Model and speaker Elly Mayday considers herself an “ovarian cancer contender,” and she has the scar to show for it. But instead of covering up her scars — and the pain that she’s been through along her cancer journey — she dressed her scar up in a keyhole bathing suit and strutted her stuff on Instagram. The look, and her inspiring caption, is getting plenty of love on social media.
“That’ll be the day I avoid swimsuits that show my scar. I choose swim suits that ROCK My scar.. cause ain’t no body got time for feeling insecure,” she wrote. “This is my body and I decide on how to feel about it.” By embracing the changes cancer has caused in her body — and encouraging others to do the same — Mayday is taking body positivity to a whole new level.
It’s a simple display of strength to love yourself in a bathing suit, and fans are responding to Mayday’s call for body positivity. “I’m 28 and have a brand new matching scar. Thank you for representing and showing out,” commented queertheodosia. “I’m a ten year Ovarian cancer survivor, and I have the same scar. Scars don’t define you…. the story behind it, and how you live with it, does!” agreed beckyborrett.
Perhaps in a sign that Mayday is considering turning this into a larger initiative, she asked fans to write in with a representative hashtag. So far, contenders include “#ihavethesamescar,” “#effcancer,” “#knowyourpower,” “#badass,” and more. Our favorite? The idea of turning your scar into the source of your power, that comes from “#myscarismylightsaber.”
Mayday tells Yahoo Beauty that she views her scar as a source of strength. “I like to evoke strength and this force that I believe we all have,” she says. “Me being accepting about my ‘beauty marks’ hopefully encourages others to think the same. I really love my scars, and I want others to think the same of theirs. That’s why I call them beauty marks.”
For Mayday, the pressure many people feel to get likes on social media is part of why she wants to share her honest photos. “I like to think that my honesty about cancer on social media has helped others,” she says. “In a world of filters and ‘reality’ television … people crave realness. I think we underappreciate authenticity. I feel like people who follow me really do know me. The response I have received has kept me going.”
Read more from Yahoo Style + Beauty:
- Mom Lovingly Explains Stretch Marks to Her Daughter in Viral Facebook Post
- Sephora Now Offers Free Beauty Classes for Cancer Patients
- Beyoncé FaceTimed a Teenage Fan Battling Cancer