Spreading Love And Acceptance With Shining S.C.A.R.S.

The wound is the place where the Light enters you.

Krystian Leonard is one of those inspiring examples of people who take a wound and transform it into a gift for the world.

She had her first stitches, which resulted in a scar at the age of 4.

It was above her lip and she wouldn’t smile for pictures and was embarrassed of going to preschool.

When she was 6 years old, she had her first surgical procedure to remove a lipoma growth in her thigh, leaving her with a 9 inch scar.

At the age of 12, she had surgery to remove a large birth mark on her lower back as a preventative measure, and that left her with a large 5 inch scar.

Growing up with these visible scars, she was bullied, taunted and harassed.

Some of the bullying she endured was so twisted, kids would threaten to push her into the pool because they knew she couldn’t get her recent surgical scar wet.

Needless to say, to endure bullying and torment like that throughout our childhood years takes a toll on our self-esteem.

And this was the case for Krystian, until…one day when she was 14 years old she decided to make a change in the way she perceived herself.

Miss West Virginia came to her school, telling everyone that they can grow to become anything and that inspired her to apply for a beauty pageant.

That day forward she knew she wanted to be Miss West Virginia and give hope to another little girl.

She committed to lying to herself everyday for 365 days by looking at herself in the mirror and telling herself that she is pretty.

(I don’t know why she said she was lying as she’s a very beautiful person…physically, mentally and spiritually).

Everyday that went by, she felt more confident about herself.

She told others in their yearbooks that she was going to be a beauty pageant queen one day, and many others laughed at her…until she entered the Miss America Scholarship Organization’s preliminary teen pageant and later went on to become the 2015 Miss West Virginia collegiate.

When Krystian entered her first beauty pageant, she had to have a cause to support…so she created her own and the Shining S.C.A.R.S. organization was born.

The message Shining S.C.A.R.S. stands for is…no matter what my scars say to you, they hold a meaning of Strength and Character, showing I have Accepted who I am and prove I can Rise above the Stigma.

Since then, she wrote her first book at the age of 15: Shining Scars.

She often visits children in hospitals who are healing with physical scars to hear their stories and share hers.

She’s also spoken at TEDx Boca Raton, appeared in the Indie award-winning book Who Am I: American Scar Stories by Jenny Cutler Lopez, a speaker at Contagious Optimism live, and will be going on a speaking tour in 2016 with The Rise Above Tour.

Her mission is to inspire and empower people with physical and emotional scars to heal from the inside and out.

Tune in below to hear Krystian’s story in depth!

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* Music Credits: The Passion HiFi – Ridin’ Hi

Learn more about Krystian, her book, and connect with her on Twitter and Facebook.

Did you enjoy the episode? If so, I want to hear…

When was a time you overcame a physical or emotional challenge? How did you do it?

One Response to “Spreading Love And Acceptance With Shining S.C.A.R.S.

  • Great interview with a remarkable person. It’s surprising that the very real impact of physical scars on our social development hasn’t gotten more attention, but this cause is worth supporting. Scars can also be physical or emotional, and I think her mission covers that very well. Thanks for sharing her story with us, Adam!

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