August 27, 2019
I stumbled through my youth, teens and twenties out of touch with the girl in the mirror.
My Facial Scar Taught Me The True Meaning Of Beauty
I found so much fault in the way that she looked. And the way that she looked back at me? It was cold. That girl was vulnerable, out of touch, and she truly believed, right down to her very core, that she was anything but beautiful.
Like many young women, I was programmed to self-loath; to believe I wasn’t enough. Standing in front of that mirror, I would find fault from my face to my thighs. And I believed, because the media shoved it down my throat, that beauty was specific, and something I would never have. 
Since being a young girl, I’ve stood in front of many mirrors with many different versions of myself looking back. And truth be told, the version I am now would have killed me back then. Since being a young girl, I’ve stood in front of many mirrors with many different versions of myself looking back. And truth be told, the version I am now would have killed me back then.Today, I stand in front of the mirror at my heaviest weight since having my babies. My hair has gone from long and luscious to short and blonde. My eyes, once bright, are dark and tired. There is a lot else that has changed – my stomach is no longer flat, my breasts are no longer perky. 
The most defining of these changes, however, is the new eight-inch scar that runs from the back of my ear and across my neck.
I was sitting in the doctor’s office, and  looking at an x-ray that shows I have a tumour around my facial nerves. The tumour is precancerous, and has to be removed with a surgery that my doctor anticipated would likely cause some form of paralysis to my face. 
Sat in that office, my beauty isn’t what I thought of – it was the idea of losing my ability to smile at my babies, or kiss my husband as we fell asleep. How I would look in the mirror, or to the public, or how I would fail to meet our regressive beauty standards were all so far from my front of mind. All that mattered in that moment was life. 
I thought about my boys learning to ride a two-wheel bicycle, or walking across a stage in cap and gown. Or my husband sitting on the porch that was supposed to be ours, eyes with wrinkles where once were dark circles and grey running through his hair. All the Christmases I wouldn’t be there for. The broken hearts. The weddings. The growing old. I wanted it all. At age 28, a scar like this would mean survival. With two babies under two, a husband I adored, and a spunky puppy dog I loved just the same, a scar was the best possible outcome. Despite all of that, the surgery itself terrified me. Laying on the operating table, the anaesthesiologist began to administer medication and I counted back from ten. Hours later, I awoke under bright lights. Sleepy and confused I heard my surgeon ask me to smile. I smiled and fell back to sleep. Little did I know at the time, my smile was a full, gleaming smiling. Walking away with only a partially shaved head, a giant scar and, most importantly, my life. 
Recovering from this surgery was long and painful. I returned home with a drain in my neck, which my husband got great joy from milking’ – yuck. The drain itself was uncomfortable but it became the apple of my young boys’ eyes and we did all we could to keep them from ripping it from my flesh. Then there was the pain from the incision and the recovery from anaesthesia.
After release from hospital, I aggressively vomited in the car causing my stitches to rip and bleed as my husband drove me home feeling helpless. Eventually, I found myself back in hospital with a painful infection. After two weeks and a round of antibiotics, I was finally able to have my drain and bandages removed, and proudly expose my scar.
I see my scar as a pivotal point in my life. You see, as you age and grow and live and experience, you learn what is truly beautiful in life. You learn that beauty lies beyond the mirror. Beauty isn’t thigh gaps, or flat tummies, or symmetrical faces. It’s none of that crap the media shoves down your throatMy friends, beauty isn’t thigh gaps, or flat tummies, or symmetrical faces. It’s none of that crap the media shoves down your throat. Beauty is stopping to smell the flowers. It’s waking up to a new day with the sun beaming brightly on your face. Beauty is being alive and being in love. Beauty comes from the inside and is shared with those around us. It’s being grateful for a new day and feeling your feet on the floor. Beauty is your story. It’s your people. It’s things like my eight-inch scar – and, thankfully, my smiling face. It’s signs that you’re alive and it’s giving someone else a sign of hope. 
The way you look – your scars, the bags under your eyes? It’s all just your story in physical form. 
Nearly a year later, I’m still working at loving myself and loving the girl in the mirror. I haven’t come to a place where I can say I’m 100% confident in ‘me’. But what I have learned is that beauty is what you make it and, for me, I’m really trying to make it about living, breathing, and experiencing my best life. 
So, the next time you look at yourself in the mirror, I want you to really look at yourself. And in that moment, let all that you are, all that you’ve lived, and all that you’ve survived shine through your scars. Bring to life the light that you have shining inside of you – because we all have that light. We’ve all been through something that has made us stronger. In allowing that light to shine, in being proud of all we are, we are experiencing the true essence of our beauty. 
Don’t let anyone tell you it’s perfect lips or perfect brows – because there’s nothing more beautiful than what’s authentic. And I wouldn’t have learned all of that without my scar.
Have a compelling personal story you want to tell? Find out what we’re looking for here, and pitch us on ukpersonal@huffpost.comMore from HuffPost UK Personal How My All-Black Wardrobe Helps Me Through Borderline Personality Disorder I Worry The Men I Date Will Google Me And Discover I’m A Rape Survivor This Is What It's Like To Come Out As Trans At Work
Related Stories
Latest News
Top news around the world
Oscar 2020

See the list of 2020 Oscar Nominations including best picture, best actors and actresses, and more.

The 92nd Academy Awards ceremony, presented by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences (AMPAS), will honor the best films of 2019 and will take place at the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California.

Around the World

Celebrity News

> Latest News in Media

Watch It
New 'Soup' Host Quizzed On Reality TV's Wildest Moments | Page Six Celebrity News
February 20, 2020
DwNod1dBww8
How Sophie Turner and Joe Jonas got married twice | Page Six Celebrity News
February 18, 2020
vDdl34jkF_E
Teresa Guidice Admits To Joe Cheating On Housewives Hangover | Page Six Celebrity News
February 18, 2020
-Ko98-qfy7A
Pete Davidson's Shady Ex, Tyra's ModelLand & Bat-Lick Crazy - "Nightly Pop" 02/25/20 | E! News
February 25, 2020
O2T3pMgmlNg
Duffy Reveals She Was Raped, Drugged & Held Against Her Will | E! News
February 25, 2020
uTFbgM-aZtA
Chad Johnson Arrested for Robbery & Domestic Violence | E! News
February 25, 2020
GIrRlrjheQY
Stars Celebrate Black Filmmakers at 51st NAACP Image Awards
February 24, 2020
GAtPoe6bTD8
'Mixed-ish' Star Mykal-Michelle Harris Shows Off Some TikTok Dance Moves
February 24, 2020
tfIV00OzYcE
Harvey Weinstein Found Guilty of Sexual Assault and Third-Degree Rape
February 24, 2020
Az1gWMP78Jo
'Little Women: Atlanta' Stars Throw Drinks, Punches in Restaurant Melee | TMZ
February 26, 2020
eCNHf_mRnPc
Zayn Malik & Jake Paul Beef Sparked by Drunken Hotel Run-In | TMZ NEWSROOM
February 25, 2020
uoVAfOh7hGE
Jamie Foxx Praises Michael B Jordan, 'Just Mercy' for Elevating Culture | TMZ
February 25, 2020
-shzm3YmBD8
TV Schedule
Late Night Show
Watch the latest shows of U.S. top comedians

Sports

Latest sport results, news, videos, interviews and comments
Latest Events
24
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Liverpool - West Ham United
23
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Arsenal - Everton
23
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Manchester United - Watford
23
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Roma - Lecce
23
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Atletico Madrid - Villarreal
22
Feb
SPAIN: La Liga
Levante - Real Madrid
22
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Fiorentina - AC Milan
22
Feb
ENGLAND: Premier League
Leicester City - Manchester City
22
Feb
ITALY: Serie A
Spal - Juventus
Find us on Instagram
at @feedimo to stay up to date with the latest.
Featured Video You Might Like
pQ9gcOoH9R8 g5MRDEXRk4k tudKp5Vhs3k iwWHibhssSo kQr0XHPbICM 5NeCb7JxaRk u5xQKdNqazE 56CdjlzJqSA kw7uFRs-Az0 xNv0JZWLV7w j_x1lr04a6Q lrYGH-drP8s
Copyright © 2020 Feedimo. All Rights Reserved.