Two months ago, I was at my new home in upstate New York where I’d moved with my my partner, Everest, and my three-year-old daughter, Ripley. I had been dealing with moving for the past few months, from LA back to New York, shifting furniture and unpacking, and all the exhausting fun that comes with relocating.
I was overtired but happy. My personal things were scattered between the moving truck, the rental house and our new house, and in the chaos I hadn’t realised that I had forgotten to take my medication for a few days (I’d been diagnosed with Lupus and APS after Ripley was born).
Everest and I had scheduled our first date in what seemed like years – we were going to a music festival. We’d hired a babysitter; it was going to be perfect.
I don’t remember falling, but I do remember my partner telling me everything would be okay and I remember the stretcher and ambulance in flashes (including them cutting my favourite Johnny Cash shirt off and me hilariously begging them not to when I was bleeding profusely from my head, chin and missing a tooth).
The days after the accident, in the hospital, were the worst. My lip was so big I could barely talk, and I had so much mouth pain. I couldn’t eat. I couldn’t sleep. But it could have been so much worse – I could have had my daughter in my arms. I could have ended up in a wheelchair. I’ll take a few scars over that.
I didn’t know what the damage would be long-term. I didn’t know if the fashion world would be ready for me with scars, so while I was recovering I kept telling myself: ‘You’ll keep doing music, filming, and enjoying what you’re doing.’ I also follow girls on social media – there’s Elly Mayday, who writes about having ovarian cancer – and seeing someone like her has really helped. On social media, we’re constantly inundated with perfection, and this is the flip side. This is how other people are living as well.
When I posted a photo of my injuries and scars on Instagram – I’ve got a lightning bolt scar on my forehead and scars on my lip and chin – I wasn’t sure how it would be received. But I am really astounded and grateful for all the supportive messages I got, and am feeling very loved. There are so many people going through something hardcore and feeling ashamed about it. I don’t want people to feel that way.
I thought I didn’t like my scars, but now I dig them. Scars are cool. They tell a story. My scar is one of my identifying features now. I’m going to try to own it. I could laser it away, but I don’t want to. I always think of Joaquin Phoenix, and how great his scars are – how they make his face so interesting.
Through my daughter, I’m also reminded how important it is to not be critical of myself. Sometimes my daughter will come home and say, ‘Mama, I’ve got big legs.’ And I’ll say, ‘You’ve got perfect legs. You’ve got tall, strong, healthy legs.’
The way people see you doesn’t always put something good in your head, but I reiterate the facts: we’re both tall, strong, healthy.