Burn Survivor Shalom Blac on Finding the Courage to Share Her Scars Publicly
After a childhood accident left her with disfiguring burns, this YouTube beauty star endured bullying and low self-esteem.
Welcome to Deep Dives, a new Health video series where inspiring people talk about a health topic that's meaningful to them and share relatable stories around health and wellness. Watch Shalom Blac's Deep Dive above!
YouTube influencer Shalom Blac, 25, became a burn survivor at age nine. She and her sister were under a table in her mother's restaurant in Africa when a hot substance fell in their direction, leaving Blac with such severe burns that she had to stay in a hospital for months. To receive further treatment for her injuries, her family moved to the US, where she underwent multiple surgeries and enrolled in school.
Blac has shared her story before, but it took a long time to be so open about it. "I am a burn survivor, [but] I didn't want to talk about it," Blac tells Health. Part of her reluctance came from being bullied because of her burn scars. "I believed what people were calling me—monster, two-faced, scar-face. I didn't see beauty in myself," Blac says.
So she stayed quiet about her scars, using makeup to conceal them. "I didn't want to become a joke where people made fun of me; everyone I saw on YouTube was flawless," she explains. Then, she decided to publicly speak about what happened to her. "One day I just decided to share my story—I've gotten through a lot."
Blac has no regrets about being candid about her experience—or her decision to face the world without makeup for the first time. "The day I decided to take a chance and challenge myself was the day I felt like I really started my journey," she explains. "That moment, I felt so relieved. I felt like a weight was taken off my shoulders."
Watch the rest of Blac's deep dive in the video above.
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