These portraits show brave women embracing the hidden beauty of their scars

From a distance, the woman in these photos seem like ordinary, beautiful models. But a closer look reveals they’re bravely baring imperfections and scars that many of us would feel pressured to hide.

The photos are part of Miami-based jewellery designer Jennifer Potter’s Keep Going campaign. (You can spot Potter’s newest piece — the Keep Going necklace — in each shot.)

The models pictured are Jessica DeCristofaro, who survived two bouts with stage 4 lymphoma, and Kassandra Perez, who triumphed over type 2 diabetes, an eating disorder, and self-harm.

After receiving her diagnosis in February of this year, DeCristofaro underwent six cycles of chemo, one relapse, three surgeries, and 20 sessions of radiation. She lost her hair, grew it back, and lost it again. Finally, as of August, she’s in complete remission.

Perez grew up overweight and struggled with anxiety, depression, and self-harm as a result. At 15, she was diagnosed with type 2 diabetes, and later, an attempt to lose weight morphed into bulimia. But today, she is committed to healthy, steady weight loss (she’s safely shed 217 pounds) and has totally reversed her diabetes.

The women posed for Potter’s campaign totally nude, with DeCristofaro exposing her bald head and Perez baring excess skin (a side effect of extreme weight loss) and a heartbreaking array of self-harm scars.

Potter’s intention was to feature women who are living examples of the words featured in the necklace. “Everybody’s going through some type of battle,” she told INSIDER. “You can either give up or keep going.”

She also wants the photos to serve as an antidote to the highly edited, heavily filtered version of beauty that crowds our social media feeds.

“To me, this is what beauty is — finding the most difficult part of life and pushing through it,” she said. “I want people to know that there’s beauty in that darkness.”

Perez and DeCristofaro easily prove her point.

Learn more about Potter’s jewellery and the Keep Going campaign right here.

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