Two weeks ago Princess Eugenie got married and chose a dress that made many with scoliosis proud.
The princess was the epitome of royal romance at her October 12 wedding to Jack Brooksbank. On display alongside the lavish nuptials was something many of us could relate to: a scar.
Eugenie, who is the granddaughter of Queen Elizabeth II, didn’t try to hide her vertical scoliosis scar that runs from her neck down her back. Instead, she did the opposite by choosing a backless Peter Pilotto dress that shows off a scar left in the wake of a surgery she underwent as a 12-year-old.
“I wanted a dress that showed my scar,” the princess told the British Press, adding she wanted to inspire those with scoliosis and other physical markings from other health-related issues.
The statement she made by donning this particular gown was met with praise and support from many on the internet.
“Be proud of your scars as much as the princess is; wear them with pride they make you unique,” one commenter said via Twitter.
Eugenie also wanted to address the unrealistic beauty standards women are held to.
“I think you can change the way beauty is, and you can show people your scars, and I think it’s really special to stand up for that,” she said.
Both points should be commended.
“When a high-profile public figure comes forward with their scars or health experiences, we see a positive cultural shift,” said Dr. Emily Samaha, MD, a family medicine physician at Winchester Family Physicians. “People learn it’s perfectly OK to fully embrace all parts of themselves.”
Princess Eugenie isn’t the only public figure embracing her physical differences.
The clothing company Aerie, part of the American Eagle brand, uses models showing off a diverse set of health-related conditions including women who use insulin pumps and wheel chairs. A few years ago, the bath soap brand Dove began using women with average heights and weights rather than models who are tall and rail-thin.
Some experts say celebrities and public figures who push the boundaries on what we’re comfortable talking about can be credited with shifting the culture, even if it’s ever so slightly.
Millions saw the princess in her white gown, and because of the dress many more are aware of scoliosis and Eugenie’s willingness to accept herself, scars and all.