“You have scars on your arm.” People sometimes approach me, whilst staring at my limb. My first and foremost reaction is to look down at my arm in fake surprise and panic, pretending I hadn’t previously realised the marks. Thank you Captain Obvious for your insightful input.

Sarcasm aside, I am more than happy to explain the cause of the raised streaks: when I can tell that a person is genuinely intrigued-and not intending to belittle me. I am comfortable with admitting that I did this to myself at low points in my life. That’s what happened. Why should I be ashamed of that?

I do not blame those who stare, or those who sneak a peek when they don’t realise that I can still see them out of the corner of my eye. It’s different. It’s human nature to feel that desire to take a second glance at the man in the wheelchair, or the girl with bright green hair. That’s okay. I smile in reassurance if I ever catch somebody looking unsure.

You see, I’m not going to live my whole life in regret over what is, essentially, some marks on my skin. Everybody told me that I’ll never wear a bikini because of my striped stomach; that I’ll never be able to wear a dress to a party because of my patterned arm. But those are not things that lessen my attractiveness, that will turn people away from me-the people that are worth having by my side won’t mind, and after a while they’ll turn a blind eye.

They often used to tell me that I’d have trouble with finding a partner-however, I don’t think that this will be the case. Again, if you’re going to be with someone, surely that person needs to be an emotionally intelligent being, who understands the ways of the world? And, in all honesty, it takes courage to bare your vulnerability to the entirety of an often cruel society: even more so when you decide that you have the self confidence to simply stop listening to criticism and stereotypes. If I see someone out and proud with their scars, that’s not unattractive-their bravery makes them quite the opposite.

So, I suppose this brings me to the focus of this post; the marks on your skin are nothing to be ashamed of. Your strength of character makes you all the more beautiful.

Walk out there, head held high; jumper off:

You are not your scars.

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