'I love my scars': women share their stories


Psychical scars have the ability of manifesting as emotional scars if they have a negative impact of our lives. An article by Psychologized says, "The emotions surrounding the physical scars can also leak over into the emotional and psychological and cause people significant self image issues and lower self confidence."

According to Arylide Life Sciences in some cases scars are linked to a painful episode and for some people such scars are "a constant reminder of the traumatic event that caused it." 

The psychological effects of scars that are linked to traumatic events are, "distress, poor self-esteem and difficulties in social situations, all leading to a diminished quality of life," states Arylide Life Sciences. 

READ MORE: Plus size pole dancers and yoga instructors – we stand for women challenging body stereotypes 

We are seeing more women on social media start to take their power back and embrace their scars and imperfections because they don't take anything away from who they are: 

That is why campaigns such as Scar Tissue are important in helping people come to terms with their scars and realising the impact these scars have on them - physically and psychologically.

Started by three young women namely Khuselwa Tembani, Mananya Senona, Sheyvonne Mainka and Jenna Sutcliffe from Rhodes University, Scar Tissue is "run by people with scars for people with scars" as stated on their website. 

They believe that conversations "around scars, stretch marks and other skin imperfections have begun to make their way into public conversations about the body and how it is represented and shown to the world" and have given women a platform to share their stories.

Khuselwa says that they wanted to started a campaign that mattered to them. "We were all interested in things that had to do with the body and I think that was because we are women and we have been so controlled by society when it comes to our bodies. When we think about something that we want to speak against, it has to do with our bodies, our being as women," she says. 

READ MORE: “A debilitating accident taught me self-love, how to embrace change and give back”

Here are some of the inspiring stories the women have shared so far: 

Charissa Cassels

Charissa says the relationship she has formed with her scars is symbolic - she always tries to give meaning to give to her scars. For example, she found that the scar on her back is the shape of wings and when she would get stressed, her scars would become whiter and in those times she felt that God was with her.  

Charissa believes that the minute we start embracing our own scar maybe other people will find beauty in them as well. 

Meet the faces of the campaign! ?? This is Charissa Cassels :)

A post shared by Scar Tissue (@scartissuesa) on

Watch: Scar Tissue - Charissa Cassels

Kate Middleton 

Kate suffers from a skin condition called Keloiding. According to Healthline keloids form "when the skin is injured, fibrous tissue called scar tissue forms over the wound to repair and protect the injury. In some cases, scar tissue grows excessively, forming smooth, hard growths" which are then called keloids. So as a result of that condition Kate has a lot of scars all over her body. 

When she was 7 years old she suffered between second and third degree burns on the side of her face which scarred her. As she got older she was bullied and was called names such as 'scar face'. 

READ MORE: Woman shares candid picture of how skydiving accident still affects her life

"Now that I am older, I can see that I am not my scars and my scars do not make me who I am," she says. 

Meet the faces of the campaign! ?? This is Kate Middleton :)

A post shared by Scar Tissue (@scartissuesa) on

Watch: Scar Tissue - Kate Middleton

 One of content producers, Carmen Williams shares her relationship with scars. 

I have scars on my body from cutting as a teenager. They’re mostly on my forearms, but I have a few on my shoulders and legs too. I went through a really dark period from about 15 when I was very depressed, but had no access to medical professionals who could diagnose me and give me medication. So I battled on my own and took it out on my body. I don’t hide my scars and, weirdly, I’m proud of them because it’s a sign of a struggle that I went through and have overcome. A lot of bad things have happened to me, but I got through it, and even though I’m not “healed” I’m still stronger for it. People react in different ways when they see my scars, but most people just avert their eyes and pretend not to see them as if they’re ashamed for me. My boyfriend wasn’t sure how to address them at first, but we spoke about it and now he realises that I’m not ashamed of them so he shouldn’t feel bad about them either. Now, my relationship with my scars have changed. I see them as badges of honour. They’re proof that I can get through the darkness to the other side. I look at them sometimes and can’t imagine going back to that place again, but I carry them now to remind me that things do get better.
Carmen Williams

Do you have a scar that has shaped your life? If you would like to share your experiences with us, please mail us on chatback@w24.co.za

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