. Such as stretch marks! Stretch marks don’t just come from pregnancy. They appear when your body has changed. They create a pattern on your skin that tell a story. You should embrace the beautiful changes to your body. Whether you gained a litte, or lost a little. You have control of the body you live in, and you can decide that your body is perfect just the way it is. Scars and all.
If you have stretch marks from bringing a child into this world, you have scars that you can truly say, gave you life. How beautiful is that?! An actual human being grew within your body and you brought them into the world with nothing but your own strength. That should tell you something about yourself. You are a fierce tiger and you earned your stripes!
Our scars are proof that we have overcome all of our obstacles and we are healing over time. Much like scar tissue, self love is something that you build up. Once you find the power in yourself to commit to self love, nothing can stand in the way of your happiness. I learned through experience that self love is the greatest scar tissue of all. Self love is healing. You deserve to see your scars as beautiful things about yourself. You don’t just heal. You grow. You are stronger than the pain you have endured and you owe it to yourself to change the way you look at the things you consider to be your flaws.
We do not have flaws. We have unique attributes. Things that are only ours. Our stories, experiences, trials and turbulations. No one has lived the life you have. Isn’t that so powerful? I think so. If we allow ourselves to heal on the outside, it’s only fair to allow ourselves to heal on the inside. Scars can be deeper than your skin, and you should wear those scars with pride, too.
I photograph women of all shapes and sizes. I have photographed women who thought that their physical and emotional scars were a reason not to get in front of the camera. To each and every one of them, I said something along the lines of “this is a part of YOU. Own it.” They did. Every single time. It’s a very powerful thing to do. To accept every inch of yourself, inside and out.