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Nessa Barrett Defends TikTok’s ‘Scar Girl’ Amid Controversy

Nessa Barrett Defends TikTok’s ‘Scar Girl’ Amid Controversy

TikTok star Nessa Barrett has come to the defence of ‘scar girl’ – a creator on the platform who is receiving criticism after the internet became convinced that her facial scar wasn’t real.

Annie Bonelli has nearly half a million followers on TikTok and has risen to fame over the past few weeks due to a unique scar she has on her left cheek. 

Lately, Annie (now colloquially known as ‘scar girl’) is being accused by people on the app, saying that she is faking her scar in order to gain social media traction.

The accusation started when fans pointed out that older photos of the creator show her with a reddish, faded scar. Her scar now has become much darker in her more recent posts.

Questions about the positioning, angle, and width of the scar have also been questioned, highlighted in a comparison video by creator @livelaughwhor3. 

On January 1st, Annie took to TikTok to explain the changes in her scar.

In the video, she said that the difference in size is because she actually has two scars. The first is from an original injury (that happened in March 2021). The second (and darker scar) occurred when she applied topical cream that ended up chemically burning her face, creating an even bigger scar.

Annie also said that her “body has always taken long to heal”, which is why the scar is still as visible as it is.

The video seemed to have no effect on the conspirators, with users commenting things under her video like “why are you gaslighting me?” and “me lying to myself in the mirror”.

In an attempt to silence critics, Annie then posted a video of herself attempting to wipe off her scar to no avail. In the caption of the video, she shared that she received the scar in March 2020 and was originally very “embarrassed” by the “permanent mark” on her face. She wrote that “[She] was made to show those out there, they’re more than their scars.” She added that she would “never stop using [her] platform for DV awareness and body positivity.” 


hey guys, originally in March of 2020 when I was injured and realized that this would be a permanent mark on my face forever I was embarrassed. I was so upset that I thought my face was ruined as insecure as I was already at 15 navigating highschool. I felt like the opportunity to look at myself in the mirror and smile was taken away from me because of a cruel situation. It was until one day that I realized that covering my scar and openly hating it was a disservice to those close to me and myself suffering from insecurities. While I decided not to cover it for those reasons it never fully went away and neither did my insecurities because when I looked in the mirror I saw the reason behind why it was there. Unfortunately I had a poor reaction to the first topical I tried in an attempt to fade it. I was sloppy applying it as well and this led to a longer injury. I was in a dark place knowing that it was now even worse. I had to wait til that fully healed to start a second treatment which I began in august. Since then, this treatment has been super invasive and I cannot emphasize the pain directed around that injury. It’s at a point where it genuinely does look gross, it has risen and it’s scabbed over. I also did not think about how tanner would get in the scabbed area when I did it. It should get better with time but unfortunately all of my scars do still heal brown. While I don’t think it’s right that people mindlessly comment hate for whatever reason it is, I do make a decision to put myself out on the internet. My account was made to show those out there, they’re more than their scars. Not to have a comment section showing those same people they should hate themselves because of their scars. I’ll never stop using my platform for DV awareness and body positivity. I hope this video is what y’all need to move on or at least understand. No one should make a comment on someone’s scars, especially not knowing the history behind that scar or the person on the screen. If anyone ever needs to talk my dms are open, I would love to listen to your stories and hype y’all up. I promise I hear u and I see u. Thank you and I hope y’all will move with grace in the future.

♬ MEAN! (Remix) [with Noah Kahan] – Madeline The Person

Annie hoped this video “would help people move on”, but unfortunately it seems to have made things worse. TikTokers in her comment section are now accusing her of putting on “long-lasting makeup” to fake the scar or using a “dry makeup wipe”. 

TikTok / @wtmab

Although it is unlikely there is a lipstick out there that so long-lasting, this would not be the first time someone has allegedly lied to gain more followers. In 2021, there were a number of creators participating in a trend of faking their mental illnesses –  including DID, ADHD, and Tourette’s – for social media ‘clout’.

In the case of ‘scar girl’, there is no way to know for sure if she is telling the truth. But if she isn’t, it might be more helpful to unpack this situation with loved ones or a therapist — not the haters in her comment section. 

Musician Nessa Barrett agrees, urging her fans to leave Annie alone and stop the hate. 

The singer took to Twitter to share her opinions on the controversy and said, “What’s wrong with social media is that we are harassing a girl because of a scar and not using all of that energy toward people that actually deserve to have their platform removed.”

Not everyone seemed to be in agreement with Nessa though. Angry and confused commenters took to Instagram tea page @TeaTokTalk to hit back at the singer for her thoughts on ‘scar girl,’ even saying that Nessa herself needs to be de-platformed after her viral incident dancing to audio of the Quran being read aloud in 2020.

Nessa has since deleted her tweets on the subject and posted a lengthy reply to the criticism she received in an Instagram comment, where she reiterated her support for Bonelli and called out online negativity.

In the comment she shared that if her platform were to be removed it would actually “be valid” – owning up to the “many mistakes [she’s] made in the past.”

She went on to say that she “uses [her] platform and music to spread love and awareness of mental health,” and that she is forever sorry for the mistakes she has made and is learning from them. She clarified that she was never “malicious” in her actions. 

Nessa was inspired to say something about ‘scar girl’ because “her entire feed was filled with videos [about] the situation,” and she felt “sympathy” towards her because Annie allegedly got her scar from a domestic violence situation.

Annie has continued to post on her TikTok account, despite the hate, focusing on highlighting domestic violence awareness and positivity. 

Whether or not the scar is real or fake, we hope that Annie gets the support she needs.

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