Tag Archives: scars

Photo of the Week: Lani Ka’ahumanu

Lani Ka’ahumanu is a bisexual and feminist writer and activist. She has done important work for many years. Lani was one of the women I photographed for Women En Large: Images of Fat Nudes. She wrote My Body is A Map of My Life for Women En Large and it accompanies her portrait in the book.


My Body Is A Map Of My Life

I perform a ritual when I remove my clothes with someone, whether it’s to sunbathe, sauna, massage, or to make love.

I tell the stories of my scars.

Besides the pearly stretch marks that texture my arms, legs, breasts, and belly, that I acquired during my two pregnancies, there are scars: a long think pink one that follows my right rib line for 6 or 7 inches (from gall bladder surgery between the births of my son and daughter); a seam line from hip to hip and one around my belly button from surgery that removed three pounds of hanging skin; an appendicitis scar; and one-inch wide stretch marks—after I lost the 120 pounds seven years after I gained them.


I didn’t always appreciate my body. I used to be ashamed and embarrassed. I had a difficult time baring myself with or even without other people around. I would avoid looking at myself, really looking beyond the self-hate, beyond the media image that I should be, that I could be if only … there was no real sense other than I wasn’t good enough. I was constantly comparing myself … It was one of my closet characters, and the more I denied it, the more control it had over me. It was a drag. I wanted to be free of it, so I practiced. I practiced being nude alone, dancing, walking, sitting, laying, playing, looking in the mirror at every angle of myself.

It wasn’t easy, but as the months and years passed, I became more comfortable and accepting … you could even say I developed a nonchalant attitude when in the nude. I began to feel at home in my body and in this growing sense of well-being. SCAR WOMAN emerged from the closet.

All imperfections imposed, I claim the unique, distinctive markings,

making them perfect in the showing.

my body is a map of my life

It is a patchwork quilt

that is warm, and soft, and strong

Scars and Tattoos and Stories


Laurie says:

In my portrait photography I have always felt that scars were part of the stories that our bodies tell.

This photograph I took of June Gladney is one of those stories.


So these photographs of scars and tattoos from Bored Panda spoke to me. Even though they are not in any way full portraits, they still are striking stories. There are tattoos that hide scars, tattoos that show scars or incorporate them into the design. And there are tattoos that comment on scars. Each persons’ story is different. The tattoo becomes part of the story.