For anyone who objects to scars because they're 'ugly', it's much uglier to stare at someone's body with a sneer on your face than to have scars in the first place. Every time you make someone feel self-conscious or uncomfortable for showing scarred skin, you're telling them that their body is unacceptable.
This is an incredibly damaging message to be sending someone who may be struggling to come to terms with trauma, dealing with chronic low self-esteem or having a generally bad time with their mental health. It's not easy to navigate the summer months when you've got self-harm scars. Even when they're healed, they can shine white in bright sun.
When I open the wardrobe, there's a fight in my head over whether it's worth the hassle of wearing a skirt that comes to my knees or a short sleeved shirt. I want to be comfortable and express myself through my clothes, but is it worth how small all those hostile or questioning stares will make me feel?
This summer, we should remember that hot weather can be difficult for people with scars, whether they're old or new, and that it can take courage to leave the house showing skin. For friends, family members, and partners of someone with scars, the best thing you can do is support their decision to wear what they feel comfortable in. If they'd rather cover up, fine.
If they want to wear summery clothes, that's fine too. Don't make their scars about you. If someone's a stranger to you, you have no right to ask personal questions about their scars (this also goes for tattoos, piercings, weight, shape, height, clothing and any other distinguishing markers - it's none of your business). And for goodness' sake, don't gawp. It's rude.
When people stare at my scars, I've simply started staring back. By making eye contact with them, I'm showing that I'm not going to be intimidated or shamed by their behaviour. Self-harm scars don't make me inferior. If my body in summer clothes bothers you, I'd advise you to look somewhere else.