An open letter to Carrie Underwood

Dear Carrie,

IMG-4494I’ve never felt like I was beautiful. So when I had melanoma removed from my face last last year, it was kind of difficult to take in. Here I was, who I consider to be an average-looking woman, who would now have a big scar on her face.

Through the support of my family and friends, I knew I couldn’t let it bother me. I didn’t have a choice. The surgeon even told me right before I went back for surgery that there are so many nerves in the face that there was a chance the right side of my face would be paralyzed. He also said my smile might not ever be the same.

“But, we don’t have a choice,” he said. “You have melanoma, and it could kill you if we don’t get it removed.”

I refused to be ashamed of the scar on my right cheek. I knew I was more than what people see on the outside.

When I read about your fall and all the stitches on your face, my heart broke for you. While I had around 20 stitches, you had more than 40. I can’t imagine what it’s like having your beautiful, flawless face cut up like that.

But a part of me was encouraged. I had something in common with you- a scarred face. And I had no doubt that you would still be beautiful.

After the first of the year, I read that you posted your first picture of yourself since the accident. I was eager to see you, confident as ever, displaying your wounds for the world to see. But instead I only saw your eyes peering out behind a scarf and a hat.

It’s difficult to put into words, but it made me feel… ashamed. I was never afraid to post pictures of my wound or my scar. If you are hiding your scars, should I be doing the same?

If you are too ashamed to share your face with the world after it’s been cut up, should I also be ashamed?

Should I not be sharing my journey of healing with people who follow me on Instagram and Facebook, or those who read my blog?

IMG-4824However, I also realize you’re facing something I can’t even begin to imagine. While hundreds of people see my photos, millions of people see yours. But Carrie, I’m here to tell you that there’s more to you than how you look.

I read another blog post recently about how it’s not your job to be inspirational. I have to disagree. Carrie, you are a positive role model for millions of girls and women. You are a celebrity and a public figure. Whether or not you want to be an inspiration to the public and your fans, you ARE.

I pray you find the courage to show the world that gorgeous face of yours. You have an opportunity to empower many women who have been through similar experiences and need to hear you say, “Here are my scars. I am not ashamed.”

Show people like me, who do not hide their scars, that we have nothing to be ashamed of.

“When the sharpest words wanna cut me down
I’m gonna send a flood, gonna drown them out
I am brave, I am bruised
I am who I’m meant to be – this is me.
Look out cause here I come
And I’m marching on to the beat I drum
I’m not scared to be seen
I make no apologies – this is me.”
– “This is Me”, The Greatest Showman Soundtrack

11 thoughts on “An open letter to Carrie Underwood

  1. Bonnie Trout

    Nat, so proud of the way you have handled your melanoma situation, treatment, surgery, pain, and scaring. Also thankful and proud of your friends for the support they have given you. And……glad you have Mister to comfort you.

  2. Una Catania

    There is beauty in scars. Scars tell a story of tribulation and triumph. I display my scars proudly because they are part of me and my history. I used to hide large birthmarks on my left thight, but now I proudly display those, as well. I call them the tattoos that I was born with.

    I love your article. And I love the picture of you and your lovely cat, Mister. What stood out in that picture to me was not your scar but your smile. Thank you for sharing your story and your scar with the world. Your story will make many people aware of melanoma and thus save lives. Now there is great beauty in that!

  3. Traci O.

    Natalie… thank you for this article, all of your thoughts, i had thought myself when i read about Carrie and her stitches. I have basal cell nevus syndrome, was diagnosed at 16. Have had probably 10 to 15 surgeries and over a hundred removals from my face, upper body and back. Mohs and cut, burn are my everyday vocabulary. But as you, i wake up everyday with my scars and face the world as best i know how. I tell myself it can be so much worse, that i live as normal as possible. So i thank you for giving a voice to all of us out there, that have have gone through and are not ashamed

  4. Sandra Stanley

    Natalie you really ARE beautiful! So thrilled you beat melanoma! I have several mean scars myself. Thank you for expressing what I have been feeling.

  5. lpl1963rw

    I agree 100% with you! Thank you for sharing. You have nothing to be ashamed of and should never be afraid to be who you are. You are an inspiration.

  6. Joy Laraque

    Just left the plastic surgeon consult today and my melanoma is in the exact place as yours. After all of the drawing he did on my cheek, I think I will have a very similar cut as you. My surgery is next week. Thanks for giving me a better outlook on what i am up against.

  7. Margaret Rayne

    Natalie great message !! you are beautiful, remember others see you !
    I experienced a melanoma as well and I am living with the scar .
    The are many people with worse case scenarios …..
    We are blessed to be alive and we are grateful .
    thank you for standing up and walking in beauty .

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