Why You Need To Admire And Embrace Your Scars

Photo: Andreshkova Nastya / shutterstock
red head woman

By Bailey Harvey

What do you admire about yourself?

Most of us can’t even answer that question because we often look at ourselves with a sense of disdain.

We don’t appreciate the person staring back at us in the mirror. We base all of our value on our external appearance, the mere shell that houses us.

What’s worse, we use our bodies to compare our worth to others. Why can’t we look deeper?

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Our bodies endure so much each day, then we wake up the next morning and just continue like nothing ever happened.

Our bodies take beatings, survive accidents, undergo surgeries, and even withstand self-harm.

And what’s left after all is said and done? Scars. Bruising. A morphed silhouette of a person you once knew so well. A constant reminder of what has been and no promise at all of what is to be.

Although I always felt fairly confident (major props to my parents), I also understand the fear we face when we let our scars and blemishes show. After all, body positivity is a constant “work in progress.”

Although I wear the scars of my past gracefully, I’ve never come full circle and fully accepted every inch of my body.

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People sometimes stare at me in shops and restaurants when my scars are visible, but is that a bad thing? I can honestly say that I don’t know.

I think that most of us see anything out of the ordinary as imperfect. Maybe you see my scars as ugly or weird, but that’s OK. After all, they’re not yours, they’re mine.

I also think that people worry that we’re too fragile to discuss our pasts, so instead they silently stare at our blemishes.

For some reason, that seems easier than trying to understand us. However, it’s not society’s job to understand what my past means to me.

Why can’t we own our scars and blemishes instead of hiding them away?

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Each day that I show my scars, I share part of my story with you. I share strength that came from an incredibly vulnerable moment in my life.

I won’t hide my scars because covering them up means hiding who I am. But I do understand the fear that we feel when we bare our blemishes to the world.

I hope that someday, we can each find the courage to own the scars of our past. I hope that we can find the confidence within ourselves to accept the marks of events beyond our control and own them as part of our story.

So embrace who you are and what you’ve been through.

You are beautiful and more than enough just as you are.

Your scars are just a reminder of what you endured, so wear those battle wounds gracefully. Show the world what a brave face really looks like.

Be proud of how far you’ve come. I’m proud of you, and you are not alone.

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Bailey Harvey is a writer, teacher, and photographer from South Africa whose work focuses on lifestyle and relationship topics. Visit her author profile on Unwritten for more.

This article was originally published at Unwritten. Reprinted with permission from the author.