“Embrace the perfection of being imperfectly you.”
The Scar Project SA is a very special passion project by Rose Garnet Photography to bring awareness and encourage self-love and self-acceptance.
We grow up painting the perfect picture for our future; a perfect career, a perfect partner, a perfect body, a perfect life. So often our dreams are shattered; a car accident, heartbreak, a life-threatening illness… things simply don’t always turn out the way we hoped. Regardless if we carry physical or emotional scars, we all have them. How we repair our “wounds” and embrace them is what makes us different and unique.
Concepts that the project are based on: “Kintsugi (The Art) Wabi-Sabi (The Philosophy)”
Kintsugi (also known as kintsukuroi) is a Japanese technique for repairing broken pottery with seams of gold. Breaks and repairs are treated as part of the object’s history. The repairs are visible – yet somehow beautiful. Kintsugi means “golden joinery” in Japanese.
Imperfection is the basic principle of Wabi-Sabi, the Japanese philosophy of accepting your imperfections and making the most of life. It encourages us to focus on the blessings hiding in our daily lives, and celebrating the way things are rather than how they should be.
“Wabi” is said to be defined as “rustic simplicity” or “understated elegance” with a focus on a less-is-more mentality. “Sabi” is translated to “taking pleasure in the imperfect.”
While distilling Wabi-Sabi into a single definition or translation doesn’t do justice to its nuances and fluidity, the broad concepts associated with it are impermanence and imperfection.
“Nobody can go back and start a bew beginning, anybody can start today and make a new ending.”Anonymous Scar Model
How do these concepts merge together and how do we embrace it in our daily lives?
In the Scar Project we merge these two concepts and age old practices together to create a visual portraying the acceptance of our imperfections and showing them off as something that has not only become who we are but also something beautiful.
A great example is that of a well-loved teacup, made by an artist’s hands, cracked or chipped by constant use. These cracks in the teacup are seen as assets rather than flaws. It speaks of time that has past, memories it created, history; all aspects that tell the story of the simple old teacup. Then along comes the philosophy of Wabi-Sabi and the art of Kintsugi, where the cracks and chips are filled with gold resin as a way to showcase the beauty of its age and damage rather than hiding it. The fault is not hidden but highlighted. Attention is drawn to the cracks in the teacup as part of the beauty of the object.
The old teacup is now considered to be more beautiful for bearing the mark of age and individuality.
We as human beings are just like the old teacup. We go through a lot in life. It is unrealistic to expect that life will always be perfect. Even when taking the utmost care, fragile things, such as our favourite cup, will occasionally break. Likewise, we all suffer illness, tragedy and the loss of loved ones. Just like ceramics, life can break apart into a thousand pieces – either emotionally or physically. Life happens.
“I have learnt that beauty is not about looks, make-up or clothes. True beauty comes from being yourself and knowing and accepting who you are.”Anonymous Scar Model
Maybe your pain is already in the past or your struggle is not yet over. Maybe you are carrying the pain of a loved one on your shoulders. All this however, should not stop us from living intensely. This is a natural part of life that requires acceptance, respect and appreciation.
Instead of sweeping our problems under the “carpet”, we can put ourselves back together in a way that embraces the challenges we have faced as part of our life’s journey, while acknowledging that it is our scars, either emotional or physical, that make us strong, unique and interesting people.
“Take the time to mourn your ‘old self’. It is a way of life that is lost and deserves respect before you can build it up again – this time better.”Bronwynn Harris
What does this mean in practical terms?
Example: Someone who has overcome breast cancer is proudly wearing a swimsuit (Kintsugi) on the beach and showing off her mastectomy scars while accepting (Wabi-Sabi) that they are a part of her history. She was afraid of those scars at first, torn about what had happened to her, angry even, but with time she learned to accept and embrace her scars. Those imperfections are part of her story and show how strong she is.
However, it is important to remember that there is a difference between repairing and patching up. Do not avoid or underestimate what has happened. Instead take all the time that you need to work through it and heal properly. By taking the time to heal in a proper manner reflects in the same way as painting your “broken pieces” with gold. With time it will make you beautiful.
According to legend, Kintsugi was invented in the 15th century when shogun Ashikaga Yoshimasa broke his favourite Chinese tea bowl and sent it to China to be repaired. The bowl was returned, fixed, but held together by ugly metal staples. Yoshimasa was appalled by the ugliness of the repair and ordered the craftsman to find a more elegant solution, upon which in return the bowl was repaired with the beautiful gold resin.
Just like the tea bowl, rushing the process will only result in you “falling apart” all over again or healing in a way where you will be unhappy with yourself and the life you live. If we don’t properly take time to repair and reflect on life’s challenges, we are at risk of self-pity and victimization.
The past is in the past, it’s important to make plans and move on. Your plans for tomorrow, next month or next year may not unfold as you expect. Life is unpredictable. And that’s okay. Embrace it.
When nothing is certain, everything is possible!
“Embrace the perfection of being imperfectly you.”
“Wabi-Sabi is a way of life that appreciates and accepts complexity while at the same time values simplicity,”Richard Powell in his book, Wabi Sabi Simple.
In his book The Unknown Craftsman, Soetsu Yanagi argues that imperfections are necessary for a full appreciation of the object and the world.
“Wabi-sabi is a different kind of looking, a different kind of mindset. It’s the true acceptance of finding beauty in things as they are.”Robyn Griggs Lawrence, author of Simply Imperfect: Revisiting the Wabi-Sabi House
Things may not always be as it seems. Don’t judge to quickly. Everyone deals with something that others don’t know about. Take care of each other.
Bauatiful songs to listen to when you are feeling down:
- Kelly Clarkson – Broken & Beautiful
- Kygo & Whitney Houston – Higher Love
- Rachel Platten – Fight Song
- Selena Gomez & The Scene – Who Says
- Sia – Unstoppable
Through the Scar Project SA we aim to raise funds for the Rare Diseases Foundation of South Africa.
If you would like to donate to their cause please visit their webpage HERE.
Or contact them directly 010 594 3844 firstname.lastname@example.org
The Scar Project SA images was beautifully combined in a 2020 calendar with profits for Rare Diseases SA.
A special thank you to the following people that helped to make the project possible:
- 𝑺𝒄𝒂𝒓 𝑴𝒐𝒅𝒆𝒍𝒔: You know who you are!
- 𝑽𝒆𝒏𝒖𝒆: Feathers Lodge Boutique Hotel
- Rare Diseases South Africa
- RareBear Project
- 𝑻-𝑺𝒉𝒊𝒓𝒕 𝑺𝒑𝒐𝒏𝒔𝒐𝒓𝒔:
Sovereign Wealth Solutions
King’s Cross Church
- 𝑺𝒄𝒂𝒓 𝑷𝒓𝒐𝒋𝒆𝒄𝒕 𝑻𝒆𝒂𝒎:
- 𝑶𝒕𝒉𝒆𝒓 𝑫𝒐𝒏𝒂𝒕𝒊𝒐𝒏𝒔:
Thank you to my amazing family and friends that helped me with lots (too much to name). No donation is too small. Time and motivation means just as much as physical donations and I appreciate it so much. Without those “little” moments of help and inspiration I would not have been able to pull off this project. Thank you!
- Thank you to each person that has shared the project posts, helped bring awareness and supported (and continue to) throughout the project.
Please support our project by sharing your story with #ScarProjectSA
Our project does not stop here. Please help bring awareness around you and spread this beautiful message. X