Justin Brower was in the kitchen baking with his daughter Mya when she said something that made his heart sink.
“Mya was making cookies at home so had tied her hair up,” Justin, 44, from Raleigh, North Carolina told the BBC. “Her twin sister commented that she should wear it up more often because it looked cute, but Mya said her scar was ugly and people think it is weird.”
Mya, who is 12, had Chiari decompression surgery four years ago, which left her a long scar on the back of her neck.
Justin told Mya that he thought her scar was cool and that other people would too, so he asked for her permission to post a photo of it on Twitter.
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“I was just expecting the people who I normally interact with to reply,” Justin says, “I never expected it to resonate so much with so many people.”
But resonate it did, receiving more than 60,000 shares and more than 12,000 comments.
Many shared photos of their own scars and urged Mya to see hers as a symbol of her resilience.
“Scars are a sign of strength both physically and mentally. It shows she’s a warrior, wrote one Twitter user.
Justin added that he is not interested in telling his daughter how to look.
“This should go without saying, but it’s her hair and body, she can do whatever she wants. I just want my girls to be confident. Confident in their bodies. Confident in themselves. If I can help teach them that, then I’ve done my job as a dad.”
But most importantly, how does Mya feel about it all?
“I can’t believe how many people responded to my dad’s stupid tweet,” she told the BBC. “He’s not famous so I don’t understand how it got so popular.”
She says seeing other people sharing photos of their scars made her feel differently about her own.
“A scar makes you who you are and if people don’t like it they can just go away.”