To My Fellow Scar Sisters,
I can’t remember the first time I noticed my scar from having open-heart surgery at birth, but I do remember the first time feeling like I wasn’t beautiful because of it…
My fifth grade end-of-the-year party was coming up and since I lived in Orange County, of course it was at the beach. All my friends could talk about was what bathing suits we were going to wear. That was the moment I realized I am going to be in front of the whole fifth grade class in a bathing suit with a gigantic scar that went down my entire chest. I was mortified.
The beach has always been my favorite place in the world. You could find me there most days from junior high onward, but you would never find me sunbathing on my back. I knew all the right ways to hide my scar.
I remember the first time a boy pointed at my chest and asked, “WHAT IS THAT?!” I had trouble explaining because I didn’t yet realize the power my scar held; all I knew is his question made me embarrassed to be different than all my other girlfriends.
My whole life I have tried to overcompensate with having the “perfect” body or the right clothes to cover my scar. Just a few months ago a woman asked me why I always try to cover my scar. My response was, “I don’t want to have to explain to people.” But really it was because it made me feel ugly…because of my scar I have felt unworthy and ashamed.
The amount of times I get asked about my scar or catch people blatantly staring at my chest instead of my face is more than you would imagine. Nor is it uncommon for people to reach out and touch it. All of these scenarios make me uncomfortable, but now I am trying to shift my mindset. For the longest time I thought my scar was a blemish, but now I understand it is the marking of a battle I won.
Don’t let yourself feed into these negative thoughts because…YOU ARE BEAUTIFUL, A MIRACLE, AND MORE BRAVE THAN MOST. Embrace this beautiful mark because it is an incredible story of who you are. With that scar, you can change the world. With that scar, you can show people that miracles do happen and you are living proof.
Right before my second open-heart surgery a year a half ago I took a picture of my original scar. My scar today is one thousand times bigger and more fierce, yet somehow I have grown to love it. I have been shown incredible amounts of love, support, and encouragement. Still, I often struggle with not feeling beautiful because of it, but then I remind myself that the mark down my chest is the most beautiful thing about me. My scar has made me who I am today, and without it I wouldn’t be here.
So don’t ever forget that you are here because of that scar and because of it, you are the most beautiful girl in the world. Embrace it, be proud of it, and never lose sight of the magic that your scar holds.
Now say this out loud, better yet scream it at the top of your lungs: I AM THE MOST BEAUTIFUL GIRL IN THE WORLD. I HOLD A POWER THAT NO ONE ELSE HOLDS. I LOVE MY SCAR BECAUSE IT MAKES ME WHO I AM.
Now go look in a mirror and smile because you’re beautiful.