Behind The Scars

Back in April 2018 I took part in quite possibly one of the most terrifying things I've ever done.

Anyone who has been around throughout my surgeries will know that my scars don't bother me, I love them and have wanted them photographed ever since that first surgery nearly 5 years ago. So, when I came across Sophie Mayanne's Behind The Scars project I jumped at the chance to take part and finally document my scars and my journey. As the actual day approached though the nerves kept on building and the only thing that stopped me from cancelling was the fact that I knew months down the line, I would regret it if I didn't take part. So, that's how I found myself sitting in my underwear, in a studio, in front of people that I'd only met half an hour prior.

It was a turning point for me though.

Revealing my scars didn't scare me at all, but having the rest of my body on show did. I thought I would feel so exposed, so far away from my comfortable and safe skinny jeans and baggy top. I took a deep breath and before I knew it, I was actually enjoying myself. My insecurities disappeared as Sophie started taking photos and giving me direction, all of my worries just melted away. For years I've insisted that I'm a shy person that lacks confidence but throughout these past few months, with the help of the photoshoot and the people around me, I've been able to see that this isn't true.

When the photos came through I was scared to look at them, scared that I would just see every part of my body that I don't like. I looked at others photos and remarked at how beautiful they all looked but when it came to myself I just couldn't believe that this would be true for me also.

When I finally flicked through them it almost felt like I was looking at a different person, I saw power and a confidence that I'd never been able to recognise in myself. For me this was not only a journey in loving my scars, but also a journey in loving my whole body and believing in what others see in me. It hasn't all been an overnight process but slowly I'm finding myself believing others when they say I'm a confident person, because confidence is exactly what I see in those photos.

I've wanted to share these photos since the day I got them, as I'm proud of what they represent for me, but I've also enjoyed keeping them to myself for a few weeks, sharing with only family and close friends. For me Behind The Scars hasn't been about the medical and physical side of my story, it's been about the emotional side, acceptance and moving forward in my life.

My scars tell a story of the surgeries and pain that I've endured but these photos represent so much more, they mark a change in my life and the beginning of a different mindset.

These photos were taken by Sophie Mayanne as part of her Behind The Scars series, follow her Instagram and the Behind The Scars instagram to see more of the stunning photos. You can also find more of her work on her website.

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