What it’s like to be a zipper girl


You can’t choose to join the zipper club, the zipper club chooses you!

Five years ago, my parents left me in the trusted  hands of a surgeon. After fifteen years of being a heart patient my heart began giving in to the disease and now it was time to be a heart survivor.

As the nurses wheeled me into the operation theater the thought of my chest being slit open, or the possibilities of the surgery being fatally unsuccessful didn’t scare me. Here’s what did: the fact that I would have a big fat zipper scar running across my chest.

I remember telling the surgeon, just as I began slipping into the calm of the anesthetic, “please let me have a small scar”.

He didn’t!

After the six hour long surgery I couldn’t move,  walk, eat solid food, or speak but all I thought about was how V-necked tops and bikinis would look terrible on me. A tear rolled down my cheek.

I regained my physical strength after a couple of months and ever since life has not been quite the same. For a girl obsessed with beauty and fashion this was a huge drawback. Every time I went shopping and tried a dress or a top in the changing room I’d drop to the floor and weep bitterly.

“You survived”

“You’re a fighter, Aurene”

“You are so strong for your age”

“You inspire me”

BULLSHIT. If I can’t wear that vintage polka dotted bikini ever!.

Fifteen year old immature me believed scars were for men. Every time I googled scars here’s what the search results showed me.

“Why women dig men with scars”

“Scars: a symbol of masculinity”

“Why women love men with scars”

At fifteen I was feminine in every orthodox sense of the word, Pink was my favorite color. I was a fan of Justin Bieber (still am) and I never endorsed anything “ungirly”. The surgery scar was a huge liability to my feminity. I’ve met people who thought it was disgusting to look at, some told me I pass on “negative vibes” with my scar, and some just pitied me.

After a few years though my perception towards having a scar began to change, I cannot credit a significant event or figure in my life who helped me overcome its “ugliness” but I guess I grew up. I’ll have you know, I won two beauty pageants with the very same scar on my chest and honestly the scar was my greatest source of motivation and confidence. I strongly believe even if I had the most flawless chest with no incision scar separating my breasts I would never have won a single pageant. Anyhow, here is a little message to all the women who have a scar be it as a result of mastectomy, a C-section, recovery from self-harm, a heart surgery like mine or maybe just skinned knees.

God does not mass produce us, each one of us were created with individual attention, once we are born he is still creating an shaping us and every scar is just another one of his wonders so wear it like a medal. I used to hide my scar with a scarf but today I flaunt it because it’s defines me in words I can never express. The norms of beauty are built by society itself but who makes up society than women like us, we’re here to change the norms.

Pink is still my favorite color, and lush designer make up melts my heart more than a man ever could but today when I walk into the gym with buff muscular men with badass scars to show I never, ever feel left out. Here’s to badass zipper women, Welcome to the zipper club!



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