'I was bullied through many years of my school life, and I developed mental health problems. I was diagnosed with depression, anxiety and anorexia. It led to suicidal thoughts and self-harm: I used to cut the top of my legs.'
Lucy Ingle from Haverfordwest says she’s much better now and is studying adult nursing at Cardiff University. But until recently she was very self-conscious about her scars.
'I went on a girls’ holiday. Everyone was in bikinis – and I was looking at other people’s legs and thinking – oh, that’s not a normal thing to have on my legs. People asked me about them – oh my god, what happened? Are you in pain? It was quite traumatic.'
But soon afterwards, 18-year-old Lucy decided she wasn’t going to be defined by her scars.
'I’m thinking do you know what? They are part of me,' she says. 'Why should I be bothered if people are looking at them?
'They’re there and I’m not going to say I’m proud for doing them. But I’m proud that I went through such a tough time that I felt the need to hurt myself and I’m through that time now.'
Lucy’s insight led her to devise a campaign designed to get people of all ages to accept their appearance, especially any scars or marks they may have on their skin.
She says: 'I'm hoping it will make people understand that marks on their body are normal. Some tell a story and others are just what makes you unique. I want people to accept themselves fully, and realise if someone thinks their mark is ugly or weird, then that opinion should not be listened to!'
With Fixers, Lucy has created a filter with the text 'Embrace Your Flaws' to put on social media such as Snapchat or Instagram.
'The idea’s to encourage people to host a picture of something they’re insecure about but which they shouldn’t be insecure about, and share it with the world.'
Lucy says the main objectives are to help others realise they’re not alone in what they’re going through, and to empower them.
'We all have insecurities, every one of us,' she says. 'I had my scars and it was such a big thing, and such a big relief when I accepted them. People shouldn’t be ashamed of what they see as flaws.'
This project was supported by The Tampon Tax Fund distributed by The Department of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport.
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