Sophie Mayenne’s ‘Behind the Scars’ is a beautiful, eye-opening project that embraces and accepts differences
Life is not always easy and some of us, unfortunately, sometimes witness the ugly side of it. Sometimes, this ugly side leaves quite a painful reminder both physically and emotionally. When it comes to accepting yourself and proudly standing by your imperfections, people can make it very hard to do so. This makes people resort to photoshop and other photo-editing methods and software.
In a world that is obsessed with social media and constantly uploading pictures of themselves and their lives, it is important to remember that not all of us fit into the boundaries and limitations of beautiful that society decides for us. Every human being is unique and beautiful in their own way.
Instead of fearing the scars and memories of your rough time, Sophie Mayanne encourages you to accept and embrace it. We are all a product of our circumstances and it is important to remember that. Mayanne is a London-based photographer who is attempting to push the boundaries of what is considered beautiful.
Sophie spoke to FEMAIL and DailyMail and explained why she decided to launch her project, ‘Behind the Scars’. She believes that through her project she is encouraging people to shed it all of and show off their scars. She wants to give people the chance to share their stories and journey behind how they embraced their scar.
Sophie said,” As a photographer, I have always been interested in what society perceives as flaws, and what makes use unique from one another. I believe this is where my interest in scars, and the stories behind them, stems from”.
Every person in her project has something to say and each story has been featured in the project. These are some of the stories behind the scars:
This is Maya and she was diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) which is a skin condition which makes the skin extremely fragile and weak. Maya developed this skin condition when she was merely 18-months-old. Maya believes that EB is a part of who she is and she will never think of herself as any less.
In the words of Yasmin (Sophie Mayanne Instagram) herself, “My tumor changed my life in so many ways. A life-changing operation to remove the tumor, the size of a grapefruit gave me self-acceptance on a level that was truly unconditional. In 2012 I was diagnosed with non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma. Cancer wasn’t an issue, what was was the discovery of a huge tumor. It was benign but sizeable. Attached to my liver, a bunch of nerves and my main artery to my leg. Five hours of surgery, a deflated hung, my diaphragm put on halt, a bypass with my insides out on a table. My fear going into surgery was the long-term effects and how my body would recover. Will my boyfriend still love me, will he still find me attractive, will any man find me acceptable to look at? The truth was, it taught me to love myself hard, without compromise. Inside and out, there was a journey of total acceptance. My amazing body had not failed me yet, so who was I to not love it back for keeping me alive? The message is simple – we are provided with a beautiful vessel to carry our soul. It works so hard to support us daily – the love I have for my body is insurmountable. It allows me to be my glorious self – I am a very lucky girl.”
“In the summer of ’15, I was in a house fire. My clothes and way of life up in flames. I spent my summer in a burns unit on Fulham Road. My scars and scar tissue continue to change, but I have never felt more beautiful.” This is what Isabella told Sophie Mayanne about her scars and has been quoted on her website.
“I’ve struggled with self-harm since I was eight. For as long as I can remember, my emotions have been very intense, this was one of the ways I learned to cope. I have been stuck wearing long sleeves regardless of the weather. The appearance of my arms is one of my biggest secrets.
Learning to embrace my scars and accept them as part of me is a major step. I also feel that hiding them away perpetuates the feeling of guilt/shame,” as told to Sophie Mayanne.
“I didn’t feel like my body represented me, so I saved for three years to get a breast reduction when I was 18. ” Sometimes, you don’t make the right choices but that does not mean that you beat yourself up. Beckie has learned how to accept and embrace who she is and what her body looks like.
“This is the scar I got from spinal fusion surgery when I was 15 in September 2013, to correct my scoliosis. I have two 12″ metal roads and 12 metal screws all down my spine. I think it’s made me hyper-aware how our physical health impacts our mental health.”