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How I Encourage Women To Embrace Their Imperfections – Valentine Mabaso

Valentine Mabaso has started a social enterprise with an unusual focus, scars. Her outfit “Rock Scars” is all about making people with skin conditions feel fabulous.

Valentine Mabaso has been living with scars as a result of atopic dermatitis, a skin condition she was diagnosed with at 13.

“When the skin condition first started I thought it was nothing serious, probably just chicken pox or minor allergies that will disappear in no time. When I realised one year has gone by and they were still there I knew it something more serious,” she says.

Unfortunately, at the time her mother couldn’t afford a dermatologist’s consultation. When she could finally go to a private doctor, Valentine learnt that her condition was a severe form of eczema often triggered by allergens .In her case it was things she inhaled such as tree or flower pollen.

She admits that living with the scars of atopic dermatitis was difficult and it prohibited her from being free and comfortable in her skin.

In 2015 she decided to post a picture of skin for the first time on Facebook,

“I was so relieved that I felt the decision to post on social media was very helpful for me. So I thought maybe starting an online platform that helps people share their stories and experiences about their scars might help them the way it has helped me,” she says

And so Valentine founded a campaign called Rock Scars, which aims to provide a platform for people living with scars. The campaign has been well received and has currently reached over 22 000 people from across the world. The campaign’s slogan is: “You are a warrior and you’ve got scars to prove it”. A powerful mantra that all people living with scars should be proud and confident and a mantra that they recite to themselves daily.

Rock Scars has seminars where people are encouraged to share their stories and are guided on how to rock their marks rather than conceal them.

After the seminars Valentine says they have photoshoots of the warriors rocking their scars, which they post on social media to inspire and encourage others.

Rock Scars will be launching swimwear in September because “we understand how many people living with scars or skin disorders barely go to beaches and swimming pools because of low self-esteem, so I saw it as important that I make a product that’s made for them by a person who understands their condition and their journeys”.

“If someone can live with such a painful chronic skin disorder for so long or survive burns and even after that still have the courage to rock their scars, then why can’t you draw inspiration from that? The fact they are willing to rock their scars and show off their ‘imperfection’ should motivate people to believe they can overcome anything.”

Her words of comfort to someone still struggling to be comfortable in their skin are: “Find self-worth within yourself to become comfortable with who you are. Sometimes it’s not easy to be comfortable in your skin when you’re constantly surrounded by magazines and movies that emphasis what the ‘perfect human body’ is or how a woman should look like. Rather than trying to fit that type of image, learn to appreciate your body because you’re beautiful just the way you are.”

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#changingthegame . I grew up being told I had to look a certain way to be classified as beautiful, being told my skin had to be some type of way, that I had to be a certain size and most importantly be flawless. I grew up being told I'm not beautiful enough because of my scars….being told to bleach my scars or instead coverup. I grew up thinking I'm not worth it. All that built my strength . Made me see life different. Made me realize that my scars actually make me stand out. I then grew up to appreciate beauty in all it's shapes and shade and slowly began to see my scars as a sign of my strength. I am changing the game because I know this journey of self love and self appreciation is not about me but about everyone who was told they are not beautiful enough because of their skin..hence I founded a campaign called @rock_scars . I am #changingthegame by raising awareness about skin conditions and encouraging everyone to rock their scars. I am a game changer by introducing scarred models in SA fashion. I believe every scar on my body represents a battle I won, I believe that STANDING out is much more liberating than trying to fit in. I am #changingthegame by redefining my own beauty. I ROCK my scars. I am perfect in my imperfections. #iamchallenge @thickleeyonce @exact_clothing @foschinisa @donnagirlsa @americanswissza #changingthegame #scarredmodel#scarsarebeautiful @buhlemabanga #iamchallenge

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They laugh at me because I'm different, I laugh at them because they are all the same! Why fit in when you can stand out? I proudly Rock my SCARS! Scars are beautiful… Wear them with pride. Here are the reasons why we think it is important for you to Rock your scars and we can't wait to have you on board . 😃 1. They are a badge of honour Whether it is from surgery or accident, illness or pregnancy, your scar is proof that you have survived and overcome a difficult time in your life. ‘Never be ashamed of your scars, it simply means you are stronger than whatever tried to hurt you’ – Author Unknown 2. They are the hieroglyphs of your life They tell the story of you. From the stretch marks of pregnancy to the war wounds of life, each of your scars has its own tale to tell. 3. Your amazing body healed itself Though your body has suffered trauma, it has healed itself and that is a miracle that should be celebrated. ‘My scars remind me that I did indeed survive my deepest wounds. That in itself is an accomplishment. And they bring to mind something else, too. They remind me that the damage life has inflicted on me has, in many places, left me stronger and more resilient. What hurt me in the past has actually made me better equipped to face the present.’ – Steve Goodier 4. They are a conversation starter There is no better way to liven up a boring dinner party than whipping out your scarred flesh and getting people to guess how you got them! ‘Scars are like tattoos but with better stories’ – Author Unknown 5. You can make up ridiculous tales about them ‘Yeah, I was attacked by a ninja shark with nunchucks and fought him off with one hand tied behind my back.’😂🙈 6. They make you unique The marks on your body make you beautiful and unique, they show your own personal story. ‘Sometimes, you have to fall from the mountain to realize what you are climbing for. Obstacles were put in our way to see if what we want is worth fighting for. From every wound, there’s a scar, and every scar tells a story. A story that says, I SURVIVED.’ – Mhargs Abuda 7. They are beautiful ‘The most beautiful people we have known are those who have known defeat, known suffering, known s

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