Let me tell ya… I really love all of the “true beauty” campaigns that some major companies are spearheading right now! You know the ones I mean – teaching young girls that confidence and compassion are what make them radiant, not the size of their jeans or the texture of their hair. It’s about time, right? By the number of “shares” I’ve seen for these posts on my personal Facebook timeline, people definitely approve and are encouraging this movement. I, too, agree that it’s amazing! However, I believe that the real change, the real difference is going to begin with us.
A few months ago, I had to have double arm surgery. My right arm needed a full thickness skin graft and now looks like a shark took a major bite out of it. Recovery wasn’t fun and I still have issues with it. It took me awhile not to absolutely loathe the scar and I finally began wearing short sleeve shirts again. Then someone had to open their big mouth… “At least you can cover it up so people don’t see it.” (Referencing my Frankenstein arm) As usual, somehow I kept my composure, but here’s what I’d like all of you to know…
Commenting on the appearance of a person’s scar is no different than remarking about their weight, hairstyle, acne, braces or big ears. It’s rude, hurtful and unneccessary. And, as long as we see these things as ugly and point them out as such, we are no better than the companies who photoshop models to make them twig-sized or the businesses that use child-sized mannequins in the women’s department display. We can make a difference here. We must view our “imperfections” as something that makes us unique and special. We must see scars as battle wounds and find beauty in the strength and courage that their owners hold. The actual scar may just be flesh, but the story behind it is more than skin deep.
Now for a movie reference (I can’t help that I’m a cinema buff!) In the movie “Jaws”, one of my favorite scenes is where Quint, Hooper, and Chief Brody are chilling around the dinner table in the boat the night before all of the action happens. They’re a bit tipsy after having a few cold ones, and one by one, they go around, showing off their scars and sharing their stories. There is pride in the tales they tell and a mutual respect for the tragedy that gave them those scars. How amazing would it be if everyone could feel that comfort and companionship? They’d not only share their scars but flaunt them. Others wouldn’t say “Ewww” or “A little cover-up could fix that!” They’d say “you’re incredible – superwoman!” or “I wish I had your fight.”
So here’s my challenge to all of you scarred warriors… #showthatscar because you are beautiful, #scarredandstrong.