'Scarred Not Scared' Project Makes Female Imperfections Just as Cool as Men’s (VIDEO)

michelle elmanNot many of us make it through this life without acquiring a few scars, but some are more visible than others. Unfortunately, in a society that places an inordinately high premium on physical perfection (particularly of the female variety), having prominent scars can make women feel like they have something to hide. That's why we love the "Scarred Not Scared" project, a video celebrating women with scars (oh, and one guy!).


In honor of Women's History Month, 22-year-old British life coach Michelle Elman has released a short film telling the stories of women whose lives have been affected by their scars, including her own: Elman has had 15 surgeries throughout her life, for a variety of reasons including a punctured intestine, a brain tumor, and hydrocephaly. Her scars were something she felt self-conscious about for most of her life, but after gathering up the courage to post a photo of herself on Instagram last year, the incredible amount of support she received inspired her to do even more.

"I always had the idea to launch it with my story and then film other people's stories and share them," she told ATTN:.

She did just that, and the results are powerfully moving. Check it out:

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This video touches on so many issues, but I think what's most striking is how heartbreaking it is that some of these women went through terrifying, life-threatening experiences, and yet their scars are something they've been made to feel ashamed of. In truth, these scars are badges of honor. They're proof that these women are survivors, and that's something they should be proud of! 

What's also interesting about this video, to me, is the stark contrast between the women's experience and the lone male in the group. It's true what he says: Scars are seen as a manly thing, mainly for all the reasons mentioned above -- they're proof of survival, of strength. So why aren't women with scars celebrated for the same reason? This dichotomy is thrust upon us at such an early age, we probably don't even realize it's happening. When my daughter was 6, she fell and cut open the bottom of her chin; the wound required 22 stitches. Nearly everybody (friends, family) said the same thing: "Oh, at least the scar won't really show because it's underneath her chin." When my son was 8, he was bit by a friend's dog. Again, nearly everybody said the same thing, but the sentiment was very different: "Oh, don't worry buddy, chicks dig scars!" 

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See what I'm getting at here? The point is, women shouldn't feel ashamed of their bodies, period. And in the case of scars, women should be made to feel empowered. Strong. Fierce! I'm so glad Elman is helping society to make this much-needed shift in perception. 


Image via redflag.org

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