(If you want advice about self harm scars in summer jump down a few paragraphs! )
In the Nordic countries - and other parts of Europe - it is beginning to get warmer and soon it will be summer time. Which often means less clothing, showing more skin and maybe even days on the beach in a bikini. For some that is the highlight of the year, the warmth and less clothing. I am one of those people, strangely enough.... i long for the warm days when i can wear shorts and a tank top outside, or train in a sports bra at the gym without anyone thinking its strange because its so cold outside, and also the days on the beach in a bikini. This mindset of course is only a very recent one (the past 1-2 years), before that i hated having to show my legs and arms. My legs have always been my biggest problem area and sitting down with shorts has been something i have hated, but also because they have had stretch marks and cellulite. Despite being a healthy weight and active they came during recovery as well as when i began to strength train and my legs grew. But then also the fact that my arms have self harm scars which have mostly faded but when i get a tan the scars are still a little whiter and so are more easily seen. In the past i longed for the warmth of summer but then when i realised that i would end up showing more skin because i was so warm, it didnt seem so fun. Not to mention that i still didnt have that great self body love when it came to being in a bikini and showing my stomach.
So... what has changed? I still have the scars on my arms and i still have cellulite, the stretch marks have basically faded or maybe i just dont even notice them at all, or that i am so pale so the white marks just fade into my natural paleness XD but I mostly realised that I don't care. That this is how my body looks and the best thing to do is to embrace it. I think many people do get that "summer beach body anxiety" but it is rather silly really, I mean why to on a 6 week crash diet only to end up regaining all the weight again because it was a fad diet they followed.
Anyway, I was asked about showing self harm scars during summer which I thought I would write a bit about.
The first thing is to not be ashamed of those scars, of course they might not be something you need to flash around and be proud over (?) But from your comment it sounds like you're not so much that type of person. Self harm scars show that you struggled but that you got through that struggle. Many people don't understand self harm, and in a way I guess that's good.... no person should find it normal or ok to hurt yourself or harm yourself in anyway. But at the same time I don't think people should call others "stupid" or worse just because they have self harmed. Self harm isn't something you do when you are feeling fine and happy... but something you do when you are dealing with alot of strong emotions and trying to cope, and also it is addictive. There were times I self harmed just so that I would have scars on my body and even if I hid my scars I knew that my outside would show just how broken I was on the inside.
But back to, how to cope. Hopefully the self harm is something of the past and only the scars remain? And then you should be proud of your progress and if people ask just say that it was in the past. You don't need to explain yourself and you don't need to answer if people ask. Some people might look more because they wonder what the marks might be but also maybe try to figure out your story or what it was that caused you to self harm. But you don't need to answer if you don't want to. You are allowed to go bare armed or wear shorts you don't need to hide your body even if you have scars.... you aren't alone with having scars, whether it's personally inflicted or due to injuries or surgery, you aren't alone.
I also have a large scar on my stomach from an operation when I was born and for me that scar is just a part of me and always there, i always feel so shocked when people ask me what happened (the worst was when someone asked me if it was a self harm scar, but also been asked if it was some sort of fat reduction XD ) but it feels like everyone has that scar on their stomach, but they don't. .. but it's just part of me and well, as I've been told by my readers if someone asks - or if children ask I just say that I fought with a tiger! (Or that is for my self harm scars anyway, the scar on my stomach I say is from an operation. .. most people find that cool and then that becomes the topic of conversation, or my tattoos. .... Hahhaha, just get a tattoo and that will become the conversation topic instead [joke! Don't do that unless you absaloutly want a tattoo])
I don't know how well I am answering your question, but in time you learn to deal with the stares and people's questions and you learn to not care. Instead you rock it and feel confident and don't let anyone bring you down. But it takes time so even if you feel nervous or worried now, trust me... nobody really cares that much, you are you and beautiful no matter what. And you need to feel confident and beautiful and then people's comments or questions or stares don't matter!
Also, I think there are some creams that might help with self harm scars though that depends on how they healed. And there is also make up to cover tattoos and self harm (once again, depends how they healed... if the scars were very deep and you've had stitches or the skin become sort of bumpy when the scar healed then make up doesn't work so well), but you can always try those and see :)
If anyone else has any advice on this, please comment below :)