19-year-old Aoife Lovett, struggled with her mental health over the years, cutting into her own skin to deal with her pain. Now that she’s recovered, her scars serve as a sad reminder of the dark times she went through.
Wanting to take back control of her skin, Aoife decided to cover the self-harm scars with tattoos but ran into issues when she set out to find a willing artist - they all claimed working on scarred skin would be too difficult.
That’s when Aoife’s mother found Scars Behind Beauty, a project created by Ryan Kelly to help people put self-harm behind them. Kelly was inspired to start the initiative after another young woman turned to him for help covering her scars and he realized that this step was an important part of the healing process.
Paired together, Kelly and Lovett were able to come up with the perfect solution for her scars. No longer ashamed when she looks down at her arms, Aoife can finally move on.
#ScarsBehindBeauty Thank you @theirishindependent for documenting today's cover up and a massive thank you to Aoife for sharing her story while getting tattooed! Scars Behind Beauty is a project I run to cover scars left behind from self harming with tattoos, free of charge. Anyone interested in the project can contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org #tattoo #rose #neotraditional #dagger #scars #mentalhealth
Ryan has also helped many other self-harm victims.
Scars Behind Beauty cover up done today. Scars behind beauty is a project I run to cover up self harm scars completely free of charge. Anyone interested can mail me at scarsbehindbeauty gmail.com. Apologies to any enquiries I haven't responded to. There is currently a long list of clients in a waiting list. #tattoo #scarsbehindbeauty #mentalhealthawareness #roses #coverup
Ryan has committed to tattooing one free self-harm coverup a week with Scars Behind Beauty and has a waitlist of over 300+ survivors.
To get more information on Scars Behind Beauty, head here.