Scars get a bad rap. They are seen as ugly, dangerous, criminal and something to hide and be ashamed of. In popular culture, it’s the bad guys that have the scars.
It’s no wonder so many people feel self-conscious about them. Sophie Mayenne from London, England, is working to change these perceptions through her photography project ‘Behind The Scars,’ a series of poignant photographs of people, their scars and the stories behind them.
“As a photographer I have always been drawn to raw and un-retouched work, and what makes us different to one another – and this is where my interest in scars stems from,” Sophie told Bored Panda. “When I first started the project, I remember saying that if I could make a difference to at least one person, then I have succeeded. As the project has grown, I just hope it will reach more people, and continue to have a positive impact.”
Her subjects, often insecure and vulnerable after years of hiding away their scars, as well as the psychological trauma that they can carry with them, have embraced her project enthusiastically. “The response has been really positive – and seeing yourself through a photographer’s eyes can be a powerful experience,” Sophie told us. “For some people the experience of the photoshoot can be very therapeutic – as they may have not shared their experiences before, and for others they are consolidating their new found love of their scars – and body.”
It seems that Sophie’s project is certainly having the positive impact that she set out to achieve, as people are inspired to tell their stories and shed the burden of insecurity. “As more people find out about the project – more people come forward,” She told Bored Panda. “I hope in the future to be able to make a book of the series – that people past and present can relate to.”
“These, in my opinion are some of the best, and most honest images I have ever taken.”
Scroll down to check out some of the photos from her amazing and inspiring project, as well as short descriptions of the stories behind them. Let us know what you think in the comments!
Image credits: ee