Growing up with a facial scar meant Evie Harrison felt that she didn't tick the box of what society terms ‘conventional beauty’. But over the years she has discovered that true beauty comes not from perfection, but from embracing your imperfections.
How did your scar impact you growing up?
I was only two when I was scraped across the face by a cat. It didn’t impact me much when I was a child, but when I reached secondary school, people used to ask me about it all the time and I became much more self-conscious. Then, when I started to wear make-up, it became more noticeable because the product doesn’t sit into the scar and the white line looked more pronounced.
How has your scar impacted your confidence growing up?
It definitely knocked my confidence a bit growing up, but I learned to accept it. My boyfriend thinks it’s the coolest thing ever. He loves it and that impacted how I feel about it today. Doing this photoshoot has really helped me to think about it in a more positive light too.
Photography by Barry McCall
What does beauty mean to you?
Feeling comfortable in your own skin, embracing imperfections and feeling confident.
Have you embraced it?
It’s not something I can cover up so I had to embrace it. It’s just there. Yes, I’ve accepted it now so unless someone asks me about it I forget it’s there. It never stopped me doing anything, but growing up, posing for pictures I’d always turn to and hide that side of my face. Now, I’m proud to show it off.
When have you felt your most confident or beautiful?
On holidays, when you’re lying on the beach, no make-up and sunning yourself. On the beach, everyone is exposed and vulnerable in a way and that’s when I feel most beautiful.
Do you feel pressure to conform to conventional beauty standards?
Yes, I think with social media today pressure is everywhere you turn. It’s always been there, but I think social media has definitely added to the pressure to conform to conventional beauty standards so I think it’s important to be able to switch off from that. After all, most of it is airbrush and filters, people don’t actually look like that.
Do you think your mother’s approach to beauty has impacted your own?
Yes, I’ve learned tips from my mum to boost my self-confidence. She’s very glamorous and believes in doing little things every day that make you feel good and help give me confidence. It could be spending an extra few minutes in the morning on your skincare regime or on your hair, but whatever it is just taking the time on yourself will make you feel better.
As leading advocates for real beauty with a rich history diversifying the images of women portrayed in commercial media, Dove’s latest campaign is an empowering call to shatter unrealistic beauty standards. IMAGE recruited Irish women as part of Dove's project #ShowUs which is doing the important work of filling the gaps between how beauty has been depicted for generations. With the goal of true inclusivity in mind, we can finally begin to expand society’s definition of beauty.