REAL TALK : My Scars are Beautiful

I hadn’t shown my scars to anyone. I didn’t realize how ashamed and embarrassed I was of them… until now.

A couple weeks ago, I got my first spray tan. It was an experience to say the least. If it’s something you’ve done then you know you’re pretty much in your under garments or maybe less. And if you haven’t gotten one before, then now you know.

I walked into Air-tan and the lady walked me through all the steps and told me that most people just wear their underwear.

I immediately started to panic. WHY? Because all of sudden it became real what I was about to do. Going into it I already knew what my plan was for the most part because I thought my bra would leave lines that you would be able to see in the formal that I was wearing.

Despite the panic, I walked into the little changing room that was attached to the room where you get sprayed. I took off my oversized sweats and sweatshirt and stepped on the foot pads. Before I walked into the room, I took one look at what she would see.

My scars. For those who don’t know, I had reconstructive surgery 4 years ago to help hide a birth defect. You can read the full story - My BeYOUtiful Story. Despite those efforts I am still uneven and the scars have stretched and left me looking just as different as before.

But these differences are something that NO ONE has seen. Maybe that seems weird to you that I’m putting emphasis on that, but for me I am a fairly open person. I’ve never been one to change in secret or go to the bathroom with the door closed. (I’m sure I’m the weird one for that though.)

Either way, there I was about to show my scarred, deformed goodies to a complete stranger. I was the most embarrassed of my deformity that I have ever been.

I could ask myself, why I put myself in that situation. But honestly I’m glad I did. It’s pushed me and really got me thinking. The real question here is: Why am I so embarrassed of something that has made me sooo strong and has helped me grow into the women that I am today?

Why after a surgery that showed me what true beauty really is am I sooo ashamed of the scars of that journey?

(Just to give you some chills, I’m sitting here writing this in a coffee shop and Scars to your Beautiful by Alessia Cara just started playing. Talk about a God moment.)

And you don't have to change a thing, the world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we're stars and we're beautiful

No better you than the you that you are
No better life than the life we're living
No better time for your shine, you're a star
Oh, you're beautiful, oh, you're beautiful.

Scars are looked at as being ugly and gross. We buy scar creams and use tanners and make-up to cover up and hide our physical scars. And we try to do the same thing when it comes to our emotional scars. We push it away, ignore it (because it will eventually go away, WRONG!) and never talk about it because if we act like it doesn’t exist then make it really doesn’t.

I had a volleyball coach in high school that would tell us, our bruises and scars were trophies. This was his way of getting us to dive for the ball. But he was right. Our scars and bruises are just proof of what we’ve been through. Good or bad. It’s apart of who we are and made us into the women we are today. We shouldn’t be ashamed of that. Not even a little. We should be proud.

I know it’s not easy to remember that. We take a quick look at ourselves and more often than not we see what we don’t like — our imperfections and scars.

What I look like on the outside doesn’t make me beautiful and it doesn’t make you beautiful. Our scars, whether physical or emotional, don’t take anything away from us or make us less of a person. True beauty truly comes from within.

Each and every day I have to tell myself that I am beautiful just the way God made. I am beautiful with the extra 10-15 pounds I’ve gained since living on my own. I am beautiful even with no make-up on and bed hair. I am beautiful in sweats and a t-shirt.

And so are you. We are all beautiful in our own way.

Love yourself ladies — every scar, every blemish, every pound. You are beautiful for everything that you are.

xo, Alyssa