‘Scars are tattoos with better stories.’
In the Victorian era, warriors’ sported scars proudly because the number of scars they had was directly proportional to the number of vicious battles they had fought and out of which they had emerged victorious. Dainty damsels used to be enamored of such scarred knights-in-shining-armour seeing in them protectors and bodyguards who would not let anyone touch a hair on their pretty heads. Fables and tales of romance always had a soldier protagonist, who would write letters to a woman he was in love with, amidst wars and bloodshed on the battlefield. The days of the war are over now(hopefully!). But the romance with scars is not over yet.
All of us like to tell stories related to our scars and marks. The more hideous the scar, the more interesting and dangerous the tale associated with it. Probably that explains why everyone makes a beeline for getting a tattoo done or getting one’s ears pierced. Apart from the rakish look it lends one’s personality, it gives one a story to tell, an experience to mull over and discuss with others. And for that exact reason scars come in very handy. They are natural, unlike the tattoo that you got done at a tattoo shop. They talk about your strength and they talk about your experience. They exhibit you in a different light.
Many would choose to use creams to obscure the marks or gels to erase them. But there are those who don’t resort to such means. They don’t care how marked they look or how de-glam they appear. And in that process, they are perceived differently from those wannabes who try to follow in the footsteps of actors with flawless skin. They come off as confident beings who don’t care how they look.
They are seen as more real than the picture-perfect smooth-skinned doll-like women and foppish men. They see themselves as people who are comfortable in their own skins, who don’t seek to be a part of the rat race for size-zero figures and impeccable skin. They are the real men and women, scarred and marked, by people, by experiences and by the world, all of which are real.
Come to think of it, scars are kind of romantic. A cute line on your calf or a birthmark on the top of your left arm. A weird burn mark on your wrist or a cut across your thigh. Some might be the result of a daring biking adventure or some an outcome of a rock climbing expedition. That burn might have resulted from a cooking fiasco and the cut might be a reminder of the fight you had with your sibling.
Scars are receptacles for stories. They contain in their dried pustules and puckered skin the memories of the days gone by. They are beautiful ways of sharing stories with your loved ones.
Imagine your lover sitting next to you, caressing the mark on your arm while you narrate the history of that mark. What bliss! Scars bring people together, it seems. On a bonfire night with friends, when you are asked to tell a story, you can proudly show your scar and tell the daring adventure you were in and how you managed to fight those bandits and come out unscathed. Never mind if the story is not true. The scar is true enough!