Sara Shakeel – “I just don’t want to die without a few scars”- Even better if they’re covered in glitter

I have stretch marks all over my buttocks because I was still in a child’s body when I became a woman. I hated them, when I had to put my bathing suit on. I wanted them to be invisible, just like a ghost. But I don’t want that, anymore. I want my scars to be little, shiny pieces of art. Better if they’re Sara Shakeel made. 

Pakistani artist Sara Shakeel transforms photos of stretch marks into beautiful artwork by highlighting them – not hiding them. All it takes is just some glitter and a lot – a lot- of empathy. 

Sara was inspired to start making stretch marks into glittery works of art after photographing one of her friends, who asked for her stretch marks to be retouched. She turned them into glitter and crystals, instead. And started revolutioning art to make a statement about our bodies. And how they are worth. No matter what. 

Crystals, diamonds, light’s tails and rainbow’s beams adorn Sara’s artwork, which feels more like a daydream than anything else. Because, thanks to her collage tecnique, she’s able to bring together elements that would normally never exist in the real world, but still, her combination of picture elements feel oddly realistic, despite the fantastical nature. Old images, portraits of powerful and famous women and pictures of female bodies are updated with bursts of flowers, diamonds, paintings and galaxy motifs – in a dreamy, surreal, nostalgic way.

Sara’s artwork is all about creating something eye-catching out of an ordinary reality, making mesmerizing images by using photos and replacing some of their elements with another pattern. And about healing – not only scars. “Each picture heals a part of me & i hope it heals a part of you too”, writes Sara on her Instagram bio. And she is so right. Her art feels like a caress. 

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