The summer of 2016 will largely be remembered for its tragic gun violence in the US. Artists have begun responding to the devastating number of deaths south of our border, with new songs popping up every day. This week alone, Tori Kelly released “Blink of an Eye” for singer Christina Grimmie, who was fatally shot by a deranged fan. Ariana Grande and Victoria Monét penned “Better Days” in support of the #BlackLivesMatter movement. Just today, Broadway star Lin-Manuel Miranda and Jennifer Lopez performed their song “Love Make The World Go Round” in support of the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting on the Today Show.
Now, Canadian artist Alessia Cara is celebrating her 20th birthday in the best way possible: by releasing her self-empowerment anthem, “Scars to Your Beautiful,” and the single couldn’t have arrived at a better time.
Following in the vein of songs like Christina Aguilera’s “Beautiful,” Hedley’s “Invincible,” TLC’s “Unpretty” and Kelly Clarkson’s “Invincible,” Cara’s “Scars to Your Beautiful” is an ode to rising above feeling less-than in a world where we are constantly bombarded with the media’s unrealistic and unhealthy beauty standards and racial inequality.
The video features real people sharing stories of their emotional and physical scars, with members of the gay and transgender communities, cancer survivors and more all represented. Fellow singer JoJo also appears in the video, thanks to the two women sharing an admiration for one another’s careers as well as the same management team.
Cara concludes the stoic and poignant video with a message of empowerment, saying “Oftentimes, the world both directly and indirectly tells us that we shouldn’t be happy with ourselves if we don’t fit certain beauty standards. Scars to your beautiful is a reminder that beauty isn’t only one look, shape, size or colour. It isn’t even always tangible. It comes in an endless amount of forms and we need to recognize that.”
Happy birthday to Alessia Cara, who has given all of us a gift with “Scars to Your Beautiful.”