Kyle Hartman
June 3, 2016 10:40 AM EDT

It took me nearly 10 years to accept the 21-inch scoliosis scar running down my back and another five years to love it. Now, it’s just as much a part of me as my personality or the way that I laugh.

But being told at 13 you have to wear a back brace is devastating. It feels like the world is against you, because the last thing you want to be at that age is different. It didn’t help I wore braces on my teeth and thick glasses on my face — a trifecta of circumstances that made me a prime…

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