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Swan Scarification

I decided to get a scar. For those of you who don't know about scarification it is the cutting or branding of skin in order to produce a scar. Many people have the misconception that this is self mutilation. It is more a form of art, like a tattoo. There are several methods of scarification and I decided to go with the standard cutting method.

For those of you who have known me for awhile you may know that although I love tattoos I had decided they were not for me. I always had concerns about what my body would look like when I got really old. As a result I had always turned to piercings to express my body art since they are removable. Although my views of tattoos have change and more than likely will be getting one or more in the future I decided this form of body art was more my style since it was more natural.

The last piercing I got was my lip. It was a great experience and I later learned the piercer, Penelope, also did scarification. After learning more about the procedure I decided to go for it. Penelope was very excited which made me more excited. After reading some personal experiences of scarification through cutting I did become slightly worried about whether or not I could handle it. The thought of having someone cut into my flesh intrigued me but worried me at the same time. Some of the images were very graphic. I saw so many people in tears or biting onto belts that I thought maybe i was slightly nuts but yet I still wanted to do it.

I decided this would be a good spiritual experience for me. I can't quite explain why it was spiritual but I decided it was important to me and would be true to who I am. It would help prove to myself that when I want something I go all the way through with it no matter what the cost.

I had narrowed it down to two images I had drawn, a swan and a peacock. Although the meaning of the peacock spoke to me more Penelope informed me that because it was so intricate it would have to be rather large so we decided for my first piece we should go with the swan. I chose the swan not only for it's meaning but also because it had an S in it like my name (I know lame huh?). Swans represent beauty, balance, harmony and purity.

I won't lie I was very nervous when I arrived. There were a few other people there who wanted to watch. After the first cut I realized my pain tolerance was higher than I expected because it really didn't hurt that bad. At first I was so worried about moving that I did my best to stay perfectly still because I did not want to mess her up. I remember hearing the blade cutting into my skin. That was probably the worst part. But by the end of the procedure I was talking and laughing with all the people there. It was a wonderful and amazing experience and I have no regrets. In fact I'm already planning on another one... although I'll see how the healing process goes first since it is going to be a long and probably painful one.

The first cleaning stung as the water hit it. The soap burned. My husband scrubbed it for me with a tooth brush. This surprisingly did not hurt as much as I expected. Now the cleaning process is fairly routine and my tolerance for it is very high which is great because i have to irritate it or it will not heal right.

I want to thank Penelope. I could not be happier with the outcome and I know she had some concerns with the design and still did a wonderful job. She is an amazing woman and I would not have wanted anyone else to have cut me.

I won't lie. I tend not to care about what people think of me but I was slightly interested about how people would feel about this. When i went into work to grab some tape everyone wanted to see it although the scar was covered at this point. They asked me to leave it uncovered the next day and then recovered it once I arrived. Everyone really liked it. One girl even said the thought grossed her out but she felt like it looked really nice. Everyone thought the piece was very fitting for me and that it looked beautiful. At this point I was already in love with it and wouldn't have cared if they hated it but it was nice to know they thought it looked as beautiful as I did.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 01 Sept. 2008
in Scarification

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Artist: Penelope
Studio: Lucky%27s+Tattoo
Location: Northampton

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