Woman's Powerful Video Encourages Others To Embrace Their Scars
The “Scarred Not Scared” project empowers people around the world to embrace their scars rather than hide behind them.
For years, 22-year-old Michelle Elman struggled with body-image issues stemming from a wide array of surgical scars she amassed from 15 procedures, a brain tumor, a punctured intestine, a brain cyst, an obstructed bowel and living with a condition called hydrocephalus.
That is why she posted a photo of herself in a swimsuit to Instagram with a lengthy diatribe against those who say people with scars can't wear swimsuits.
The post went viral, and Michelle's inbox was quickly flooded with positive fan mail less about her scars and more about her story.
She told BuzzFeed,
I was getting all these messages and the messages weren't about the scars as much as [they were] about the story. I really wanted to make the story behind scars and how scars impact [people's lives]. With the first post some people thought it was superficial, but it's not, because it has a sociological affect on someone. When you get these unfortunate situations where people stare at you weirdly, it affects your self-esteem, it affects your confidence. It has broader implications that people don't think about.
And that is why she made her “Scarred Not Scared” video.
The video chronicles a series of interviews with five other people who deal with scars. Elman hopes the video showcases a wide range of people's struggles. She said,
I like that everyone has a different story -- it shows that everyone's journey is personal, from acne scars to cancer scars. But it all essentially comes down to the same thing. We are battling with our bodies.
Hopefully, this video serves as inspiration for those struggling with their own scars.