Written for Body1 by Michelle Alford
In a society that idolizes celebrities, it’s easy to believe that celebrities are flawless. However, many of the most famous celebrities have scars. Brad Pitt suffered from severe acne and his skin is covered in acne scars. Catherine Zeta Jones has a large scar on her neck from a tracheotomy. Seal is marked with scars caused by the autoimmune disease discoid lupus. Sharon Stone once had an entire website dedicated to the mysterious scar on her neck. These celebrities’ methods of dealing with their scars vary as wildly as their careers.
Some celebrities celebrate their scars. In an article named “Almost Flawless” that Padma Lakshmi wrote for Vogue Magazine, the former model and current Top Chef host discusses the seven-inch-long scar on her arm. She received the scar in a car accident when she was fourteen. At first, she was extremely self-conscious. When modeling, she either covered the scar with make-up or wore long-sleeved outfits. Then the designer fashion label Helmut Lang hired her because her scar made her unique. Soon, her scar was being prominently displayed in modeling shoots. Now, Padma covers the scar when she needs to for an acting role, but she prefers to keep it visible. It’s a part of who she is and a reminder of where she’s been.
Padma isn’t the only celebrity to use her scar in her professional life. Harrison Ford has a scar on his chin that has played a role in multiple movies. In Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade, young Indiana is hit on the chin with a whip, explaining why adult Indiana has the scar. In Working Girl, Ford’s character explains that he received the scar as a teenager when he fainted and hit his chin on a toilet while trying to pierce his ear.
Many celebrities prefer to cover up their scars. The majority of scars can be masked by professional-grade makeup. Concealer, foundation, highlighter, and even blush can all be used to camouflage imperfections. Edward James Olmos and Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia both chose a different method for covering their acne scars. Edward James Olmos wears a mustache and Jerry Garcia donned a shaggy beard.
Medical procedures are also an option for celebrities with scars. Brad Pitt, Kiera Knightly, and Megan Fox have all been scarred by acne. One option for them is to punch graft the scars. Skin is taken from behind the ear, placed within ice pick scars, and sanded to help it blend in with the rest of the skin. Some scars can be injected with a collagen filler. This injection can be used on its own or after cutting out scar tissue. A final option is to laser or chemically peel the scars. Most celebrities would use a combination of these treatments to perfect the look of smooth skin.
Larger scars can be difficult to completely erase. Before becoming comfortable with her scar, Padma Lakshmi tried multiple procedures to remove it. First she had the scar shot with cortisone. This resulted in a flatter appearance. Later, she underwent chemical dermabrasion. She referred to the experience as “excruciatingly painful” but successful. The resulting scar color was much closer to her natural skin tone.
Scars seem out of place in a career field that expects everyone to be beautiful, but celebrities are affected by scars just like the rest of the population. Each individual decides the best treatment for their scars—camouflaging, removal, or celebration.
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