Handmade candles with the ‘Real Women’ scars light-up body positivity

They are real women, there are scars on their bodies, representing what they have been through.

Jess and Sue Jackson, who run the home decor business Number Sixty Two, were making the customised candles. Picture: Ji-Rou Wu

A female figure whom a small hook is carving on, instead of bleeding, white dust falls just like tiny snowflakes. It’s a candle. She has a toned body where five scars are right on the abdomen. Each is about one centimetre, decorated with silver leaves, on her tiny, lovely body.

However, this happened to a real woman, with all the scars and pain only enlarged thousands of times.

Ellie Moore has endometriosis, a painful disorder in which tissue similar to the lining of the womb grows in other places. She has suffered from crippling pain and massive bleeding every her period, which forced her to cancel countless night outs and dates.

“My bleeding is the hardest part, when I’m going out, I have to pack six big pads because I don’t know whether I’m going to leak. Sometimes you have to stay home in bed with seven hot water bottles,” Ellie said. 

And the bloated body has become her struggle as well. Ellie said: “I tend to wear a very loose top so you can’t see anything.”

“When I’m having a flare-up, I can look like nine months pregnant, and if I’m at work or shopping or something, people will say: ‘oh, when are you due?’ That can knock your confidence, especially with possible infertility.”

To control her condition, Ellie needed to undergo laparoscopic surgery to remove all the endometrium that was around, not in the worm, which left five ‘keyholes’ on her body. 

When she saw a video on TikTok about marking scars on goddess candles, that was her encounter with the small business Number Sixty Two. She left a comment: “Can you do one in honour of endometriosis❤️ Your art is amazing xxx.’”

Then they started chatting and became friends. Ellie shared her story, and she received a wonderful gift, a customised candle created to represent her, named after Ellie.

She remembered the moment she unwrapped the parcel, “It was very nice to see the scars on this little figure who has no emotions, and she looked lovely. It was just really empowering.”

“I have never seen a brand do anything around endometriosis. It’s nice to have a little reminder. Love your body. It’s beautiful even with the endometriosis scars.” 

@numbersixtytwo_

Reply to @ellie_jayne18 We would love to gift you this candle and send it to you for free if you live in the UK! Please message us on Instagram so we can arrange it 💝 #endometriosis #candles #customcandle #youareamazing

♬ Go – Cat Burns

The video about Ellie’s candle has reached 464k views on TikTok. It’s a big hit and an encouragement for Jess and Sue Jackson, who run the business Number Sixty Two. They have never thought about going this far.

Jess said: “I think I just had a thought one day to think of the candles. They look so beautiful and toned, and most people would love to have a figure like that, but it doesn’t always represent people.” 

Jess’s nursing background inspired her to think differently, “There are lots of people with scars and bruises. Their bodies would be different, and I wanted to create that on a candle.”

And the first thing that comes to their mind is the C-section scar, which is for Sue, who experienced the unconfidence in her body as well.

“When we were younger, mum always hated her scar whenever we were on holiday, and she was wearing a bikini,” Jess said.

So they thought about creating the ‘Real Women Collection’, to show all kinds of scars and marks of heart-breaking journeys which happen on real women’s bodies.

“But actually, to think that the scar has produced me and my sister probably makes mum very proud.”

@numbersixtytwo_

REAL WOMEN CANDLES ✨ representing beautiful ladies around the world 💗 #women #womensupportingwomen #bodypositivity #candles #fyp #candlemaking #smallbusiness

♬ As It Was – Harry Styles

By showing the hidden scars on candles, Jess and Sue want to redefine those unwanted ‘skin marks.’

As more and more people have reached out to Number Sixty Two, the collection eventually grows into a more diverse assembly, including mastectomy, stretch marks, scoliosis, endometriosis, PCOS, ectopic pregnancy, miscarriage, heart surgery scar and stoma bag.

“People have probably at some time in their lives, especially the women who reach out to us, have looked at their bodies and felt let down.”

“But if we can show them at the end of their journey the reflection for themselves, to look at their bodies and go, ‘you know what? I have been through this, but I’m still here. I’m strong, and actually I’m quite proud of that.’ If that helps them have a bit more of a positive attitude towards their bodies, that makes us really happy,” Jess smiled.

The small business soon becomes a dream of these two. They have always tried to carry the emotions and empathise with the pain their customers have endured.

Jess and Sue showed their most relatable candles, scoliosis and C-section scar. Picture: Ji-Rou Wu

”You actually have to shave the figure out, and even just do that on a candle, it’s like ‘God, someone had to go through that in real life,’ It’s horrific,” Sue described her feelings while making mastectomy candles.

“Your heart breaks when listening to what they have been through,” Jess’s voice broke as she said.

Like Phoebe’s story, one of the most heart-wrenching but powerful journeys.

She was diagnosed with stage three ovarian cancer last year when only 22. To stop the spreading of the tumours, she had to go through major surgery and aggressive chemical treatment.

The operation took away her whole reproductive system and left a long scar on her body, from the sternum down to the pubic bone.

The ‘Real Women Collection’ helps people to embrace their scars. Picture: Ji-Rou Wu

“Everything is gone. All I have ever wanted is to be able to carry my own babies. Now that has been taken away from me because I had to have everything removed,” Phoebe said.

She is grateful that at least she has the chance to freeze her eggs, and she also tries to look at her scars on the bright side. When seeing the video from Number Sixty Two, she has never been that desperate to want to own one.

“People might think that is really weird because they won’t want to be reminded of what has happened, but I’m trying to think of it in a positive way.”

She bought two customised candles for herself, one is slimmer, and the other one is curvier.

“I’m trying to get a bit fitter and tighten my scars. So my idea is that when I’m not that anymore, I’m going to light it and burn it. And then I’m going to keep the fitter one forever.” 

The way to heal is not to hide the scars because of the hate and shame. It will always be better to embrace it and accept it. One day the scars will fade, but the braveness and the growth will keep and stay.