Sophie Mayanne, a London-based photographer, is challenging the ‘perfect- face’ obsession by documenting scars on people’s body and celebrating beauty without any mask.

We as a community of social media users have assumed the pressure of having the perfect profile. Our Instagram has to follow the theme and our skin should have the perfect tan. We want to look like the models, dress like the socialites and live like the elites on the internet.

Sophie Mayanne is a fashion and portrait photographer who is known for capturing intimacy and beauty in its most iconic and raw form. She found her subjects for the project “Behind the Scars” through modelling agencies, Facebook and Instagram. They were people who are willing to show their scars and share their story. The 23-year-old photographer spent a considerable amount of time with her models before clicking them. She wanted to understand the individuality of each scar and give it the importance it deserved. Mayenna says,

“Each person had varying feelings towards their scars, and how they felt in front of the camera. This series isn’t just about the photographs but about embracing each person’s individual experiences and feelings, and understanding their personal stories.”

Mayenne hopes that the photos will shift perceptions of body image and spread positivity. “If I can change just one person’s opinion, or help someone who is battling with their own self-image, then for me the project is a success. I want people to be able to identify with the images, to see an array of different people and maybe think ‘I have imperfections too, but they make me who I am.” Mayanne told The Independent.

The way a person reacts to a scar is extremely personal and difficult to cope with. The sudden shift from what is supposed to be perfect to a disfigurement is very tough.

It takes courage for one to come to terms with, accept and appreciate it. Scars are like little marks of victory that exemplify the simplicity yet the transient nature of human life and body.

One of the images is about a girl, Beckie, who says, “I didn’t feel like my body represented me, so I saved for 3 years to get a breast reduction when I was 18.”

Another model Isabella talks about her burns –

“In the summer of ’15, I was in a house fire. My clothes and way of life up in flames. I spent my summer in a burns unit on Fulham Road. My scars and scar tissue continue to change, but I have never felt more beautiful.”

To embrace the beauty of your past and the marks it left behind is learned only by giving time to yourself. And as Mayanne says- “If these images help us to think differently about scarring, and for those that ‘wear’ these scars, to look differently at not only the imperfections, but the individuality these marks might engender, then for me, I would deem the project a success.”

Pic Credit: Dodho Magazine

Also Read: Meet The Professor Who Set Up A Blog To Damn Body Shaming

Jagriti is an intern with SheThePeople.TV