Scars, especially for those in the spotlight, have often been treated as something to hide or even be ashamed of.
Nearly a decade ago, Tina Fey spoke publicly about her own facial scar, and how it led to many of her scenes in 30 Rock being shot from an angle that would minimize its appearance. Just this year, talk-show host Wendy Williams was under fire for publicly mocking Joaquin Phoenix’s lip scar.
That said, many celebrities in 2020 have decided that enough is enough, publicly embracing their scars despite any criticism. In powerful moves toward body acceptance and positivity, stars like Amy Schumer, Jazz Jennings, Chrissy Teigen and more have taken to social media to proudly flaunt the scars they’ve acquired in life in hopes that might once and for all normalize imperfection.
When 28-year-old Selena Gomez had her kidney transplant in 2017, the singer admits she struggled to come to terms with her scar. But earlier this year, Gomez opted to finally show it off in an Instagram post in which she was helping to promote her friend’s new swimsuit line. “Now, more than ever, I feel confident in who I am and what I went through...and I’m proud of that,” the Rare Beauty founder wrote in her post, which garnered over 13 million likes.
Princess Eugenie, granddaughter to Queen Elizabeth, also drew attention to a large scar on her own body, in honor of International Scoliosis Awareness Day. The 30-year-old was diagnosed with scoliosis as a child and underwent major surgery for it at the age of 12. In her Instagram post, the princess posted close ups of the scar, which could be seen while she wore her wedding dress — which she had made purposefully in a way that would show off the scar. Coming from a world in which so much is about appearances, the young royal has been extremely forthcoming about her experience and her scar, inspiring her followers to do the same.
This summer is also when singer-songwriter Amy Grant, who underwent heart surgery due to PAPVR, a condition she’s had since birth, showed off her strength. Grant, 60, didn’t necessarily acknowledge her scar, but posted multiple images displaying it and focused on her gratitude in her recovery. The images, of course, speak for themselves. Heart surgery scars seem to be rarely shown off by celebrities, but back in 2009, Robin Williams showed his own chest scar, as well.
While many celebrities, including Beyoncé and Pink, have opened up about having had C-sections, few have ever purposely shown off their scars. Earlier this year, however, comedian Amy Schumer decided to do just that — all while in the midst of starting up IVF. It wasn’t entirely surprising, given how open Schumer has been about pregnancy and motherhood, having gone so far as to document it in a docu -special, Expecting Amy. Schumer has since discovered she has Lyme disease and is now considering a surrogate for her second child, but her powerful post continues to inspire many parents to embrace the reality of their own C-section scars.
Chrissy Teigen also got real about her own scars this year. Back in May, the model shared that she would be getting her breast implants removed. Due to rumors, Teigen opted to share a photo of her fading scars on her Instagram stories (along with another story image from right after her initial breast implant surgery). “They’ve been great to me for many years but I’m just over it,” said the mother of two, who also suffered a pregnancy loss this year and was forthcoming about its related emotional scars.
Biggest Loser trainer Erica Lugo also shared a scar selfie this year, of her tummy tuck. Lugo shared why she was having the procedure to remove excess skin after losing 160 pounds and keeping it off for five years.
“Loose skin has been apart (sic) of my journey for 5 years. I’ve always been okay with it,” Lugo said on Instagram. “It’s been my battle scar, but the more I begin to build muscle and get leaner I get the more loose skin builds up. No amount of exercise or nutrition will help the loose skin pockets on my hips and stomach.” She shared that it wasn’t an easy decision, but the right one for her — a great reminder that fans and others should always do what they feel is right for them, scars be damned.
While Seal has always been known to have not only an incredible voice, but also facial scars, the British singer-songwriter only recently revealed the source of those scars: discoid lupus.
“My lupus first arrived when I was 21,” Seal told Yahoo Life back in March. “It’s not as serious as systemic [lupus], which affects the organs.” The 57-year-old Grammy Award winner also discussed the emotional scars he dealt with while coming to terms with his diagnosis, stating, “I quickly realized this body is not who we are.”
The Queen of Pop herself also got real about her scars this year. After dealing with knee and hip issues, Madonna underwent a regenerative treatment to help her with chronic pain due to missing cartilage. The 62-year-old multi-award-winning artist took her her ’Gram to let fans know about her struggles, along with a selfie that included a look at a scar and bandage on her hip.
Finally, two other celebs shared some life changing marks that have allowed them to finally be comfortable in their own bodies: those left after their gender confirmation surgeries. As part of her #decadechallenge post just as 2020 began, transgender activist and reality television star Jazz Jennings revealed to the world the scars she was left with after she underwent her own gender confirmation surgery in 2018.
“I call them my battle wounds because they signify the strength and perseverance it took to finally complete my transition,” Jennings shared in an Instagram post, in which she posed in a bathing suit. She told her fans she felt proud of her scars and that she loves her body
And trans model Izaak Theo Adu also revealed his scars from gender confirmation surgery to fans this past November. In the personal Instagram, Adu (who is singer Sade’s son) wrote, “My scars are here They set me free To be who I was born to be.” The image depicts him laying on the floor, shirtless, so one can see his chest scars as well as a scar on his arm, which was related to his phalloplasty procedure.
“I wear my scars with pride,” Adu noted in the post, which has received over 8,000 likes from fans all over, including one who admits they hope that they, too, can someday feel strength and not shame over their scars. No doubt with more celebrities being candid and open about the scars they’ve acquired over time, more and more people will be able to come to terms, accept and perhaps even come to appreciate their own scars.
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