TBI Survivor Blog Series 2020

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You do you boo

By Dhara Joshi

“Don’t hide from your scars, showcase them, because they tell a beautiful story of strength, courage, and resilience.”

Beauty and happiness need to be found from within. This is an old adage that has been taught to us for generations. Whether that is the Beauty and the Beast teaching us “not to be deceived by appearances, for beauty is found from within”, or the Ugly Duckling teaching us to not judge someone based on if they look different and that those very differences are what make them special. So why have we forgotten this very important life lesson? 

We seem to constantly need to remind ourselves in this age of plastic surgery and Photoshop, that we are beautiful just the way we are. We are beautiful scars and all. Our differences define us, they make us beautiful, they make us special, they help us stand out. Don’t hide from your scars, showcase them, because they tell a beautiful story of strength, courage, and resilience.

Someone once told me that the extensive long scars that I have, as a result of the car accident, mark the spots where an angel left their mark, saving my life. I may not be the most religious, but the amazingly sweet sentiment has definitely stuck with me. Honestly, I couldn’t agree more, my scars are a part of who I am and I have never shied away from having them on display, whether that is in the form of crop tops, skirts, or even bikinis. Unashamedly, unequivocally comfortable in my own skin. Don’t let anybody dull your shine.  Often times, if they try to, it’s because they themselves are not comfortable in their own skin.

This became all too real, when an ex-best friend didn’t want me in her wedding pictures, because she felt that my scars made me “ugly” even though the bridesmaid dress covered all of my scars. I felt like this was more of a reflection of her own issues with insecurity with body image and self-love, than it was a reflection on my appearance. She has a skin condition that has left her body covered in leopard spots. She wouldn’t leave her house unless she was covered head- to-toe.  She was simply projecting her insecurities onto me. Clearly, that is neither fair nor valid.  Instead of being angry with her, I feel pity that she wasn’t able to find beauty within herself, so she attempted to tear me down to make herself feel better. Clearly, she didn’t succeed, and you shouldn’t let anyone’s opinion affect you either.

Short skirts and crop tops are still my uniform – scars be damned – kick up your heels and fly. My scars are the physical embodiment of my strength and journey.  They are a beautiful part of me, so why hide them? Countless people have suggested plastic surgery, but why?  My scars don’t take away my beauty, they add to it. Even the moon has marks and spots making it even more beautiful. Don’t let anyone dull your shine; instead, lend your light to bring others up.

I have been told by countless individuals, that seeing me wear skirts and be comfortable in my body has inspired them to maybe one day show their scars and differences as well.  Honestly, isn’t that what it is all about?  Loving yourself, and letting your inner beauty shine through. Forget all of the haters, and in this vapid artificial world, celebrate real inner beauty. Wear what you want, live how you want – after all, it’s summer, baby. You do you boo.

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