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DIY Smilie Face Cutting

Hello all, and welcome to my first experience I've written for BME. Actually, my first contribution to BME at all! I've a few other things I want to write about, all of which happened before this, but having happened only a few hours ago I figured this might be a good place to start...

For months now I've wanted to scarify a smilie face on to my foot. Not quite sure why really, originally it was a tattoo that I wanted, but in the end I decided to scarify it instead. Probably in part because of my lack of funds, and partly because I could do it at home. Why on my foot? Quite simply because it means my parents won't see it when I wander about the house after having a shower! And I have the sort of parents who refuse to speak to you when you get your tongue pierced, so you'll see why I want to hide it!

I know of one other person whose scarified themself, and it was with their help that I finally convinced myself to go through with it, so thank you Katzefer!

So there I was, sitting on MSN with a newly bought disposable razor next to me, wondering how best to get at the blade itself, preferably without getting in too much of a mess. So I found myself a pair of DIY clippers, the sort of ones that anyone who's ever had an embarrassing (in my case anyway) experience with Game Workshop will know about, and started clipping away at the pieces of plastic that hold the blades on. It was all going so well until I grabbed the wrong part of the blade and sliced into my thumb. Thankfully not exactly a very painful experience, otherwise I might not have gone much further with my little expedition into slicing and dicing, but it did hold up the whole process for an hour or so as I tried to first of all stop my thumb from bleeding everywhere, and secondly make sure it was able to hold a razor blade steady.

So once the ever so traumatic experience with the sliced thumb was over and done with, I finally set about getting ready to start the actually scarification. Then I realised I couldn't draw, and as simple as a smilie face is (and mine was just a =] type one, no circles or anything needed) I was going to need something to work from before setting about with the actual cutting. I had toyed with the idea of drawing the face on my skin first, but I wasn't sure whether when I made the cut it would scab over the ink, meaning the ink was effectively tattooed into my skin, but a mixture of Katzefer's belief that it wouldn't, and my complete lack of faith in my own ability to get it right otherwise led me to drawing it on first.

I wasn't quite sure where to put it on my foot, but once I realised that my slippers didn't cover very much of my foot at all, I pretty much had to put it near the toes at the front. I drew it on both feet first of all, originally it was supposed to be straight but it ended up at a kind of jaunty squint angle by accident, and I kinda liked it like that so that's how it stayed. In the end I decided it didn't really matter which foot it was on, but because I'm right-handed I went towards doing it on my left foot for simple easiness. I had drawn it on with a thick whiteboard marker first, but realised that it was going to be a fairly thin cut so that might not give an accurate representation of what it would look like, so I washed off the marker and drew it on again in a ball point pen.

And finally I was ready to actually start the cutting.

But how hard do I press? Well, there was nothing to do but try, so I took what was left of the razor in my right hand, stretched the skin on my foot with my left hand and put blade to foot.

First of all nothing was happening, but I could definitely feel it, so I was somewhat confused. It wasn't sore in any way, but I didn't want to risk cutting too deep, so I quickly typed up "How hard am I supposed to be pressing??" to Katzefer on MSN.

Thankfully before she had even replied with "Do it lightly at first," the first droplets of blood had started showing. Not very much at first, so I dabbed them off, looking for any gaps in my cut. I saw a few so went over the line a couple of times more just to make sure it was continuous (not the best of ideas really, I ended up making separate cuts altogether instead of the intended 'joining the dots' of the initial cut).

I was fairly impressed with my first cut and very happy at how easy and not sore it was, it was literally just like scratching yourself on a bush or something similar. The cut on my thumb had in fact been more painful.

After that I started on the second 'eye' of the face, and, like the first time, completed the first line and then tried to fill in the gaps. Weirdly this time the line wasn't bleeding like the first had, and I hadn't felt it as much, even though I had actually been putting on more pressure. After trying over and over again to get the blade to properly break the skin, I noticed something that made me feel extremely stupid.

Razor blades are made to cut the skin when the cross the skin in a certain way and not the other, so why else might it not be working than I had in fact been holding it the other way round than last time. Sure enough, after flipping it round the other way I got the desired cut. Unfortunately it went a bit squint so I tried to go over it again, this time straighter.

After that I had both the eyes sorted so started on the mouth. After successfully cutting both the eyes I managed to get the mouth done fairly simply, helped greatly by the blade being the right way round! By the time it came to the longer part of the ] there was a fair bit of blood coming from the cuts, but with a bit of quick dabbing I managed to get the last cut completed.

I gave it one last dab all over and admired my work; my first piece of DIY cutting had worked pretty successfully. My advice to other looking to do the same is to make sure when going over cuts that you are going over the same cut, because there are a number of places on the face where the second cut is just that, a completely separate cut. And also make sure and cut straight! The bendy eye is hardly my favourite part! But other than that, this is certainly a marked improvement on my utter failure at piercing my nipple, but that's a different experience entirely...

A few hours later it's still looking pretty good, but only time will tell whether it's going to last, and hopefully I'll be writing a follow up experience in the weeks to come!

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submitted by: Anonymous
on: 21 Dec. 2008
in Scarification

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