Princess Eugenie made headlines last week when she wore a backless wedding dress, showing off her scoliosis scar. Now, Martha Hunt is following in her footsteps. The 29-year-old model took to her social media on Sunday, two days after Princess Eugenie’s royal wedding, to highlight her own scoliosis scar—and to shut down standards that say scars aren’t beautiful.
The Victoria’s Secret angel posted two pictures on her Twitter and Instagram of her in a backless dress, similar to Princess Eugenie’s, where her scar is visible. The pictures show Hunt in a crosswalk with her back toward the camera, showing off her vertical scoliosis surgery scar down her spine. “I think my back got scoliosis cuz I swerved the lane,” she captioned the picture on Twitter.
After Princess Eugenie’s wedding, Hunt took to her social media to explain why her visible scar was such a big deal. “Very powerful moment! Princess Eugenie is taking pride in her #scoliosis scar and helping change the perception of what is beautiful,” Hunt wrote on Twitter.
In March, Hunt wrote an essay for Thrive Global about her experience with scoliosis, a sideways curvature of the spine, and how it affected her modeling career. When Hunt had her surgery, right after she graduated high school, she told the doctor to give her “the smallest scar possible,” afraid of how it would affect her career. “Even still, I was nervous about how clients would respond,” Hunt said.
It wasn’t until she became older and more successful that Hunt began to embrace her scar and view it as something beautiful rather than something hindering her career. “There was a time when I felt I was scamming the industry, that inevitably clients would pick out my flaws. I thought my slight limp and 14-inch scar down my back deemed me imperfect. I dreaded negative feedback, but it never came,” Hunt said.
Now, Hunt is using her platform to change beauty standards and inspire others to embrace their insecurities and “imperfections” too. “The adversity I faced with my career and body image ultimately empowered me. That drive trumped my hesitations about what brands would think of my abnormalities,” Hunt said. “If I didn’t use my platform to shed light on scoliosis, I would miss out an important opportunity to impact the scoliosis community. When I was diagnosed, I did not have a public figure to relate to, and I yearned for that kind of awareness to better understand what was happening to my body.”