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Mitzi Miller: ‘How I learned to stop resenting – and start accepting’

Award-winning journalist talks about accepting her liver transplant scar

As many women go through the maturation stages in their lives, they learn to truly live out an age-old adage: “Embrace yourself, flaws and all.”

For high-profile author, writer and editor Mitzi Miller, the sage advice came with its own set of challenges. In an as-told-to format with Brooklyn, New York-based writer Anslem Samuel Rocque, Miller tells her truth about acceptance, body image and dealing with an illness that resulted in a liver transplant, which left her with a scar.

Mitzi Miller shows off her scar.

Mitzi Miller shows off her scar.

Courtesy of Mitzi Miller

Miller is widely known for her impactful work during her stint as editor-in-chief of JET magazine in May 2011, then editor-in-chief of EBONY magazine in April 2014.

Her story is part of espnW’s “Love, My Body” summer series that includes multiple essays and letters on body image.

Read her story as she takes us on a journey of acceptance.

“There’s nothing you can do to prepare for the first time you see the scar. It’s such a deep cut, and the lines are so huge that it’s not something that will ever completely close – you will always see this huge upside-down T on me. All across the scar lines are the dots from the staples, which have faded over the years, but it’s still slightly pinker than my normal skin color, and the scar tissue makes it a little bit puffier than the rest of my skin. It looks very tribal.

“The scar felt foreign at first, and I had mixed emotions. Obviously, I was thankful to have it because it meant that I made it. I was one of the lucky people that was given the gift of a donor, and I’m here to tell the story.

“But I can remember that first summer going to the beach and wearing a two-piece – because I was a 20-something and that’s what I’ve always worn. I didn’t even think about it until I noticed people staring.

“I’m very proud of my scar now, and I have been for a very long time, but in the beginning it definitely helped me make a lot of smart decisions about people. If I was talking to someone who was very focused on physical perfection and what is and isn’t beautiful, I would remove myself because I’m actually extremely imperfect. I’m very comfortable with that, and my scar allowed me to be more aware of the kind of person I want to share my imperfections with.”

Read more at espnW.

Kelley Evans is a general editor at The Undefeated. She is a food passionista, helicopter mom and an unapologetic southerner who spends every night with the cast of The Young and the Restless by way of her couch.