Scars are not just physical. There’s emotional fallout when marks are left on your skin, and one woman is sharing her story to highlight the emotional stigma skin scars cause—and why it’s time for that stigma to end.

After struggling with severe acne on her face, back, and chest, Bianca Lawrence, now 24, was prescribed medication that was supposed to clear up her skin. Instead, some of her acne turned into keloids, which are large, scar-tissue growths that develop in some people when their skin is injured or damaged.

She tried injections and surgery to make the keloids less visible, but they caused Lawrence physical irritation and pain, as well as anxiety and depression. In an effort to feel better about her keloids and get others to stop viewing them as unsightly or negative, Lawrence began collaborating with photographer Sophie Mayanne for her body-positive project, Behind the Scars.

Lawrence tells Health that social media has helped her find a way to express herself and feel “free” with her scars.

“It took courage to post the first picture, but after the great feedback from friends, family, and people on Instagram, I didn’t feel as worried,” she says. “So many people who suffer with keloid scars have come forward and messaged me … It’s awareness for keloid sufferers who suffer in silence and also for others who feel uncomfortable in our own skin.”

I gotta start to love these keloids because they’re not going no where ??

A post shared by #TheGirlWithTheKeloidScars (@biancahoneybeex) on

While she hopes to change the way people view scars and convince people to look past them, she’s also embracing a new body positive outlook—one fueled by self-love.

“As long as I have self-love, I’ll be able to say I love my scars,” she says. “This is a new beginning, and I believe it’s a positive one.”

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