Michelle Elman had 15 surgeries before she was 20-years-old, having suffered from a brain tumor, a punctured intestine, an obstructed bowel, a brain cyst, and a condition called hydrocephalus. As a body confidence coach, she has addressed the lack of representation for people with scars online and has shared bikini pictures on her Instagram embracing the beauty of her own scars. She is releasing a thought-provoking memoir, Am I Ugly? in which she chronicles her experiences with multiple life-threatening health issues, the toll on her self-image from the scars she was left with, and her body positivity journey along the way. Elman believes that illness and scars are important parts of body positivity that often go undiscussed, and hopes to shed light on them.
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Want to look at Michelle’s awesome body-positive Instagram? Check it out!
Think about your own body and the things you find imperfect about it. Why do these traits make you feel negative? What is the story behind them? Find their beauty.
Illness, scars, and the “imperfect” body are so often shamed in our society. The next time you interact with someone suffering from an illness, make sure you let them know how strong they truly are.