In September, Phoenix Society launched the “Burns Are Beautiful” campaign. The campaign began when Abby Fisk, a young burn survivor, decided to embrace her scars in a photoshoot. Inspired by her story, Phoenix Society asked five survivors about scars and self-love. Featured below, other survivors share their stories of resilience, acceptance, and beauty with the tag #burnsarebeautiful.
"My best friend snapped this photo of me on my 35th birthday,12 years after being brutally assaulted with acid. It’s amazing what time and a grateful heart can do for your self-esteem and confidence. My story doesn’t start or end there, but it was a huge plot twist for my life. This photo made it all the way to Teen Vogue, helping to tell the story of acid burn survivors around the globe. And I am one of them. I used to walk this earth questioning my purpose and ask why me, but now I understand it’s because I was built for this. If you are going through a difficult period, trying to learn how to love yourself and your life circumstances, I hope that my life is a powerful reminder and example that “there’s a #beautiful life after #drama #trauma & #scars.” It gets greater later with a little faith, a little humor, and a lot of grit. Thank you for being part of my journey. #burnsarebeautiful"
"The last question is always “so what, now what?” The lessons I’ve learned, the friends I’ve made, and the experiences I’ve gained, all now will follow me wherever I go. I’m blessed to have opened myself to strangers who are now lifelong friends. I am honored to have worked with such amazing people. These very events are the things that motivate me to pursue my career in psychology and the arts so that I can help and inspire those around me. Thank you for the wonderful time. #pwbc #burnsarebeautiful"
"I asked my sister about taking some photos of me to help me see my scars in a different perspective. I wanted to see how they changed me, and to see if they really looked as bad as I thought. I also wanted to do this to help me to learn to love my scars and to help me to embrace the new me. When I first saw these it brought tears to my eyes. I saw beauty for the first time since I was burned. I got to see that my burn scars didn't take beauty away, but added beauty to me. I can't thank her enough for these and helping me see that my scars are not ugly after all. #burnsarebeautiful"
"Every scar tells a story… I used to do everything I could to hide my scars and it was hard to live with the fact that I would have them forever. But I realized that all I have gone through has made me into who I am today and I can’t not would I change that. I’m stronger and wiser than I once was and once you’ve lost everything, you can’t go anywhere but up. Love your scars, love your body, love yourself…. Everything truly does happen for a reason. #burnsarebeautiful"
"It took my tree 1606 days to make this apple. It will take time for me to accept my burn. It will take time for me to move from burn victim to burn survivor. #burnsarebeautiful My scars do not define me."
Facebook: Holding Onto Hope Today
"There is something inherently beautiful about scars. We all have them - both large and small, visible and invisible. We carry these badges of honor that are evidence of our survival all the days of our lives. We can choose to make an impact by sharing our scars with others; or, we can hide behind the marks inflicted by past trauma. After eight years of wrestling - of struggling with the way I look and wishing my scars away - I have chosen to embrace them. My scars, and what I have chosen to do with them, are beautiful. Step out from behind your past - for your scars are beautiful, too. #burnsarebeautiful"
"It’s the courage to smile despite every pain we’ve gone through and still are going through. That’s what makes us beautiful. #burnsarebeautiful"
Read more #BurnsAreBeautiful stories:
- "Burns Are Beautiful:" Five Survivors on Scars and Self Love
- #BurnsAreBeautiful: How I Found Self Love by Indira Husic
- #BurnsAreBeautiful: How Kechi Embraced Her Scars