This is Elly Mayday.
Mayday is a plus size model, who was diagnosed with ovarian cancer a few years ago. She's also a total badass who continued to model through her cancer treatment and has posted several times about being proud of her scars.
Now, she's encouraging women who've been through similar experiences to celebrate their scars as well. Mayday recently posted a photo of her hands framing a heart around the scar on her belly and said, "let's turn these scars into #beautymarks."
It's a beautiful sentiment and one we can definitely get behind. For some people, scars remind them of a terrible time or a struggle, and that's valid, too. But we love the idea of rethinking our scars and instead seeing them as beautiful. This scar reminds Mayday that she survived.
"I’ve done photos without wigs, and being bald, and showing my hysterectomy scars, and I think it’s really freeing," Mayday told SELF. "I want women to take that home and say, 'Damn, if she could feel good about herself, why shouldn't I?'"
What makes the photo even more powerful is that it was taken soon after a surgery. She still has staples in the skin that will eventually become a scar and she posted it knowing that people may get her image confused with a popular mom-to-be trend.
"This may not be the an image you're use to seeing," she wrote. "Most moms-to-be post photos like this, in admiration of the little bundle on its way. I'm posting this for what's inside too...but in a different sense."
Mayday was deliberate about choosing a pose usually used by pregnant women, she told SELF.
"I did a little bit of a spin on it being that I’m not able to have children and not able to otherwise do that photo," she told SELF. "I just thought it would be something that would hopefully help other people find comfort in a situation that sometimes life throws our way."
This soon-to-be scar comes from her 5th surgery to treat her ovarian cancer. "I've been through more pain than most 28yr olds, but I am still whole. I've chosen to not let this disease define or deter me," she wrote in the post. "I have love for my body, its strength and for what it has taught me."
She's still trying to heal, she wrote, and knows the beautiful body she loves so much will do it's part.