I have been hearing “Scars to Your Beautiful” by Alessia Cara a lot when I’m in my car. And once I hear it, it keeps repeating in my head over and over and over all day long. I’ve been wanting to blog about this but the election side-tracked this until now. I decided tonight that I had to blog about something positive and meaningful, what with all of the negativity and disappointment arising from the election results.
For the first time, I watched the video with the lyrics so I could get my arms around the words. And then I watched the official video that stars a diverse group of individuals of all different ages, both women and men, some with visible (a man with a disfigured ear, a woman with an abdominal scar) and some with invisible scars (depression?). There’s a girl with alopecia (the disease that prevents hair growth), a woman with cancer, a transgender model, and even the singer JoJo. And many more.
The first part of the song before the chorus comes in is all about society’s perception of beauty–face and body beautiful enough to be sculpted–that causes body image issues. Society, after all, over emphasizes the thin beauties that grace the covers of magazines to the point that individuals are blind to any other beauty that lies within an individual. This societal obsession of outward beauty causes deep pain and body image issues that can manifest as eating disorders, depression, cutting, etc. These issues are not visible to the observer, but they are there. A new mother having difficulty returning to her pre-pregnancy weight and figure (celebrities who brag about their quick returns to pre-pregnancy looks don’t help at all) may suffer body image issues that can lead to postpartum depression. Please click here and here for previous posts about this.
What Alessia wants to remind us all is that you don’t have to be beautiful on the outside to be beautiful. You can have a beautiful, loving and generous heart which will glow from inside out, and the impression that gives people is more meaningful, more memorable, and more beautiful than the person whose beauty is only skin deep.
The chorus of the song repeats several times throughout the song (and this is the part that keeps repeating in my head over and over again…perhaps my mind is telling me something, I don’t know) reminding us that we’re beautiful just the way we are and we shouldn’t have to change anything. The world should change the way we see beauty in people.
You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are
And you don’t have to change a thing
The world could change its heart
No scars to your beautiful, we’re stars and we’re beautiful
Alessia so sagely writes at the end of her video:
Often times, the world both directly and indirectly
tells us that we shouldn’t be happy with ourselves
if we don’t fit certain beauty standards.
Scars to your beautiful is a reminder that beauty isn’t only
one look, shape, size, or colour. It isn’t even always tangible.
It comes in an endless amount of forms
and we need to recognize that.”
Thank you, Alessia, for sharing your talent of music writing, your amazing voice, this video, the message contained in the words of this song and video, and your reminder that we are all beautiful in our own way(s).
But I will go beyond Alessia’s lyrics and say that just because someone is beautiful on the outside does not mean they are beautiful inside. Sometimes the darkness within–hate, jealousy, prejudice, etc.–breaks through that outward beauty and cancels it out, preventing others from seeing the beauty that is only skin deep.
Watch this video. Listen to the music. Never mind any negative thoughts that your mind may be telling you. Never mind any negative thoughts that others may be telling you. Forget the bullies on social media. Forget the haters.
You are beautiful, and don’t you forget that.