The Potential Beauty in Scars

Scars tend to be seen in an almost uniformly negative light. They are associated with blemishes and disfigurement, and are consequently treated as something to be hidden, corrected, or removed. For someone with major scarring from a traumatic accident or another case of more serious scarring, scars may be a source of lasting pain stemming from their connection to the trauma or the severity of the physical scarring, and plastic surgery or other procedures may be required to correct scarring in such cases to prevent more emotional and psychological damage for the patient. Such cases are extreme, however, and as Tucson personal injury lawyers may tell you, such surgeries can be financially traumatic as well.

On the other hand, there are less extreme degrees of scarring that come along with daily living and which usually do not require a doctor’s assessment. These scars are physically harmless besides the initial discomfort of the injury, but still hold the potential of inflicting emotional damage on the person who bears them, mainly owing to the predominantly negative connotation attached to scars. These scars, however, those that are not attached to trauma and have no medical need to be corrected, should and need not cause shame or embarrassment, though they so often do. There is a recent movement to reclaim our imperfections as indications that we’ve lived. As New Yorker writer David Owen notes, our bodies become “historical document[s]” where our “moments are memorialized in scar tissue.” Scars are unique to our experiences, unique to each individual. We change with each of these experiences and so do our bodies, signaling something potentially emotional or deep from the very surface of our skin. Dealing with scars is not always a matter of their physical correction, but a correction in our thinking that has conditioned us to hate any malformations in our body, anything outside of an unblemished ideal. Life is messy, though, and our bodies reflect this beautiful sort of chaos, providing us with lasting reminders of our lives and how we lived them.

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