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The Story Behind The Scar

September 8, 2015

As some of you know I shared the story behind my scar by braving a bikini in my campaign Scarred Not Scared and now these lovely women are taking part too! Have a look!

“I was born with my intestines on the outside and have a scar from right under my breast all the way to my belly button. I am 34 and I was 30 before I ever wore a bikini. You are a inspiration. You are beautiful. Wear that bikini with pride!” ‪#‎scarrednotscared‬

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“Even though I’m so confident within myself now when I was younger I felt like my worst enemy, scars should be celebrated not hidden! Scars are a sign of survival! I’m not meant to be here but I survived! If all I have to show is this scar (on the right) then my life is perfect. Thank you to Michelle for showing us that scars should be shown not hidden! Everyone should feel like they are worth the world! 💕”

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“I’m a 22 year old student nurse who is only recently learning to accept and love my body, tube and all, and not let it affect my confidence and ability to live life to the full! I was born with a condition called TOF/OA, where I was born without the majority of my oesophagus, which was correct at birth by moving my stomach into the chest. Though I have been able to eat for most of my life, though I did have to have further operations throughout my childhood to deal with problems with my stomach emptying. Sadly, over the past few years my digestive tract function has deteriorated and I developed a lung condition called bronchiectasis as a result of severe reflux and aspirating my food. As a result of this, I lost a lot of weight and became very poorly in my late teens, suffering with frequent chest infections. Despite this, in 2012 I managed to start university to study nursing, which of course made my family and friends incredibly anxious as, in retrospect, I was dangerously ill at that point. I ended up collapsing on placement next to the bed of a patient I was caring for, and was admitted to hospital with pneumonia. I weighed 6 stone at nearly 6 foot tall, developed bed sores, and was too weak to walk. Following this, I had a jejunostomy feeding tube fitted to provide me with the nutrients I needed, and was advised that I rely on tube feeding in order to minimise the risk of future infections. The prospect of living with a tube for the rest of my life was devastating. This was two years ago, and though I still have days where I hate my situation and want to bury my head in a hole, I am now in a much happier and more positive place psychologically. I have managed to return to university and pursue the career I love. I have gained weight and muscle tone, started exercising, and now feel stronger than I have in years! I have always had wonderful support from my family and friends which has inspired and motivated me throughout my life to reach for the stars, never be limited or defined by my illness, and appreciate everything I have. My body has undergone a lot of trauma. I have scars, stretchmarks, and a tube hanging from my abdomen.. When I first went to a beach in my bikini, I was terrified and paranoid.. Convinced everyone was staring at me. One day, I tried to cover my tube with layers of dressing, and ended up staggering up the beach in tears, humiliated and in pain as the sea had tore the dressing from my stomach, revealing my tube. When I reluctantly returned to the sea days later, a young boy turned and stared at me. My automatic thought was “he’s looking at my stomach, he’s disgusted by me”.. The boy then through his beachball and asked me “will you play?”. That was one of my moments of realisation that I was in fact being incredibly egotistical to think that everyone was focusing on a couple of scars on my abdomen instead of enjoying their time on the beach! I’ve learned now that not all stares by strangers are critical; they may just like my bikini, or my hair; or be noticing my height! I’ve also learned that yes, some people are critical and judgemental, some people may dislike my scars, my figure or my face.. But why should I care? The most important opinion about my body is my own. There is too much negative media about modifying your body to meet society’s ideals, and we all live constantly struggling to impress everyone else.. The truth is, with 7 billion people on the planet, at least one of them is going to think you’re unattractive. You will always be beautiful to the people that matter, scars or no scars. Besides, I like to think of them as reminders that I’ve survived what I thought I never, could, I’ve got through the darkest times, and I’m a fighter.”

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‘I had about 4 heart and arteries surgeries when I was 1 and 2 years old and, as a kid, I used to hide all my scars (in the pic you can see 2 and I have other 2 more on the side of my rib cage, one of them cutes through my back up until my should) and as i grew up, I started loving when someone saw them and asked me about them. My parents always told me I was a warrior and that I had been really strong to survive, so now I show them off as much as I can!
Like when I graduated from high school and my prom dress had a really deep neckline so my frontal scar could be totally seen. I really wish you can keep touching people’s lives and teaching the world that it’s not about the scars in the beauty but the beauty in the scars’ ‪#‎scarrednotscared‬

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“I’ve been struggling with body image issues for 3 years. As a 13 year old in junior high, it’s hard to feel confident with all of the criticism. I reachy my lowest when I ended up in the hospital but since that point, I’ve been moving upwards. There are alway times where I feel bad but this year I realised no body can tell me how to feel about my body. Putting on a bikini felt great and walking down the beach without me criticizing myself was even better”

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