The song “Scars to Your Beautiful”, sung by Alessia Cara, was released in 2015; a time in which social media was rapidly advancing thus creating heavy influence on those who used it. In 2015, roughly 29% of the world’s population was using some sort of social media platform, so one can only imagine the influence it had on society. “Scars to Your Beautiful” ascribes to the very real and raw social root that is body image, and asserts a very powerful message that needed to be talked about at this time. The term “influencer” started to bloom and become very popular in 2015, as people were giving random people platforms to share what they are passionate about. While many of these influencers used their platforms to promote hobbies or tutorials, many used them to promote unobtainable beauty standards. 


Alessia Cara is a Pop singer, and the songs she has released all have an upbeat, catchy, and rhythmic feel to them. Pop Music is a very general term and can refer to all sorts of types of music (i.e. rock, funk, jazz etc.) because it is constantly changing over time. Cara created this song as a pop song because pop music is known to adhere to the largest population of people. Pop allowed this song to maximize its potential for reaching and inspiring a wide and diverse audience with its message of self-acceptance and empowerment. Pop music’s accessibility and ability to convey positive messages to a broad demographic made it a suitable choice for delivering the song’s powerfulness.

Interestingly enough, being a song highlighting women’s body image, Cara co-wrote the song with all male writers: Warren Felder, Andrew Wansel, and Coleridge Tillman. Though none of these men understand the struggle behind women’s body image in the same way, Caras states that this song can resonate with men as well: “I wanted all kinds of people — young, old, whatever their situation, whether it’s visible scars, non-visible scars — just a bunch of different women, and there are some men in there as well, because it can reach out to guys too’ (Cara). Through the use of male co-writers Cara was able to reach every kind of audience possible, and further spread her message. 

Alessia Cara gained initial inspiration for this song from a show that she watched depicting women who were getting plastic surgery. This sparked her attention and made her question why as a society women feel the need to change their bodies, and how the media enforces and encourages this. She used this song as a way to address issues related to self-esteem and body image. She wanted to encourage people to embrace their imperfections and be confident in their own skin. Scars to Your Beautiful” carries a message of self-love and self-acceptance, aiming to inspire listeners to recognize their beauty, both inside and out, and to challenge conventional beauty norms. Utilizing lyrics like

“You should know you’re beautiful just the way you are

And you don’t have to change a thing”

as a way to empower women, girls, and people everywhere. Within her music video, Cara featured various women and men who don’t fit society’s expectation of “beautiful” come out and share their experiences with their body image and self-worth struggles. The video highlights these women’s (and men’s) true beauty and is using this as a statement to challenge these standards created by the media. 


“Scars to Your Beautiful” also refers to eating disorders that stem from the use of media. Young girls want to replicate these models/influencers and look just like this unattainable body type, thus causing them to stop eating so they can fulfill this standard. 

She says, beauty is pain and there’s beauty in everything What’s a little bit of hunger? I could go a little while longer, she fades away.”

With not being able to obtain such a fake body type comes self-loathing and questions of worth which are directly linked to depression and how girls view themselves. Due to this, women’s physical health is indirectly impacted. When girls constantly see this unrealistic body type, it leads them to think that they are not enough and have to look a certain way to be viewed as pretty.