Scars are very rarely made the focus of a camera lens, let alone in a positive light.
But one photographer aiming to adjust our gaze to these natural signs of healing is Sophie Mayanne.
Her Behind the Scars project aims to celebrate the beauty of these apparent flaws – “a badge of victory in a fight, recovery from an accident or illness, a long awaited ‘fix’ Behind the Scars is a celebration of beauty, of flaws, of battles won and obstacles overcome. It is about survival, living beyond that and capturing the memories” – and to provide a platform for the stories that accompany them and the people they adorn.
And what stories she has uncovered! A quick glance at her Instagram account and you are welcomed into worlds of treatment of congenital conditions, fighting life-threatening illnesses, suffering severe burns, overcoming issues with self-harm, recovering from traffic accidents, the results of acts of violence and even survival from a gas explosion. Along with all their individual roads to self acceptance.
We are honoured that, through her involvement with Zebedee Management, Faith has had the opportunity to take part in #behindthescars and her photograph and experiences featured alongside all these stunning stories.
The youngest person so far to take part in #behindthescars, this is what we wrote for her.
“Faith had open heart surgery when she was nine months old. That part of her life story will be forever written on her skin by the keloid zipper scar that is still healing, even though she is now already one year old.
“When she was recovering in Glenfield Hospital, Mummy was speaking to one of the cardiac nurses about Faith being signed up by Zebedee Management, who asked if they would show her scar.
“#BehindTheScars means we can now tell her that they’re not just showing it, but celebrating it. Celebrating it as a testament to that nurse’s loving care, and the immense skills of her colleagues, and Faith’s strength and determination.
“It represents all of the extra love and joy her brother, sister, Mummy and Daddy will experience by having her in their lives for longer.
“It is beautiful, because she is beautiful.
“Currently we’d like it to just finish healing so she can get back to splashing in the bath, and on with the next stage of her development. In time it might help her connect with people who have had similar experiences to her – in the same way her Down’s Syndrome has led us to discover a fabulous community offering a very warm, friendly welcome.
“But right now, Faith just thinks it’s a bit itchy.”
Daddy Malpi has a scar on his hand from a knife cut that happened when he was working as a butcher whilst studying at university. Mummy has a scar under her chin when she slipped and fell in one of her primary school classrooms, one on the back of one hand where some medication burnt her skin and a c-section scar from the emergency procedure that welcomed our eldest mini into the world.
What part of your story is written on your skin?