Beauty in Imperfections: 24 Women Bare It All

| Women's Health

Sometimes we all need a reminder that no one is perfect. Beauty can be found in every woman and inside of every flaw and imperfection. Huffington Post wanted to highlight that by sharing 24 photos of women bearing their scars and reminding us that while we are not perfect, we are all beautiful. Whether from a life-altering event or just a clumsy mistake, these women prove that they are more than their scars. They are strong, adaptable, resilient and beautiful.

1. "The doctors told me I couldn't play sports with only one kidney. My parents decided I would sustain more damage if they treated me differently. It was a good thing because I've always been the most competitive tomboy. My scar reminds me that I can do anything I set my mind to — even when everyone says I can't." — Alanna, 24

kidney
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

2. "I got my scars from a bad rash I had as a kid, exacerbated by psoriasis in my early teens. I got them on my chest long before I knew my chest would become a sexual area, somehow tied up with overall desirability and feminine achievement. As I've gotten older, I've really learned to embrace them for that reason." — Amanda, 26

rash
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

3. "I love my scars, they are my breasts. My surgeon honored my wish for a flat result and I feel blessed to connect with and love my body unconditionally, I am happy with the aesthetics of my choice. I embrace this change with body positivity and grace. In a breast-obsessed culture, deciding to be breastless without apology, without feeling the need to wear prosthesis, is a bravely beautiful and non-conforming choice. It has shown me that I am strong and centered, comfortable with my entire person." — Melanie, 46

breasts
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

>> Read more: Embrace Your C-Section Scar

4. "I'm a dark-skinned woman and I've thankfully never really had a complex about my skin tone. I love my deep complexion, but my scars are discouraging because even for dark skin, the "beauty standard" really emphasizes especially flawless skin. Every dark woman you see celebrated in the media has this almost poreless complexion with no marks (think Lupita Nyong'o, Alek Wek, Naomi Campbell), and I definitely don't. Accepting my scars has sort of been a way to accept myself. Yes, sometimes I'll see a cute dress and see that it reveals some of my shoulders or back or chest, and there will be a pause. But I always decide to get the dress if I like it and I want it. Nowadays the pauses are getting a lot briefer." — Zeba, 26

skin
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

5.  "I got my scars in a severe car accident 10 years ago where my liver, ribs and spine (vertebrae) were injured. My scars tend to remind me that I am a warrior, when I start doubting in myself, and to remind me that everything that might seem as a problem today or situation that is bothering me, is nothing compared to what I've been through. It reminds me daily to be grateful for life." — Maja, 28

car
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

6. "I crushed my finger with a 12-pound bowling ball, probably 15 years ago. My finger doesn't quite straighten, and it also stopped growing after it was crushed, which makes for a very minor point of conversation. It hasn't profoundly changed the way I feel about myself, because you can't see the scar unless I specifically point it out. Mostly I'm glad that this is the worst scar I have — clearly, I've been lucky thus far!" — Nina, 25

hands
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

For more photos, continue onto the next page.

7. "These scars are my evidence that I made it through the storm. For now. They remind me that, today, I'm alright. I'm very self-conscious of them, but behind closed doors when I see them in the mirror while I'm changing or in the shower, I really cherish them. They define a whole part of who I am and what I've survived." — Anonymous, 22

thigh
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

8. "I had two separate foot surgeries — basically to remove additional bone growth and "normalize" my feet.When they were more pronounced post-operation, it was a reminder that something about me had needed correction, and even just that tiny differentiation in bone structure rendered me deformed. Extreme? Yes. But young women are upheld to a certain beauty ideal, and deviating from that standard even slightly can result in some serious self-doubt. Now, on the off-chance that they come to my attention at all, I think they're totally badass and even kind of endearing." — April, 27

Photo Credit: Huffington Post
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

9. "I fell on the ground getting out of my dad's car on the way to my grad school graduation. I guess my ambitions (and heels) were way too high that day. Of course, I didn't lower either. The scars remind me to stay fabulous and resilient in the worst situations. Every time I look at my scars, I hear Kanye West's voice in my head saying, "You can get through anything if Magic made it." My scars are proof of this." — Taryn, 23

knee
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

10. "When I was thirteen, I moved from Australia to the U.S. and immediately got sick. A blistery rash broke out all over my body, which doctors later diagnosed as shingles. When it was gone, I was left with one deep scar in the center of my forehead. As a teen, I felt like my scar took away some of my "prettiness." It was hard not to focus on it when I looked in the mirror. One day in high school, a boy disgustedly told me I should "put some makeup on it" to cover it up. I think I cried at the time. It's faded over the years, and now I hardly notice it. It's become a part of my face. I like that it's shaped like a lightning bolt. My mum says it opens my third eye." — Melissa, 31

forehead
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

11. "I was burnt with boiling water when I was 18 months old. I've always been curious because it feels so distant to me, like something that happened to someone else, but I see the pain it caused everyone, and now as a parent to an 18-month-old myself, I acutely feel how hard that must have been for them. I hated my scar most of my life. It was big when I was little and covered most of my chest. Bathing suits and leotards were a nightmare for me. Kids called me "moon crater chest" and always made fun of me. I hid it until I was 22 years old. I could finally see my scar was small. I could see I wasn't hideous anymore. I could see it was just another beautiful part of me. Slowly I built a wardrobe that showed off my burn. I was finally proud. I embrace my burn fully now and think she's beautiful and intriguing and mysterious." — Elise, 37

chest
(Photo: Damon Dahlen via Huffington Post)

>> Read more: 15 Moms Model Bathing Suits for All to See [VIDEO]

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