The way I see it, scars are nothing more than organic tattoos, marking different events and experiences in one's life the very same way that tattoos do. And yet, while tattoos are shown off in public and celebrated as beautiful works of art, scars remain 'ugly' and are oftentimes hidden away from the world. The fact of the matter is that we live in a very looks-based society, and scars just don't fit into those ideals that we've all been forced to strive for. But one inspiring artist and his brave subjects are working to change that.
At the opening of one of his art exhibits back in 1999, Ted Meyer met a wheelchair-bound former dancer who proudly showed off the scar that ran along her entire back, exposing it to the world with a backless dress. Meyer was so inspired by the way she embraced her trauma that he began an art project called 'Scarred for Life,' which he's been working on for the past 15 years.
To create the unique pieces that comprise the line, Meyer teams up with people who have triumphed over serious trauma, from major surgeries to life-threatening wounds, turning their scars into works of art. He first paints a color of each person's choosing onto their scar and then presses a piece of paper onto the paint, leaving behind an impression of their scar. His goal is to inspire others the way that dancer inspired him all those years ago, by showing that scars are beautiful and unique parts of each of us that we shouldn't feel the need to shelter from the world.
Meyer's Scarred for Life series is currently being exhibited at Los Angeles' Learning Resource Center gallery, through November. You can see more art from the series on his website, and you'll find it all compiled together in the book Scarred For Life - which includes the stories behind all of the scars.