28 Before & After Photos That Prove Your Weight Is Meaningless

Most of us worry about our figures from time to time, and usually, this is very much related to the number we see on the scales.

Well, sometimes weight is truly just a number, and these women will prove it to you. Compiled by Bored Panda, these transformations show that weighing yourself isn’t always the best way to see whether or not you are actually getting fitter, and you definitely don’t need to starve yourself or go on a very strict diet to see the actual difference.

Even though these photos show that you can maintain your weight and still look stunning, some people did choose the other path and their results are inspiring nonetheless. Different physiques require different choices!

Scroll down to see how incredible these women look without losing a single pound!

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/same-weight-fitness-incredible-transformations/

Demi Lovato Removes All Her Makeup In Video, And The Result Speaks For Itself

For those not in the know, Demi Lovato is a singer, songwriter and actress, known being a prominent champion of positive body image, who also speaks openly and honestly about her own struggles with an eating disorder and mental health.

Adding to her journey of self-acceptance and refreshingly human and positive messages to her fans, Demi has made a video called “Demi Lovato, Unfiltered: A Pop Star Removes Her Makeup,” for Vogue as part of their American Women: Transformers series. Turning the traditional makeover on its head, Demi instead gets a makeunder, as she slowly strips away her makeup to reveal the beauty underneath.

“I think society tells us we need makeovers, but why can’t we embrace the beauty that we naturally have?” She told Vogue. However, that’s not to say that she doesn’t enjoy the glamor which comes as part of her job. “I love makeup. I love doing my hair; I have extensions, but there’s a time and a place for everything, and natural beauty needs to be celebrated.”

You could argue that for a young, beautiful millionaire, going natch and looking great with it comes quite a bit easier than it does for the average woman. Some commenters certainly didn’t buy it. For others however, she remains one of the few celebrities that people can really relate to as they follow her ups and downs on social media, where she strips bare her insecurities and urges her fans to embrace themselves as they are.

Scroll down to see Demi go from glam diva to girl-next-door, and completely own her bare beauty in the video below. Don’t forget to let us know what you think in the comments!

Singer, songwriter and actress Demi Lovato just filmed a short clip for Vogue

But this time instead of the full makeup that she usually comes with…

And a team of makeup artists helping her out…

To achieve results like this

…she did it all in reverse

After starting with full makeup, she sat in front of the camera and started to remove it

Here’s the clip itself

Some didn’t buy it though

But others loved it

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/celebrity-demi-lovato-no-makeup-video-vogue/

Stephen Hawking Dies At 76, And Heres How The Internet Responds

British Physicist Stephen Hawking, the most iconic and brilliant scientist of his generation, has died aged 76.

Despite a long battle with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), a progressive neurodegenerative disease that attacks the nerve cells in the spinal cord and brain, leading to paralysis, Hawking was able to bring to light several groundbreaking theories in the field of quantum physics, while making the complex field accessible to millions through a series of bestselling books.

Hawking was diagnosed with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in 1963, after experiencing difficulties with his movements in his final year at Oxford University. He was given just two years to live by doctors at the time, but went on to live with it for more than 50 years, an incredibly long time for an ALS sufferer. Unfortunately there is still very little known about the causes of ALS, and currently no cure. You may remember the successful awareness raising campaign for ALS that went viral a couple of years back, the ‘Ice Bucket Challenge.’ $115 million dollars were raised for research into the disease, resulting in some important discoveries.

Devastated by his diagnosis, Hawking nevertheless continued his work while his physical capabilities declined. Despite all of the setbacks he encountered, he always found ways to overcome them. He got around in a motorized wheelchair, and was able to communicate through an automated speech system, which gave him his iconic, computerized voice.

As well as his achievements in the field of quantum physics, and his determined quest to find a ‘unified theory’ that would aid us in our goal to gain a ‘complete understanding of the events around us, and of our own existence,’ Hawking’s celebrity helped to popularize and bring cosmology to a whole new generation of people.

His bestselling books and appearances on TV shows such as The Simpsons and The Big Bang Theory helped to promote an enthusiasm for science that will endure well beyond his passing. He has opened the door for present and future scientists through his brilliant theories and discoveries, his determination in the face of adversity, and his inspiration to millions of people all over the world. He will be sorely missed.

Stephen Hawking has passed away at age 76

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Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/stephen-hawking-died-world-pays-tribute/

Barber Tells This Shy Insurance Man To Grow A Beard, And It Ends Up Transforming His Life

If our list of men before-and-after growing a beard didn’t convince you that males look way better with facial hair, this story definitely will. Gwilym Pugh was a 21-year-old businessman man who started a successful insurance company in his spare bedroom. However, working from home and injuries made him gain a lot of weight. 280 pounds, to be exact. But his life-damaging lifestyle changed after his barber urged Gwilym to grow a ginger beard!

“At that time I was pretty overweight, working 12 hours a day, plagued with injuries which meant I couldn’t train at all,” the Welshman told Daily Mail. “The business was doing okay, but I decided I needed to get my life in order and wanted to get healthy again.”

Gwilym and his friends formed a folk band several years ago. His barber advised him to grow some facial hair to look the part. In line with his new look, the freshly-baked musician decided to expand his transformation cleaning up his diet. The biggest change, however, was quitting his desk job.

“It was the best thing for my health as I stopped sitting for nine to 10 hours a day,” the man who lost 90 pounds over five years explained. As he was shedding weight and growing his beard, Gwilym created an Instagram account. Eventually, Welsh tailor Nathan Palmer stumbled across it, and things began escalating really fast.

Now, Gwilym is part of the London agency AMCK Models. He has worked on campaigns with Vans, Bud Light, Diesel, and other big names. His hard work even allowed him to become an ambassador for David Beckham’s new male grooming brand, House 99!

Gwilym Pugh was a shy man, working 12 hours a day from his home

Image credits: WalesOnline

But his life was never the same after Gwilym’s barber urged him to grow a beard

Image credits: gwilymcpugh

This is how the man looks now

Image credits: Adam Fussell / AMCK Models

“A picture says a thousand words…. Coming from being 22 years old, overweight, plagued with injuries, and unhappy barely leaving the house”

“I’m happier and healthier than I ever thought possible and doing things that didn’t even cross my mind to dream of”

Image credits: Adam Fussell / AMCK Models

Working as a model, Gwilym is even an ambassador of David Beckham’s new male grooming brand

Image credits: House 99

Despite his success, Gwilym remains humble

Image credits: gwilymcpugh

“I think I’m lucky I got into this profession at the age that I did”

Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

“I try not to get caught up in it all and my girlfriend helps a great deal wit that”

“Having worked in finance for years, the opportunity to work with creative people and travel around the world is amazing”

Image credits: Exposure London

“It was the best thing for my health”

Image credits: gwilymcpugh

In keeping with his new look, Gwilym’s constantly maintaining his body

Image credits: gwilymcpugh

“Regular osteo treatment and morning mobility and HIIT workouts are what’s in order”

Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

If this won’t convince you to grow a beard, we don’t know what will

Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

Image credits: gwilymcpugh

Image credits: Gwilym C Pugh

Image credits: gwilymcpugh

Image credits: Edo Brugué

Image credits: gwilymcpugh

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/overweight-welshman-businessman-transformation-model-gwilym-pugh/

Doctor Says Period Cramps Are Just As Painful As A Heart Attack, The Internet Reacts (20+ Pics)

People are finally talking about period pain, something that we, as a society, still don’t really understand or recognize. Period pain, like much of women’s reproductive health in general, is under-researched, misunderstood, often swept under the carpet and shrouded in taboo.

Looking beyond the sensationalist headlines (the heart-attack comparison came from a single doctor’s anecdotal evidence), the conversation raises all kinds of important issues and questions that we are long overdue in discussing.

For example, why is so little known about a condition that affects 20% of women to the point that they can’t go about their daily activities? Why do doctors take women’s pain less seriously? Why are women left with little option but to keep quiet, take a painkiller and get on with it? Would there be more research and understanding if men had to deal with it too?

Right now there isn’t really a prominent lobby pushing the need for further research, and there still appears to be a general media discomfort about using period-related words on their channels. There are such deep-rooted linguistic and societal links between the womb and the emotional over-reaction of women, even the word ‘hysteria’ stems from the Greek word for uterus. You could say that this has been going on for a while now. So if things are going to change anytime soon we really need to start talking about period pain, to normalize it and to get doctors to start taking it more seriously.

Ironically (or not), it took the revelations of a man for people to start the conversation. But talking about it they are. While some people are shocked by the headline-grabbing comparison, to millions of women this is old news, and they took to social media to share their stories. Scroll down below to check out some of the conversation below, and let us know what you think in the comments. Because after all, change has to start somewhere doesn’t it?

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/period-cramps-pain-heart-attack-twitter-reactions/

Michael Moore Tries To Prove Women Are Better Than Men, Gets Brilliantly Shut Down By A Woman

There are plenty of badass women but Academy-Award winning filmmaker Michael Moore thinks there aren’t any bad ones. “No women ever invented an atomic bomb, built a smoke stack, initiated a Holocaust, melted the polar ice caps or organized a school shooting,” Moore tweeted. Missing logic in his claims, writer Jessica Ellis wrote an insightful rebuttal to Moore, and her Twitter response quickly went viral.

While attacking the patriarchy, Moore suggested that women are naturally superior to men in living up to universal moral standards. “My initial response was actually very personal,” Ellis, who considers herself a feminist, told Bored Panda. “I had been struggling with anxiety issues and going to therapy, where I realized I thought the fact that I had dark thoughts sometimes made me a bad person. I had also come to realize that part of the reason I felt that way is that women are raised on a doctrine of purity and that Moore (who I respect greatly as a filmmaker) was furthering that concept. When you are taught that all women are naturally sweet and wonderful, you can feel extra-extra crazy if you feel anger or depression or anxiety.”

And even though ladies have not held powerful political positions as much as men, Ellis perfectly points out why they struggle with making ethically just decisions, too. “It’s bad for women’s mental health to be held to an unrealistic purity standard.” After all, we’re all human! Scroll down to read her reasoning and let us know your thoughts about it in the comments.

Academy-Award winning filmmaker Michael Moore tried to convince Twitter that there aren’t any bad women

But one lady wasn’t buying it

The internet quickly backed her up

Ellis would also like to add one more thing. “While I stand behind the point I was making, tone is difficult on the internet and I felt vaguely ashamed of speaking to a documentarian I respect so vehemently. On the other hand, this is hardly my first fiery rant, on Twitter or elsewhere, and I’m glad people connected to the message and hopefully understood that my anger was coming from a place of wanting to protect women from the dreaded pedestal, and not as an attack on [anyone].”

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/gender-equality-women-dark-side/

Couple Afraid Of FedEx Damaging Their Embryos Decide To Transport Them Themselves, Hilarity Ensues

There’s only so much to do with your little ones when they aren’t even born yet, but this couple have probably done it all. Samantha and Mickey Clark have had a special opportunity to spend quality family time with their embryos, and they hilariously went all in.

“We both always wanted children,” the Clarks told Bored Panda. They went through in vitro fertilisation (IVF) in order to get pregnant. “We knew I was going to have problems getting pregnant before we were married,” Samantha said. “I was diagnosed with PCOS, endometriosis and had a few other health issues” The couple chose not to have an expensive wedding and started actively pursuing adoption, foster care and infertility treatments. “We were prepared to open any door that God led us to.”

Fast forward some time, and the Clarks have to transport their embryos to a new clinic after moving across the state. “It is very common for couples to transport the embryos themselves, otherwise FedEx or UPS will deliver them. I didn’t trust the mail system after seeing several viral videos of packages being thrown over fences!”

They started researching other possibilities. “Our embryologist said most couples take them themselves, so that’s what we chose.” However, instead of simply driving them to the new clinic, the Clarks made a few pit stops to take a few amusing photos. “We did the photoshoot on a whim. It was something we were joking about on the way to pick them up. Like, ‘How funny would that be…’ Then it just took off!”

And don’t worry about the well-being of the embryos. Their embryologist assured the couple that the tank was safe for at least two days, and the Clarks took only 4 hours to transfer it. “The box was perfectly still for every shot! It wasn’t ever just pushed down a slide, haha.” The couple said that coming up with ideas was actually really easy. “It’s literally the image you have in your head when you think about parenting. We even had some potty training ones but they somehow got lost! They were SOOO funny!”

Can you spot something unusual about this family photoshoot?

Image credits: Mickey Clark

The Clarks went through IVF in order to get pregnant, but after they moved, their embryos had to be transported to their new clinic

Image credits: Mickey Clark

“Our embryologist said most couples take them themselves, so that’s what we chose”

Image credits: Mickey Clark

“We were driving to pick them up and we started talking about how we should take photos with the embryos”

Image credits: Mickey Clark

“We were laughing so hard we were crying. So when we picked them up, we just said okay let’s do it!”

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Their adventure included a visit to pick out a puppy

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Meeting the grandparents

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Even hunting for a Christmas tree

Image credits: Mickey Clark

And the first baseball lesson

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Their doctor assured the couple that the embryo tank was safe for at least two days, but the Clarks took only 4 hours to transfer it

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Shepherd Thomas, Eleni Lynn, and Ayla Sue are six-month-old babies now

Image credits: Mickey Clark

And the family already has photos they will be showing to every guest

Image credits: Mickey Clark

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/epic-couple-photoshoot-with-embryos-samantha-clark/

Someone Just Perfectly Explained Why Depression Makes People So Tired, And More People Need To See It

Over time, depression and other mental disorders evolve camouflage so strong, they become almost invisible to the public. Almost. There are still a few ways to spot the parasites. 22-year-old visual artist and mental health advocate Pauline Palita has revealed a reliable method of how to spot people who struggle with mental health, and it’s resonating hard on Twitter.

According to National Alliance on Mental Illness, approximately 1 in 5 adults in the U.S. experiences mental illness in a given year. Moreover, mood disorders, including major depression, dysthymic disorder and bipolar disorder, are the third most common cause of hospitalization in the U.S. for citizens aged 18–44. Scroll down to learn one of the ways you can identify these dangerous conditions.

Relating to the issue, people thought Pauline’s thoughts were spot-on

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/mental-illness-depression-tired-explanation-pj-palits/

Father-Of-Three Realizes He Cant Keep Up With His Children, Transforms His Body Beyond Recognition In 6 Months

A 39-year-old man has decided to completely change his life around to become a better father and husband to his family. In just six months, his determination and hard work have already achieved results so unbelievable, his family hardly recognize him.

In August, Montana-based antiques dealer Jeremiah Peterson went on a backpacking trip to a mountain lake with his children. “Instead of remembering all the good memories we had made on this trip all I can remember is this one thing that kept playing in my head over and over again,” Jeremiah wrote on his Instagram. “I found myself running out of breath and having to take breaks way before my 9, 7, and 6-year-old kids.”

Combining a strict keto diet and intensive regular exercise, the man began his transformation. “Don’t be afraid of it, don’t hide from it. Stare your fat ass in the face and choose who is going to win.” For half a year, he spent two hours hiking and an hour in the gym daily. Losing 82 pounds, Jeremiah went from size 42 in jeans to a 33.

“I went from having a real dadbod to having a college kid’s physique,” Jeremiah told Daily Mail. “Since going from fat to lean it’s made everything better, my hair and skin look healthier, you can see my jawline instead of chubby cheeks and I have abs.”

Jeremiah credits his beloved children with inspiring him to make changes to his lifestyle, and health problems, too. “It transforms not only your physical self but the way you think and feel, as well as the future you want for your family. I know if I can do it anyone can.”

For a long time, antiques dealer Jeremiah Peterson neglected his body

But after one family trip, he made up his mind to change his life around

In August, Jeremiah went on a backpacking trip to a mountain lake with his children

“Instead of remembering all the good memories we had made on this trip all I can remember is this one thing that kept playing in my head over and over again”

“I found myself running out of breath and having to take breaks way before my 9, 7, and 6-year-old kids”

It made Jeremiah adopt a strict keto diet and start exercising daily

In just six months, his determination and hard work have already achieved results so unbelievable, his family hardly recognize him

“I went from having a real dadbod to having a college kid’s physique”

“Since going from fat to lean it’s made everything better”

“My hair and skin look healthier, you can see my jawline instead of chubby cheeks and I have abs”

“When you see the results, you get so much more motivation week by week when looking in the mirror, it’s made me want to continue to try harder”

“My transformation happened so fast because I did the workout programme every day without any time off”

“While I’m spending up to three hours exercising, a hike doesn’t really feel like working out”

“Before I would go home and drink beer to de-stress, but now hiking relaxes me in the same way”

“It transforms not only your physical self but the way you think and feel, as well as the future you want for your family”

Read more: http://www.boredpanda.com/father-weight-loss-transformation-jeremiah-peterson-montana/

People Reveal Their Scars And How They Got Them In A Powerful Photo Project

Scars get a bad rap. They are often seen as ugly, dangerous, criminal and something to hide and be ashamed of. In popular culture, it’s the bad guys that have the scars.

It’s no wonder so many people feel self-conscious about them. Sophie Mayenne from London, England, is working to change these perceptions through her photography project ‘Behind The Scars,’ a series of poignant photographs of people, their scars and the stories behind them.

“As a photographer I have always been drawn to raw and un-retouched work, and what makes us different to one another – and this is where my interest in scars stems from,” Sophie told Bored Panda. “When I first started the project, I remember saying that if I could make a difference to at least one person, then I have succeeded. As the project has grown, I just hope it will reach more people, and continue to have a positive impact.”

Her subjects, often insecure and vulnerable after years of hiding away their scars, as well as the psychological trauma that they can carry with them, have embraced her project enthusiastically. “The response has been really positive – and seeing yourself through a photographer’s eyes can be a powerful experience,” Sophie told us. “For some people the experience of the photoshoot can be very therapeutic – as they may have not shared their experiences before, and for others they are consolidating their new found love of their scars – and body.”

It seems that Sophie’s project is certainly having the positive impact that she set out to achieve, as people are inspired to tell their stories and shed the burden of insecurity. “As more people find out about the project – more people come forward,” She told Bored Panda. “I hope in the future to be able to make a book of the series – that people past and present can relate to.”

“These, in my opinion are some of the best, and most honest images I have ever taken.”

Scroll down to check out some of the photos from Sophie’s amazing and inspiring project, as well as short descriptions of the stories behind them. Let us know what you think in the comments!

The last few months have been extremely challenging as the condition of my skin as deteriorated massively. From 18 months old when I was diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa to earlier this year I was able to live an almost normal life despite my skin, it was easy to hide and easy to manage. But earlier this year it started getting rapidly worse and I am now able to…

The last few months have been extremely challenging as the condition of my skin as deteriorated massively. From 18 months old when I was diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa to earlier this year I was able to live an almost normal life despite my skin, it was easy to hide and easy to manage. But earlier this year it started getting rapidly worse and I am now able to do less of the things I once could. My confidence and self esteem is almost non existent most of the time. So much of my day is spent managing my skin or being in pain from it. But now more than ever I need to remind myself that I am still the same old me. I am still beautiful and this condition that I will be lumbered with for the rest of my life, does not define me as a person. It will always be a huge part of my life but i will never let me take over my life. EB is so rare that there is so little awareness for it and in a lot of cases it is life threatening so I’m posting this not only for me but for everyone suffering. Because of the lack of awareness, the funding towards trials and research is so limited that I probably will never access to a cure, as much as that upsets me, I just hope that future children will get access to more treatment and a possible cure. If anyone cares enough to find out more about EB, google search “Debra eb”.

“My scars are from a fire related to domestic abuse. I got burnt at the age of 29, and it’s been a difficult journey coming to terms with it. The comfort I take from my scars is they make me who I am today. I call them my most precious, and expensive piece of jewellery I own. I have survived and if having my picture taken, and exposing my scars…

“My scars are from a fire related to domestic abuse. I got burnt at the age of 29, and it’s been a difficult journey coming to terms with it. The comfort I take from my scars is they make me who I am today. I call them my most precious, and expensive piece of jewellery I own. I have survived and if having my picture taken, and exposing my scars can help anyone else then that’s good for me!.”

“My name’s Tracey. I’m a 45 year old mother of two. In 2012, my GP diagnosed me with a common cold which drastically got worse. I was given cold medication which made me feel awful. I called 999 and someone came out to see me. They said everything was fine. Everything was fine for 40 minutes or so. I asked my daughter to make dinner, and then I went upstairs…

“My name’s Tracey. I’m a 45 year old mother of two. In 2012, my GP diagnosed me with a common cold which drastically got worse. I was given cold medication which made me feel awful. I called 999 and someone came out to see me. They said everything was fine. Everything was fine for 40 minutes or so. I asked my daughter to make dinner, and then I went upstairs to lay down – and didn’t wake up. My daughter called 999 and her and my friend Chyle got in an ambulance to Kings College Hospital. When I awoke, I was confused. I did not recognise my daughter or friend. They ran a CT scan and found out I had two types of meningitis. I was put in an induced coma for a month. When I was awoken, I could not speak. My daughter came to see me daily – I could hear her but couldn’t reply which annoyed me. I later found they’d put feeding tubes down my throat – I was told that I kept trying to pull all of the tubes out. I was kept in intensive care for a further two months before having a heart attack. Whilst I had my heart attack, Doctors found a growth on my heart valve and a whole in my heart. They replaced my valve with a titanium one – which ticks like a little clock. After the operation they moved me back to the ICU, but this time I was in an isolated room because of the meningitis and recovery. After a month I was given a tracheostomy which allowed me to talk and communicate with Doctors, nurses and my family. For a while, I couldn’t speak properly and could only manage basic communication and small talk. I found it hard to understand others, but tried through one word answers. In April I was moved to Lewisham hospital’s neuro ward where the Doctors taught me the basics of counting, talking, walking, eating, drinking, washing and dressing. For the first month I could not walk properly so I was given a wheelchair – and then a zimmer frame to walk around the ward called “Frank Cooksey”. The cooks on the ward kept feeding me as I was a size 2-4 at the time – after weeks of walking around the ward, they let me walk around the hospital with family, friends and hospital staff.”

“In 1997 at the age of 7 i survived a gas explosion. I have undergone 27 reconstructive surgeries. I have always been comfortable with my scars, to me they are beautiful and they tell you different stories. They are special.”

“When I was 14 I rescued a stray horse called Fly, and I fell in love with him immediately. One morning, I was feeding the horses in the field (just like every other morning). Fly tried to kick another horse behind him, but missed and kicked me in the face, just below my left temple. At first I was shocked, I was young and alone in a field and covered…

“When I was 14 I rescued a stray horse called Fly, and I fell in love with him immediately. One morning, I was feeding the horses in the field (just like every other morning). Fly tried to kick another horse behind him, but missed and kicked me in the face, just below my left temple. At first I was shocked, I was young and alone in a field and covered in blood. However after a few trips to the hospital the scar is just a part of my face. Now it’s been 4 years since I was kicked, the scar has created an adhesion to my cheek bone which is why is is noticeable. Although being faced with an opportunity to remove the scar, I never would. I don’t think beauty has to be symmetrical!.

“When I was young, I pulled a cup of hot boiling tea off the counter. As a result, it burnt my left shoulder down to my left breast and stomach. My scar has been with me since I was 11 months old – it is all I know, I don’t even remember my body without a scar. I have my confident days where I say “It’s just a scar”. I’m…

“When I was young, I pulled a cup of hot boiling tea off the counter. As a result, it burnt my left shoulder down to my left breast and stomach. My scar has been with me since I was 11 months old – it is all I know, I don’t even remember my body without a scar. I have my confident days where I say “It’s just a scar”. I’m sure everyone has a scar. I’ve definitely had my bad days, but only when I meet a new face and they stare at it in disgust. It makes me think OMG is there something on my body? And then I remember “the burn” lol. I wear this scar because it is a part of me. It’s just a scar.”

“I played with a hand gun at age 14 and it gave me a lifetime in a wheelchair. But despite what you might think, I’ve never found a reason to be victimised by my condition. My spiritual and physical scars made me grow stronger, empowered. I wanted to be a tennis player, so I became a tennis player. I wanted to be a model, and guess what… I am…

“I played with a hand gun at age 14 and it gave me a lifetime in a wheelchair. But despite what you might think, I’ve never found a reason to be victimised by my condition. My spiritual and physical scars made me grow stronger, empowered. I wanted to be a tennis player, so I became a tennis player. I wanted to be a model, and guess what… I am a model. As a model of diversity, I work in the fashion industry representing people that have limitations but are not limited. They love, they fight, they win, they lose. They are real and my story helps them to see how beautiful and meaningful they are. All scars included.”

“Today I am a little angry at the world. I’m angry that it’s been 2 years and 2 days and I still don’t feel complete. I have been cut up and then stitched and stapled, but today I don’t feel whole. I’m angry that my memories and dreams of what happened blend together with the present. It’s 2 years and 2 days and today I don’t feel okay. But I…

“Today I am a little angry at the world. I’m angry that it’s been 2 years and 2 days and I still don’t feel complete. I have been cut up and then stitched and stapled, but today I don’t feel whole. I’m angry that my memories and dreams of what happened blend together with the present. It’s 2 years and 2 days and today I don’t feel okay. But I will. “

“I was born without both radius. When I was one I had my first surgery on my right hand. One year later doctors decided to operate on my left hand. Two different doctors operated on my hands. The first operation went well. During the second operation, there were some complications. Doctors didn’t know that bones in my left hand are different from the ones in my right hand. When I was…

“I was born without both radius. When I was one I had my first surgery on my right hand. One year later doctors decided to operate on my left hand. Two different doctors operated on my hands. The first operation went well. During the second operation, there were some complications. Doctors didn’t know that bones in my left hand are different from the ones in my right hand. When I was 15, I noticed that there was something wrong with my left wrist. I had to have surgery once again. This disease is called hemimelia, and a case like mine happens for 1 in 100,000 people. I always had a big problem with my scars – I couldn’t accept myself because of them and other people also had a problem with my scars. Now I think that this is who I am. Finally I can feel that I don’t have to hide it, because this is the real me.”

“I started self harming when I was 13 and have struggled with it ever since. The issue with self harming is it gets progressively worse and you end up doing more and more damage to yourself than you think is possible when you first start. It truly is an addiction and you get to a point where surgeons tell you that plastic surgery can’t fix the appearance of the scars,…

“I started self harming when I was 13 and have struggled with it ever since. The issue with self harming is it gets progressively worse and you end up doing more and more damage to yourself than you think is possible when you first start. It truly is an addiction and you get to a point where surgeons tell you that plastic surgery can’t fix the appearance of the scars, so the only thing you can do is love your scars so much that all the negative connections that come along with self harm slowly disappear – along with all the pain attached to the scars. My scars tell my story, and I’m never going to let anyone else’s thoughts or opinions change that. “

“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.”

“I was diagnosed with a rare and extremely aggressive form of cancer called Osteosarcoma when I was 27 years old. Doctor’s think that I had the tumour since I was 26. My right arm was aching whilst I was sleeping – everyone I would chop vegetables, and get dressed. I went to see a chiropractor – he moved my arm around and I screamed very loudly. He just said that…

“I was diagnosed with a rare and extremely aggressive form of cancer called Osteosarcoma when I was 27 years old. Doctor’s think that I had the tumour since I was 26. My right arm was aching whilst I was sleeping – everyone I would chop vegetables, and get dressed. I went to see a chiropractor – he moved my arm around and I screamed very loudly. He just said that I had damaged my muscle and said I was very dramatic. Unknown to him, what lay behind my “dramatic†scream was something quite sinister. I was living in South Africa, Cape Town and had recently received my visa to live there. I was working with ant-sex trafficking victims and supporting abused women and children. I had just started helping out at a support group, when one of the girls approached me and said “Hey, you don’t know me very well, but I wanted to let you know that I’ve had 3 vivid dreams about you in a row now. In them you come to my house, and when I wake up I feel God’s presence, so I really feel that you need to come to my house.†I’m quite a spiritual person, and had dreams in my childhood that had come true, so I thought I’d go and see her. The day I went to her house she wasn’t actually in. as I was walking out of her courtyard, I had a sense that her dog was going to go for me. The dog looked chilled, so I just shut the gate and as I put my hand through the gate to lock it, I heart the dog bark, and jump up to bite m, so I gently jumped back and my arm completely snapped as I landed. My friend took me to the Doctors. I was sent for a scar and it showed that I had a very clean break. The Doctor’s face dropped when she saw my scan. she booked me in to see another Doctor the next morning. I was in so much pain I didn’t really question why I was seeing another Doctor. When I saw him the following morning he asked me a lot of the typical cancer questions – Have you lost weight, have you passed blood, and so on. He said something had been eroding my bone- my heart was pounding thinking of all the things it could possibly be. He then said those dreaded words that literally took my breath away – you most probably have cancer.”

“When I was in my 20s, I was taking a short cut through the local park when I realised the gate had been locked. I decided to climb up over the railings and my footing slipped, catching my face in two places. The spikes passed through my face. Luckily the park attendant noticed what happened and called an ambulance. I feel like my looks were ruined by the accident, but…

“When I was in my 20s, I was taking a short cut through the local park when I realised the gate had been locked. I decided to climb up over the railings and my footing slipped, catching my face in two places. The spikes passed through my face. Luckily the park attendant noticed what happened and called an ambulance. I feel like my looks were ruined by the accident, but I carried on as normal. People often think I’ve been in a knife attack or fight, so believe I’m a bad person.â€

“In 2014, I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a bone cancer. I had chemo for nearly a year and several surgeries for bone transplantations in my arm. They took pieces of bone from my leg and thigh. One time, my transplant broke, so I had a major surgery which took 8 hours. In two years I had 10 surgeries and I have one planned for November 2017.â€

“I was only 8 years old when I had a car accident. I was with my friend and her mother, sitting in the back seat of the car. I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. All of a sudden a car jumped out of nowhere, and came towards us. We crashed violently, the car flipping twice. Unfortunately I was the one who was injured badly – when the car was flipping,…

“I was only 8 years old when I had a car accident. I was with my friend and her mother, sitting in the back seat of the car. I wasn’t wearing a seatbelt. All of a sudden a car jumped out of nowhere, and came towards us. We crashed violently, the car flipping twice. Unfortunately I was the one who was injured badly – when the car was flipping, I broke the window by falling on it. I hit my head on the ground (losing part of my hair), and the car was on top of me with half of my body inside, and the other half outside. I was taken to the hospital by helicopter. The doctor put me into a medically induced coma and operated on my ruptured liver. I suffered a chest and head trauma. I was in a coma for 10 days, and on the 10th day the doctor told my mother that there was nothing else they could do, and that I wouldn’t survive the night. The day after I woke up with a 42c temperature because of the medicine I had been given. The doctor told my Mum that I was a miracle. I have been carrying this scar for the last 22 years of my life, and it has been like a tattoo with represents a new chapter.â€

“In 2014 I was diagnosed with angiosarcoma of the breast, a rare and aggressive cancer. Three surgeries and two chemotherapy treatments later these are the scars I bear. My recent operation was an innovative surgery which involved removal of my sternum and four ribs, which were replaced by surgical cement, muscle from my back and a skin graft. It took me a long time to finally embrace my scars. They…

“In 2014 I was diagnosed with angiosarcoma of the breast, a rare and aggressive cancer. Three surgeries and two chemotherapy treatments later these are the scars I bear. My recent operation was an innovative surgery which involved removal of my sternum and four ribs, which were replaced by surgical cement, muscle from my back and a skin graft. It took me a long time to finally embrace my scars. They document my journey and the courage and strength I did not think I had. Recently I was told the cancer had returned. Surprisingly I feel at peace”

“I’ve become the strong and independent woman I am today because of my Mum, and because of what happened. It has all been a part of my journey. It started when I was 5 months old – whilst taking a nap, a fire started next to my bed and I lost two fingers. It took one year of recovery at the hospital, and 25 years to accept it. I went…

“I’ve become the strong and independent woman I am today because of my Mum, and because of what happened. It has all been a part of my journey. It started when I was 5 months old – whilst taking a nap, a fire started next to my bed and I lost two fingers. It took one year of recovery at the hospital, and 25 years to accept it. I went through awkward handshakes and looks, children’s whispers and hiding it at all costs – which meant always using my other hand. Because of what happened, my Mum raised a fighter who is not afraid of who she is anymore. I am not going to hide it, although it still hurts when I move my hand and it is sometimes a mental struggle to fully accept it.”

“My body is a merry-go-round of scars – new ones arrive, choose a pitch and nest amongst the constellation etched into my skin. In time, some will fade until I can’t even remember the first time I pressed my finger to puckered flesh and welcomed them to the gang. There are self-harm scars that go back further than I care to remember, some so faint I forget that they’re there…

“My body is a merry-go-round of scars – new ones arrive, choose a pitch and nest amongst the constellation etched into my skin. In time, some will fade until I can’t even remember the first time I pressed my finger to puckered flesh and welcomed them to the gang. There are self-harm scars that go back further than I care to remember, some so faint I forget that they’re there until a fluorescent changing room light flickers them into view, others stark with mottled tissue. There are skin biopsy bubbles, surgery scars and a tapestry of tokens from happy drunken mishaps that I will never forget. It’s a canvas that, by and large, I have come to accept, laugh at and learn from. The deepest layer of scarring, however, always been the trickiest to tame. The scars that ripple across my body are an unexchangeable gift from an autoimmune disease called morphea. The nature of the disease means my skin will probably never stop acquiring these new buddies; instead, they’ll come and go in shades of “fuck youâ€. There are old bruises slowly fading into a web on my stomach from the first two bouts, calcified white patches that are reaching fever pitch and shiny lesions that have only just stirred. If they were static I’m sure I’d be further along in learning to love all of the skin I’m in, but their tempestuous nature makes them hard to ignore. Some days they are so sensitive a brush of fabric can send shivers down my spine and showering has turned into an odd dance I never fancied learning – jumping from sensitivity to hot water, then cold water and then to scrubbing. Although – with a little push and an attempt to see them from a true outsiders perspective – I am learning to love each one as they arrive. They are a part of me: each freckle, mole, scar, tattoo, bruise, and lesion is threaded into the rainbow suit of skin I’m in. So, I’m going to embrace each new stripe because they are a reminder of every battle I’ve fought in this body. As I collect new scars, I will learn to navigate each and every evolution as it arises.”

“I managed to make it from 1993 – 2014, to 21 years old having no health issues whatsoever. No broken bones, no serious illnesses – then suddenly, I was having brain surgery. I was so stupidly happy not to lose that much hair when I had my 2 operations, a year a part. I didn’t even lose much during radiotherapy. I do have this line now, all the way around…

“I managed to make it from 1993 – 2014, to 21 years old having no health issues whatsoever. No broken bones, no serious illnesses – then suddenly, I was having brain surgery. I was so stupidly happy not to lose that much hair when I had my 2 operations, a year a part. I didn’t even lose much during radiotherapy. I do have this line now, all the way around the side of my head that will never grow hair. I love it. Every day I see it, and the dent in my head beneath it, and the lump where muscle has slipped and gathered. It reminds me what I’ve been through – and how I didn’t just survive, I smashed it. I will be having the scar on my head “re-opened†early next year (2018) – they’re reconstructing my dented face. I am hoping for the best resulted, but also that I get to keep this pronounced, near perfect line. My tummy scar is newer. That’s been harder to come to terms with – but i’m trying not to give it too much power. I’m owning it. My body is a collection of markings, and memories. It’s a map of me. Someday I’ll leave this world, I will escape my skin, and I will leave behind a form of myself that was loved – so loved – by myself and others – and it will have been lived in!â€

Scars on my left arm are from self harm over the past 7 years. Scar on the top right abdomen is the result of surgery to extract rib cartilage to reconstruct my left ear”

“My first scars arrived at 14, whilst playing a chasing game with friends. I jumped over the wall, but the wall moved and I ended up scarring both of my legs. For years I’ve been paranoid about showing them and only wore trousers. The scars on my left arm and face were given to me by a deranged person out for revenge, the worst part it was not meant for…

“My first scars arrived at 14, whilst playing a chasing game with friends. I jumped over the wall, but the wall moved and I ended up scarring both of my legs. For years I’ve been paranoid about showing them and only wore trousers. The scars on my left arm and face were given to me by a deranged person out for revenge, the worst part it was not meant for me. I got caught up in a fight where the person had a glass in her hand whilst punching me. I was only aware of it when blood was pouring from my face. I didn’t notice my arm until I looked down to see my arm opened up like a butterfly chicken. I now love me for me, ever since I started Focusing On Creating my Ultimate Self.”

“I’ve had 15 surgeries, a brain tumour, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in my brain and a condition called Hydrocephalus. I grew up without realising my body was different until one day I wore a bikini and was met with looks of pity and shock. I thought the solution was to hide them and never talk about them, but in fact, what helped me was the exact…

“I’ve had 15 surgeries, a brain tumour, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a cyst in my brain and a condition called Hydrocephalus. I grew up without realising my body was different until one day I wore a bikini and was met with looks of pity and shock. I thought the solution was to hide them and never talk about them, but in fact, what helped me was the exact opposite. When I was 21, I finally started embracing my scars and accepting my body for what it does. In celebration of that I launched a campaign called #scarrednotscared because I knew I couldn’t be alone. I didn’t want anyone to feel isolated in their struggles with physical illness and chronic pain, and it became the perfect platform to remove the shame around our scars and our bodies in general.”

“I was born at 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound 11 ounces. The big scars across my stomach is where where my bowel had not fully developed properly resulting in tiny little holes across my intestine which caused septicaemia. The doctors described it as operating on a piece of spaghetti. The scar below it is a result of having an ileostomy bag. The star shaped scar under my armpit is…

“I was born at 24 weeks, weighing 1 pound 11 ounces. The big scars across my stomach is where where my bowel had not fully developed properly resulting in tiny little holes across my intestine which caused septicaemia. The doctors described it as operating on a piece of spaghetti. The scar below it is a result of having an ileostomy bag. The star shaped scar under my armpit is where a tube was placed in order to help feed me. The scar across my neck is where a tube was placed in order to receive medication. My mother always reminds me that my scar were supposedly meant to shrink as I grew, but instead they grew with me as reminder to always appreciate my life”

“At 18 I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that predominately affects young people. Before my diagnosis I had never heard of Ewings and had no idea how much it would impact my life. Part of the treatment process involved having my femur replaced with titanium which resulted in a scar the length of my thigh. I often felt as if the scar would remain a constant…

“At 18 I was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma, a rare bone cancer that predominately affects young people. Before my diagnosis I had never heard of Ewings and had no idea how much it would impact my life. Part of the treatment process involved having my femur replaced with titanium which resulted in a scar the length of my thigh. I often felt as if the scar would remain a constant trigger of the times I spent sick to my stomach in hospital, but I’m gradually learning to view them as symbols of health, recovery and a chance at a long life. I can now zoom out and see more than a sick body, but a person even more motivated in life than before.”

“I was born with five holes in my heart and have been wearing my zipper since I was 2 weeks old. I had my second lot of open heart surgery at 2 years old and my third lot at 26 (6 months ago!) because my heart was too big. Oh the irony of having a big heart – physically and metaphorically! I have truly been on a heart journey…

“I was born with five holes in my heart and have been wearing my zipper since I was 2 weeks old. I had my second lot of open heart surgery at 2 years old and my third lot at 26 (6 months ago!) because my heart was too big. Oh the irony of having a big heart – physically and metaphorically! I have truly been on a heart journey my whole life, and my scars are a reminder that I am strong and can do anything. When I was little my parents did the worrying for me, but having my 3rd lot of surgery this year, I have really understood the strength and beauty of my scar. It’s me! To have an open heart is a true gift in life, and I’m lucky enough to have been opened 3 times. I used to not even be able to say the word scar- as if it was something evil and ugly, but now I see it as a beautiful word. The older I get, the more honoured I feel to be a part of the exclusive “zipper club†and yes, as a woman, it has been hard wearing a scar down the middle of my chest, by my breasts. (one of the sexiest parts of your body!) – but the way I see it is that I’m so abstract, Picasso would want to paint me!â€

“My scars were made whilst I was in a coma for 90 days. The scars on my face, neck and groin are there because I was on life support known as ECMO – my lungs had been devastated by a necrotising pneumonia and they had to stop me breathing – the ECMO oxygenated my blood and kept me alive for 66 days. The other round scars on my body are…

“My scars were made whilst I was in a coma for 90 days. The scars on my face, neck and groin are there because I was on life support known as ECMO – my lungs had been devastated by a necrotising pneumonia and they had to stop me breathing – the ECMO oxygenated my blood and kept me alive for 66 days. The other round scars on my body are from chest drains because both my lungs had collapsed and infection and air was trapped in my chest cavity. The scar on my back is from surgery I had because my chest had filled with so much blood that it was impacting my heart. All this began when I went on a school trip to the Ardeche in France. I left on the 26th June with the school and came home on the 24th October. I was in a French hospital in Montpellier, in Intensive care all that time. They never gave up on me and fought with me. My scars are the map of my survival and I’m very proud of them. They give me strength and individuality. It’s very rare for people to survive this infection – and in actual fact I survived two, because after the first pneumonia, I suffered a second infection – hospital born MRSA and went into multiple organ failure. We all fought on. I have a small scar on my throat where I had a tracheostomy – it was strange to have no voice when I woke up, but I wasn’t afraid – I only believed.â€

“I had surgery to correct my scoliosis last year. The experience of being in hospital and the recovery process was incredibly humbling. I have a new found respect for my body. It’s a practical body, it functions. I can run, dance, jump and I’m no longer preoccupied by “problem areas†like I used to be. I feel so liberated and lucky to have realised how great and capable my body…

“I had surgery to correct my scoliosis last year. The experience of being in hospital and the recovery process was incredibly humbling. I have a new found respect for my body. It’s a practical body, it functions. I can run, dance, jump and I’m no longer preoccupied by “problem areas†like I used to be. I feel so liberated and lucky to have realised how great and capable my body is.â€