Owning My Burn Scars -- Kiki Vo on Self-Love, Healing, and The Process of Discovering Yourself After Trauma

Photo credit:  @snappilots

Photo credit: @snappilots

"I am a third-degree burn survivor. I was burned in a house fire at the age of nine with my mother and two younger sisters. My mother didn’t survive that fire. Growing up, I didn’t know what it means to have self-love. I was a victim of the fire and my own self-hatred. However, my mentality shifted when I started to reclaim my story and share my vulnerabilities with others in the burn community. I start to recognize that this journey of self-love is a forever one. It’s not linear and it’s not perfect—- and that’s absolutely okay. Somedays I wake up feeling flawless like Beyoncé and somedays I just have a hard time. I acknowledge my strength in being vulnerable while holding myself accountable for healing and growing. Since high school, I have shared my testimony through many media outlets and burn conferences/camps. It was through these opportunities that I learned more about myself and how to truly practice self-love. My practice is simple: not to stay so focused on achieving a certain benchmark, or a certain perfection, but rather to enjoy the process of learning and discovering yourself. Self-love is a journey, not a destination." — @tinykiki_36