About a month ago my husband emailed me a link to a crowdfunding site, it was for a photo project called Behind The Scars by photographer Sophie Mayanne. Her aim was to celebrate scars and the stories behind them. Her work, which you can see on Instagram here, is candid without being sensationalist and touching in the honesty of the participants.
I contacted Sophie, intrigued by the possibilty of taking part when I heard that she was arranging a Behind The Scars photshoot here in the UK and she invited me to a shoot taking place in London in August. Her email outlined the project in more detail and what to expect as a participant. Her reminder that subjects would not be edited or receive any editorial control gave me pause for thought.
What if I hated the photo or it revealed more than I was happy to give, not of riven flesh but of the vulnerability left behind? I had to seriously consider if I was emotionally robust enough to release an intimate portrait of my scarred body onto social media. I saw those Behind The Scar portraits as empowering, brave and beautiful but could I withstand trolling by those who were disgusted by my daring to be seen when I am neither beautiful nor perfect?
It took me a couple of days to reach a decision to take part in the project and we set up an appointment. Sadly, it transpired that the logistics and cost of getting me from deepest Dartmoor to edgy South East London was a step too far.
I will continue to follow the Behind The Scars series with interest and who knows, another opportunity to participate may present itself in the future. In the meantime, my resolve steely, I offer my own portrait; unairbrushed, insecure, imperfect.