40.7% of people with scarring want to feel like they don't have to hide, yet 59.5% are hiding their scars away, with clothing or camouflage makeup.
‘Scar acceptance is very much down to an individual's personality and their own personal coping mechanisms – either approach is fine as both bring you to a place where your scar becomes something you learn to accept, which is the important thing.’ - Psychologist Jo Hemmings
There are so many different types of scars. Stretch marks (if you're interested I've done a post on why I love mine, you can read it here), surgery scars, acne scars and self inflicted scars - in other words, scars caused by self harm & thats what I'm going to be talking about today.
If you didn't know, I used to self harm. I guess its something that I don't talk about that often, compared to all the other topics I cover on my blog and channel. Its the one thing that still makes me feel slightly uncomfortable, maybe because society doesn't really understand it, and maybe because I don't always understand it myself.
Look at me now ey? Confident, happy (for the most part lol) great career, a gorgeous flat, amazing friends, the list goes on. But there was a time in my life where I had very little, in my mind anyway. I was ugly, fat, disgusting. I was worthless, damaged & not good enough. I was just a very sad, lost & depressed person and ultimately I took it out on myself.
Not only was I self harming, but I was also throwing up my food, drinking too much alcohol and surrounding myself with people who just didn't give a damn about me. Complete self destructive behaviour.
I remember hiding everything. Hiding my problems, hiding my feelings, hiding on my toilet breaks during lunch and hiding areas where I'd hurt myself. My life was one big secret. I hid away for fear of judgement and also because I knew what I was doing was wrong but I couldn't stop it & that made me even more ashamed.
Going through trauma, being bullied by peers and family members, made me internalise my problems because I felt like I had nobody to talk to and nowhere to turn. Being isolated and alone played a massive part in my problems and I know that if other people were talking about it, and it wasn't such a taboo thing, I would have been a bit more open with what I was going through.
I've spent a very large part of my life struggling to accept my body. The rolls, the extra fat, the cellulite, the scars but its definitely made me understand what compassion means. Compassion to others & compassion to myself. Self acceptance is one of the best journeys I decided to take (I'm still on it) and I'm learning things everyday. I have a long way to go but my scars are definitely one flaw I have learned to not only accept, but also love too. They're a part of me, and although they don't define me, its important to love every inch of me, even the not so pretty parts.
The biggest factor in my body acceptance was realising there were 1000s of people all over the world who felt the same way I did. Who had the same experiences that I have had and could relate to my story - that blew my mind. I soon realised that talking about my fears, helped other people talk about theirs. It was like a snowball affect. It took one person to stand up and be brave, and others, male or female, old or young, black, pink or green, all followed suit.
Its important to realise that people with kind hearts, people full of love and gratitude, are the only people you need in your life. Those kinds of people are also the ones who will take you for who you are. The people who look past your outer exterior and only care about who you are on the inside because lets face it, thats what truly matters.
I know that society will confuse you and try to mould you into something you are not. Society will have you thinking that because your skin isn't perfect, your butt isn't round and your hair isn't shiny, that you are somehow inferior. That you should hide away or simply change certain things that make you YOU. This is your reminder that when you look in the mirror and decide you hate what you see, remember its society that needs to change, not you.
Confidence is a wonderful thing and it takes effort, perseverance & time, but each and everyone of us can get there. I did.. and it genuinely makes me cry realising how far I've come. When I was self harming, it was the darkest time of my life but I made it out.. and my god, what a world there is out there.
In regards to my scars now, for the most part they don't bother me. Although I still have low body image days like everyone else, how I look doesn't hinder my life anymore. I laugh, I socialise & I don't feel like I have to cover up when its warm because I don't want people to see my marks. Bio-oil was my go to product when I wanted to show my body a little loving. It was my way of healing the damage I had done & after a while, my scars, along with the pain, began to fade.
If someone has something negative to say on who you are, what you do or what you look like, then it says way more about them than it does about you. The hardest battles are given to the strongest people and for me personally, self harm scars are battle wounds. We survived!
Be proud of who you are girl. Those who mind, don't matter. And those who matter, don't mind.
I’ve worked with Bio-Oil on this post as part of their Scars Uncovered campaign which aims to help people to come to accept their scars and not feel as though they have to hide them away. As part of the campaign they’ve created a video with real women talking about their scars to demonstrate the impact they have on peoples’ lives; it’s well worth a watch here.
I’m also giving away 5 bottles of Bio-Oil. To be in with a chance to win please enter your details here."