I love a good Royal Wedding — the hoopla, the fanfare, the dresses, the fascinators! Last week, I got to write about how empowering it was to see Princess Eugenie wear a wedding dress that showed her surgery scar. Like her, I have the same back scar from scoliosis surgery. It’s taken me awhile to be comfortable saying this, but SCARS ARE BEAUTIFUL.
I’ve written about my scars before — and even showed you my MRI scans because, umm, I’m just that honest and vulnerable. But, seriously, it did take awhile for me to grow comfortable in my own skin and in my own scars. This wasn’t an overnight transformation, where I magically woke up one morning and thought, “OK, I’m loving my scars. That journey is done and over.” The journey to self-acceptance has hit peaks and valleys and there are still days where I look in the mirror and don’t fully like what I see. I keep working at it, though, because I’d much rather spend time loving myself than hating myself, you know?
Here’s an excerpt of the piece, in which I also examine the role of scars and deformities in Disney movies and fairy tales and the dangerous messages they’re sending young girls about what is considered beautiful vs. what is considered ugly…
“We’re not actually supposed to like our scars, are we? And we’re most definitely not supposed to show them, either. In our near-constant quest for perfection, society teaches us from a young age to reject any kind of “imperfection.”
Even fairy tales and Disney movies send the message that “scars are bad.” Often times, it’s the villains who have some sort of scar or deformity…By contrast, the princesses in these stories are all conventionally beautiful, with long, luscious hair and smooth skin. Young girls see these perfect princesses and want to be them.
But thanks to Princess Eugenie, they now have a new princess to look up to. A princess who is even better than perfect because she is real and she truly embraces who she is. Her scar is part of her story and she’s proud of that story. Our scars are a part of us. They’re part of our life and they’ve helped make us into who we are.”
So glad I was able to write about this empowering and beautiful moment for Good Housekeeping! You can read the full piece here and I’d love to hear your thoughts. Feel free to email me anytime at email@example.com and let’s chat! And of course, feel free to share my essay on Facebook, Twitter or even your local refrigerator. If you share on Twitter, be sure to tag me @melissablake so we can connect! I can’t wait to hear from you! Love you all… xoxo