At 6.5 years old I had open heart surgery leaving me with a long vertical scar from the top of my chest to a couple inches above my belly button.
Instead of being thankful I grew up doing whatever I could to hide it. In my mind, if anyone saw this scar they would see me in disgust. When in actuality I was always told positive beautiful comments – and when you said how you saw yourself “from the neck up” that too for me hits so hard.
I would do whatever I could to cover my scar. I would turn around in gym class when changing and for promos or events where I wore strapless dress it was a matter of finding the right necklace to cover. As I got older you would think it would get better but I did whatever again to hide and this time it turned into full on hair and makeup because that would serve as a “distraction” for anyone to ever see it.
I saw it as ugly and therefore felt that I too was ugly. It has taken me a long time as surgery was 25 years ago – to fully embrace and love it. From working on myself and learning to love it – which is still an everyday thing and a lot of work I have created the No Filter Love Project.
The focus of this project is to Step Into Your Vulnerability and See The Beauty Underneath It All. To help others embrace their story and see it as their strength, to remove the filters and come to a place of self love, courage and strength.
Written By: Danielle Valerino
Show her some love & support. <3