As a young teenager Scarlett Curtis @scarcurtis had what should have been a very standard operation for scoliosis… but it left her in crippling pain. For a year, she was in pain every day, used a wheelchair for long periods, and couldn’t stand the feeling of any fabric touching her back. She was depressed, lonely, and withdrawn. Doctors couldn’t figure out what was wrong, and for a long time, many people even within the healthcare community made her feel like it was all in her head and she was making the whole thing up. Finally, after months of this, they gave her family the option for an “unnecessary” second surgery. It was during this procedure that they discovered there was a screw which had been pressing into her spine the entire time. As soon as they removed it, the pain went away. ...But the whole experience was traumatizing enough to a 14-15 year old girl that she then had what she describes as a complete breakdown, and didn’t leave the house for three years.
As a young adult, Scarlett decided to open up about her experiences with depression and anxiety, and started a lifestyle blog with a major focus on mental health. In addition to her own blog, Scarlett has written for The Guardian, Elle Magazine, The Times, and The Telegraph.
In 2017, Scarlett co-founded the feminist activist collective, @pinkprotest, seeking to redefine what activism means for young people, and to make activism accessible and fun.
Although the story of her adolescence is infuriating, it ultimately led to her remarkable ability to help others and be a catalyst for change. She helps inspire us to have conversations about mental health and to normalize that subject matter. Scarlett also represents that there is community available for all of us… and that through community, we can be and achieve anything we dream of.
Scarlett is on a mission to make the world a better, safer place. Make sure you follow her - and the Pink Protest - on social media to learn about how you can get involved!