Blizny – zwykle kojarzone z czymś nieprzyjemnym, będącym powodem do wstydu. Źli kolesie mają blizny, wykolejeni ludzie mają blizny, a przynajmniej tak zwykło się uważać. Jest jednak zupełnie odwrotnie.
Sophie Mayenne, fotografka z Londynu postanowiła zmienić ten punkt widzenia swoim projektem Behind The Scars. Jest to seria chwytających za serce fotografii ludzi z ich bliznami i historiami za nimi schowanymi.
Pracując jako fotograf, zawsze inspirowały mnie surowe i niedotknięte retuszem zdjęcia – to na nich właśnie, widać jacy jesteśmy różni. Stąd wzięła się także moja fascynacja bliznami. Gdy postanowiłam rozpocząć ten projekt, pomyślałam, że jeśli pomogę nawet tylko jednej osobie, to i tak będzie to moje osobiste zwycięstwo. Mam nadzieję, że z czasem dotrę do coraz większej liczby ludzi i przyczynię się do zmiany punktu widzenia na temat piękna – mówi Sophie w wywiadzie dla Bored Panda.
Bohaterowie projektu Sophie są zwykłymi ludźmi – często z zaniżoną samooceną i brakiem pewności siebie. Chowali swoje blizny przez lata, hodując w sobie traumę, że zostali nimi obdarzeni przez los. Dzięki temu projektowi mają szanse spojrzeć na siebie z innej perspektywy i zaakceptować swoją odmienność.
Ich reakcje były naprawdę niesamowite. Nie chwaląc się, ale zobaczenie siebie okiem fotografa, potrafi przynieść kolosalną zmianę. Dla niektórych ta sesja miała naprawdę terapeutyczną rolę – mogli opowiedzieć swoją historię, której najczęściej nigdy nikomu nie mówili i znaleźć sposób na pokochanie swojego ciała. Myślę, że to najlepsza sesja, jaką kiedykolwiek stworzyłam. Naprawdę.
Cały projekt Behind The Scars znajdziecie TUTAJ.
#behindthescars Hannah "I was told I had breast cancer in April 2016. After various tests and biopsies (from which I have a few tiny scars), I had surgery a week before my 27th birthday. I don’t remember much about those first few days, expect I watched a lot of The Sopranos and I was in a lot of pain. The first time I saw my wound I was inconsolable. I had a lot of issues over the next few months – my nurses said I’d broken the record for longest time taken to heal after a lumpectomy. My body rejected the dissolvable stitches, and I had a couple of infections. One day I was out with friends, and my wound opened up on one side, by the time I got to A+E blood was pouring out and my shirt was drenched. So the scar is much thicker than the original incision. It’s difficult to talk about still, and I’m definitely not totally liking my scar yet, but I’m getting there. It’s not easy having a scar on a part of your body that’s “Sexy” – I don’t have that relationship with my breasts anymore. This journey with cancer has taught me a lot, and I appreciate my body for doing it’s best and keeping me alive. I know that soon I’ll appreciate this scar too, as a reminder of how I had the strength to get through. The scar under my armpit is from the same surgery, where they removed a few lymph nodes to check if the cancer had spread – it hadn’t. I’ve had a lot of issues with movement in my arm and tightness in my armpit from it – who knew being able to put your arm above your head would be such a lovely, joyous achievement.”
#behindthescars Gemma “My body is littered with scars from troubles times. For a long time it felt like a battleground. My relationship with my body and it’s scars hasn’t been an easy one. Yes as I have grown older I have become less inclined to give a shit what people think. I have come to see my body as a wonderful gift – it is uniquely mine, it has taught me things nothing else could, it is resilient and it is beautiful. My body and I are now an army and my scars an exquisite reminder of my strength. Being a part of Behind The Scars feels like being in a safe space where Sophie allows all our stories and scars merge to create something empowering, joyful and deeply healing. Today I feel like I can show myself…” shot on @huaweimobileuk P10 for @dazed #RevealTheRealYou @gemmabanks
#behindthescars Megan “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!.” @princessmeeg
#behindthescars Grace “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!” @_gracelatter
The @bbcnews video has had such an incredible response – and I'm excited to say I'll be live on BBC world news on the 18th Jan (4.40pm) talking about #behindthescars – the project has been on an incredible journey so far, and I'm really excited to see where it goes next. I've had a lot of messages from people asking me to carry on the series – I just wanted to say don't worry, I don't have plans to stop anytime soon! I would love to bring the project to the point where it can become a book – but for now I will let the project take it's course and see where we go! Lots more photos and stories to come! Sophie x
#behindthescars Abi “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. Continued in comments
#behindthescars Lamissah Hello my name is Lamissah La-Shontae and I’m a 10 year old U.K Model and Actress Life isn’t about what colour hair or eyes you have .. or the shape of your body .. height or weight .. nor is it about the colour of your skin. Beauty is inside out.. we are all beautiful.. you just have to look deep inside to see and feel it… the eyes are the window to your soul and tell a thousand stories. I was born with several different marks and birthmarks .. most of which faded or disappeared with age, the Drs said it's a common thing in mixed babies. Last year a brown mark I had on my arm seemed to get darker, so I was referred to a specialist dermatologist. We were reassured it was nothing to worry about. Things carried on as normal. I was following my dreams – travelling the world, modelling and filming lots of amazing film productions. I was working very hard… until earlier this year when the mark on my arm seemed to grow rapidly bigger and darker – spreading into my armpit and slightly down my arm. My GP saw me at the clinic and rang immediately for me to be seen and referred to a specialist. 2 days later I received a call from the hospital – an emergency appointment had been made for me the following morning to see a specialist dermatologist again. The morning was such a whirlwind- everything happened so fast! We arrived at the hospital and I was seen by the specialist who said he wasn’t happy, and diagnosed it as a form of melanoma which was growing rapidly. It had infact grown another CM from the day the GP had referred me. He wanted me to be seen immediately by a plastic surgeon. Continued in comments @lamissahlashontae
#behindthescars Nell “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.” @nelly.may.joan
#behindthescars Yasmin “My tumour changed my life in so many ways. A life changing operation to remove the tumour, the size of a grapefruit gave me self acceptance on a level that was truly unconditional. In 2012 I was diagnosed with non Hodgkin's lymphoma. Cancer wasn’t an issue, what was was the discovery of a huge tumour. It was benign, but sizeable. Attached to my liver, a bunch of nerves and my main artery to my leg. Five hours of surgery, a deflated hung, my diaphragm put on halt, a bypass with my insides out on a table. My fear going into surgery was the long term affects and how my body would recover. Will my boyfriend still love me, will he still find me attractive, will any man find me acceptable to look at? The truth was, it taught me to love myself hard, without compromise. Inside and out, there was a journey of total acceptance. My amazing body had not failed me yet, so who was I to not love it back for keeping me alive? The message is simple – we are provided with a beautiful vessel to carry our soul. It works so hard to support us daily – the love I have for my body is insurmountable. It allows me to be my glorious self – I am a very lucky girl.” @missyasminibrahim
#behindthescars Zuzanna “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.” @endersja
#behindthescars Ela “I was diagnosed with scoliosis at 9. By then it was already classed as “severe” with a curve of 40 degrees. I knew walking out of that consultation that I’d never be able to be a ballet dancer. Since being diagnosed it has been hard for any dance teacher to want to teach me, or take me seriously. My spine got so bad, it caved in on itself, with a degree of 90 at the top and 60 on the bottom. I had to have spinal fusion surgery at 13. I was really lucky to go to a dance school at 15 where the teachers saw my love of ballet and focused on that, not my spine. I’m also really grateful to go to a performing arts college where my tutors treat me the same, and see me as someone with a passion, not a disability. I’m still coming to terms with my back. After six years I still don’t feel like “me”, but I have to remind myself if I didn’t have surgery I would be in a wheelchair.” @sunkidi
#behindthescars Carmela “I have experienced mental health problems since my early teens. I have used unhealthy coping strategies including self harm, but I do not feel ashamed of the marks I have been left with anymore. They are not ugly or beautiful, they are just part of my body and should be able to exist, and move around the world without intrusive stares or questions. I know I have reached my lowest, and I guess my scars are a reminder of that, but they don’t make me feel sad. I don’t think I am damaged, I don’t want people to see me as damaged. I hope to fully recover and live a happy life. One day I want to be a Mum.”
Tekst: Klarysa Marczak