Revealing imperfections can be intimidating in a society obsessed with photo filters and social media selfies.
But these men and women have stripped off to showcase their scars in a bid to challenge our idea of what it means to be ‘beautiful’.
Speaking to FEMAIL, London-based photographer Sophie Mayenne explained she launched her project ‘Behind The Scars’ to give people a chance to share the stories behind their scars – and how they learned to embrace them.
Sophie said: ‘As a photographer, I have always been interested in what society perceives as flaws, and what makes use unique from one another. I believe this is where my interest in scars, and the stories behind them, stems from’.
Each person featured has a personal story which they’ve lived with and transformed into a way to empower themselves. Here, some share their story with FEMAIL…
Isabella (pictured) was scarred during a house fire in 2015 and went on to be treated at the burns unit in Fulham Road. She says that although her scars and scar tissues continue to change, she has ‘never felt more beautiful’
Samanta Bullock (pictured) gained her scars and was left needing a wheelchair after playing with a handgun at the age of 14. She says she has never found a reason to be victimised by her condition and has now built a career as a tennis player and model
Hebe (pictured) found a new respect for her body after surgery to correct her scoliosis left her with a long scar across the center of her back. She says she is no longer preoccupied with ‘problem areas’ like she used to be
Jessica (pictured) was scarred during a car accident at the age of 8. After 10 days in a coma, she awoke to the surprise of doctors. She says her scars have remained as tattoos which represent a new chapter in her life
Billy (pictured) was diagnosed with Ewings Sarcoma aged 18 and was left with a long scar on his thigh as his femur was replaced with titanium. He sees his scar as symbols of health, recovery and a chance at a long life
Zuzanna (pictured) suffers from rare disease hemimelia, which has caused her to have operations in both hands. She has recently learned not to hide her scars, explaining ‘this is who I am’
Hannah has scars from the autoimmune disease Morphea and from years of self-harming. She describes her body as a ‘merry-go-round of scars’, with new ones arriving and older ones fading in time
Michelle (pictured) begun accepting her body at age 21, after 15 surgeries, a brain tumor, punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, brain cyst and a condition called Hydrocephalus. She says she grew up without realizing her body was different
Bintu (pictured) has a scar on her shoulder from when she pulled a cup of hot boiling tea off the counter she was just 11 months old. She says she doesn’t remember a time without it, adding that she ‘wears this scar because it is a part of me’
Iris says it has taken her 25 years to accept her body after she was left scarred and without two fingers when she was caught up in a fire at just five months old. She says she will no longer hide her hand anymore, despite receiving awkward handshakes and looks over the years
Barbara (pictured) was diagnosed with angiosarcoma of the breast in 2014. Despite numerous surgeries and removal of her sternum and four ribs, her cancer recently returned. She says her scars document her journey and the courage and strength she did not think she had
Adèle Prieur (pictured) received these scars from undergoing several surgeries for bone transplants to treat Ewings sarcoma, a type of bone cancer. She explains how doctor took pieces of bone from my leg and thigh for the transplants
Maya (pictured) was diagnosed with epidermolysis bullosa (EB) at just 18 months old. The condition means the skin is very fragile and will easily blister. Maya says that while EB will always be a huge part of her life, she will never let it take over
Chloe (pictured) began self-harming at age 13 and learned to accept her scars after plastic surgeons revealed they couldn’t reduce their appearance. She explained that all you can do is ‘love your scars so much’ that the negative connections you have with them ‘slowly disappear’
Mercy was scarred when she was burned in a fire that was started as an act of domestic abuse. She now calls them ‘the most precious, and expensive pieces of jewellery’ she owns, and she hopes by sharing them she can help other women
Agnes (pictured) survived a gas explosion at the age of seven which left her with scars on her face. She has since undergone 27 reconstructive surgeries but says she has always been comfortable with her scars
Grace (pictured) sees the scar on her stomach and the dent in her head from brain surgery as a collection of markings and memories which she has learned to love. She explained how she has a line all around her head now which will never grow hair
If you know someone who might like this, please click “Share!”