Sophie Mayanne: Scars

Our skin is the road map to our lives, from the intricate lines around our eyes to the age spots of the elderly, to the faded scars often long forgotten, gained from the rough and tumble in the school playground. Each scar tells it’s own story – a badge of victory in a fight, recovery from an accident or illness, a long awaited “fix”. “Scars” project is a celebration of beauty, of flaws, of battles won and obstacles overcome. It is about survival, living beyond that and capturing the memories. It is a truly honest depiction of how our history, shown through these scars does not define us but compels us.

A reaction to a scar is personal, and often very difficult. The adjustment and acceptance from what is deemed perfect to what is then judges as a disfigurement is not easy. The feeling is uncomfortable, breaking both self confidence and body image. The scar is raw, and infinite. It often takes time and courage to discuss, let alone display such changes to the outside world. To put this into a pictorial narrative shows such scars in a different light. The uninvited invasions of our bodies, each one unique, tells stories of pain and recovery. Like strokes from an artist’s brush, once removed from the harsh reality of an operating theatre. They take on a form, a beauty perhaps that is sometimes difficult to appreciate, but fascinating all the same. If these images help us to think differently about scarring, and for those that “wear” these scars, to look differently at not only the imperfections, but the individuality these marks might engender, then for me, I would deem the project a success.”

Sophie Mayanne is a 23-year old fashion and portrait photographer based in the Cotswolds, UK. Her style is unmistakable, favouring raw, striking imagery that is hers and hers alone. Her work has been recognised by both the fashion and music industries, credits including ‘Dazed’, ‘Boys by Girls’, ‘Universal’ and ‘Sony’. Her work has been particularly favoured by up and coming artists & publications who admire the honesty and genuineness in her images.


Maxim Anselin – My name is Maxim, I consider myself as a gender fluid person, even though I don’t know where I am right now. (Which is interesting in a way). I have this scar on my left cheek, which a lot of people ask me about. The story behind it is actually pretty simple. When I was born I was a huge baby (I mean really huge) and the doctors had to use forceps or I would have died. At one point in my life I was tired of people asking me about it everyday so I wouldn’t say anything, which would, most of the time, let them think that something really awful had happened. When I was a child I didn’t like it, and wanted to have surgery to get it removed, now I know it’s part of who I am and I totally embrace it.
Emily – I had appendicitis when I was 11.
Dorisilla – breast – benign fibroadenoma, stomach – myomectomy & keloids removed. Forehead – domestic violence.
Reece – I was born with Ventricular Septal Defect, a common birth defect in twins (hole in the heart syndrome.) During surgery, I died on the operating table for 5 minutes. I was operated on by Dr Magdi Yacoob, who is famous for this sort of operation. I had yearly checkups after, then two yearly, then four yearly. I was discharged fully from hospital at 21. I am one of the 5% to survive this kind of operation without further problems.
Beckie – I didn’t feel like my body represented me, so I saved for 3 years to get a breast reduction when I was 18.
Sofiya – The scar was a result of spinal fusion surgery ( 1 August 2016). It was a 5 hour operation to correct the scoliosis, during the surgery I had 16 screws drilled in my spine to connect two sternum rods to it.
Ronnie – When I was six months old I had an operation on my stomach to move everything upwards about 3 inches as I had a gap in my oesophagus. Other scars I have are from feeding tubes, the one that stands out is from a feeding tube which I had pulled out myself, which is why it has healed like it has.
Juan – Kind of oddly, those scars started to form up on my chest during my youth. (18-22). Doctor said “excess collagen” would make them appear and grow. I was like “whatever”.
David – Scars on my left arm are from self harm over the past 7 years. Scar on the top right abdomen is the result of surgery to extract rib cartilage to reconstruct my left ear.
Erik – My appendix scar is from surgery when I was 11 years old due to infection. The burn scar on my arm is from an oven.