Scars are accumulated over a lifetime. From the faded, skinned knees of childhood to precise surgical scars from later in life, they make up both small and important stories from our lives.
Sure, they represent healing and the challenges we have overcome, but they can also be a source of embarrassment, shame, or pain. And, in a world where photo retouching rules, the pores, blemishes, and scars that adorn so many women are often forgotten.
Not every scar represents trauma or disease, but some do. Others are just the normal result of living a life where shit happens.
At one point or another, most of us will end up with a scar or two (or more) on our bodies.
Whether they are stretch mark scars, surgery scars or more, it’s easy to become insecure about something that perhaps wasn’t there before.
You can end up comparing yourself to others who may not share the scars that you do. But it’s important to remember that just because you cannot see them, does not mean they are not there.
They may just have similar feelings to you in regards to hiding them. Life would be so much easier if we all just embraced our scars. So, why not?
And honestly, I think it’s perfectly reasonable to want to hide them. This is a self-protection mechanism. No one wants to put themselves out there for the world to judge particularly if they feel ashamed of their own actions.
Self-harm is different. It’s obvious. It leaves your most vulnerable and raw moments on your skin for the rest of the world to wonder about. It puts you in an incredibly vulnerable position because it’s not like you can just take off your skin and set it aside for a day.
It’s carrying around memories of your worst feelings so people can ask you about them, or judge.
And this, I think, can be a very good instinct. When you’re not feeling strong it’s not the right time to possibly put yourself in harm’s way, in the way of people who would judge you and not understand. It’s OK to want to protect yourself from that.
But it’s also OK to stand up and say yes, this is something that I did or happened to me, and I’m OK with it.
It is also OK to stand up and realize that whatever small minds would judge you simply are ignorant.
Now I’m not saying that it is always the best ideas to show off scars, for example, in the boardroom, you might want to cover up, but I am saying there is nothing to be ashamed of. We all have a past and even a present and we all have scars from what has happened and what we’ve done. The only difference between someone with self-injury scars and someone without is the visibility of the scars.
It is high time we embrace scars rather than hide them.