Lysa TerKeurst once said that scars are beautiful when we see them as glorious reminders that we courageously survived. Scars tell a story, and are a physical and permanent reminder of something we have gone through and learned from. Often looked down upon in public, people unfortunately have seen scars as ugly, or gross, dismissing the story behind it. This has resulted in too many people having to hide their scars and feel self-conscious about it. A photographer from London, England has been working to change that very thought, in a powerful photo project called ‘Behind The Scars’.
Sophie Mayamnne has been crafting a series of photographs of people, telling a story of each individual and their scars. Starting this project off, Sophie had hoped to at the very least make a difference in one person, and to her, that would be considered a success on its own. As a photographer, she has been “drawn to raw and un-retouched work, and what makes us different from one another” and this is where her interest in scars stemmed from. Sophie aimed to unmask and uncover the insecurities of these individuals, and have them break out of their shells that they have been hiding in for too long.
Each individual has their own story and has decided to come forward for this project. This photoshoot has been seen as a powerful experience, and a therapeutic one at that, having the platform to share and be portrayed in the eyes of a photographer and finding a new love for their body in doing so. As time has gone on, more people have begun to find out about the project, and have come forward to share their own story. Here, we take a look at some of the individuals who bravely shared their experience, and how their scars came to be.
When Megan was 14, she rescued a stray horse named Fly, whom she fell in love with. When she was feeding the horses in the field one morning, Fly tried to kick another horse behind, but instead ended up missing and kicking Megan just below her left temple. Shocked at first, and covered in blood, she wasn’t exactly sure what was going on. 4 years later, after a few trips to the hospital, the scar is now just a part of her face. The scar created an adhesion to her cheekbone which is noticeable, however if she had the opportunity to remove the scar, Megan says she wouldn’t, stating “I don’t think beauty has to be symmetrical!”
Mercy’s scars are from a domestic abuse case that involved a fire. At the age of 29, she was burnt and has had a hard time coming to terms with it. Fortunately, she knows that “The comfort I take from my scars is they make me who I am today”. She claims that it’s her “most precious, and expensive piece of jewelry” she owns. Mercy hopes that having her photo taken and exposing her scars will help others do the same.
Maya was diagnosed with a skin condition known as epidermolysis bullosa at the age of 18 months. In the recent months, the condition has deteriorated immensely, which has been a challenging time for her. For most of her life, she has been able to manage it and keep it hidden, however, it is now getting rapidly worse, which has taken a toll on her confidence and self-esteem. She reminds herself that she is still the same person, and still beautiful, and her condition won’t define her as a person. Although it’s a big part of her life, she won’t allow it to take over her life.
At the age of 27, Abi was diagnosed with a rare and extremely aggressive form of cancer known as Osteosarcoma. It was believed that she had her tumor for over a year. During sleep, getting dressed, or even chopping vegetables, her right arm would ache. She decided to see a chiropractor who moved her arm around, which was painful for her. Dismissing her pain, he claimed she was just being dramatic. Working in South Africa at the time with anti-sex trafficking victims and abused women and children, she was approached by a girl who had claimed to have had vivid dreams about her, and that she needed to come visit her at home. Her curiosity led her to this girl’s house, but when she got there the girl wasn’t home. Her dog was there, and it bit Abi, injuring her arm. This led to her seeing a doctor, who determined she had a very clean break, but the scans showed something else. Something had been eroding her bone, and she was diagnosed with cancer.
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