Reclaiming scars

I have a surgical scar that measures just over 5 vertical inches on my abdomen. I remember looking at my stomach in the mirror a few days before surgery, thinking that it would be the last time I would see it scar-free. In the months after, I look at my scar as if it were alien.

I told a friend recently that I didn’t know if I would ever wear a bikini or an item of clothing that reveals my stomach again. She told me she knew someone who had abdominal surgery and got a tattoo near or on her scar. This woman was a dancer who often wore crop tops that showed off her tattoo.

I don’t know if I’ll ever do something like that. Still, I love the concept of reclaiming scars, of shedding shame and self-consciousness around them. What would happen if more people reclaimed their scars, physical or emotional? I interpret this woman’s tattoo as a reclamation and celebration, a refusal to hide her body and its story.

Now, I lightly trace along the incision line of my scar. Over the past year and a half, I have become more familiar with it.  It is now part of my body’s story, part of me.

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One response to this post.

  1. Less than a week ago I had surgery that was completely unexpected and naturally unwanted. I haven’t even seen under the bandages yet, and have no idea of what potential scar I’m facing. Getting a tattoo has always been on my “someday” list, and maybe this will be where I end up getting it.

    Reply

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