Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Scars & Wrinkles

Several years ago I blogged about scars. Here is an updated engagement with that post as prompted by a question that came to me out of the blue (from where all interesting questions arise):
As for “fetish,” it’s definitely a bit too loaded for me to fully embrace. If we use the term not in its Freudian sense—I’m not sexually stimulated by scars—and probably not even in an anthropological sense, but rather in a purely “pop cultural” sense, then yes, I have a scar fetish ... in that I am at times mesmerized, enchanted, and intrigued by them. I’m also not sure I find scarred people more beautiful; probably more often, I find them ugly(-ier) ... or at least their scars. But I perhaps feel a bit more compassion toward others with (visible/revealed) scars.

What fascinates me is the scar as trace—what remains from something/someone in a person’s past that is brought forward and carried over into the present/future. “Embodied” or “incarnate” in a fundamental way. It’s much more narrative than, say, a wrinkle. Every scar has a story to be told ... or hidden.

And the entire ethos of scars—their permanence, for example—means, at least for me, that they must always be confronted/regarded; in some ways, it’s as if they open up a space (for the possibility) of pure self-acceptance: they’re never going away no matter how you may try to hide them; they will be with you “till the end.” So maybe I’m much more interested in what the scar hints at instead of the scar itself.

That said, I do tend to like scars in the brow—little lightening bolts that disrupt the hair growth, and I find abdomen scars kinda sexy … on the right abdomens, of course!

Perhaps I was just trying to draw attention away from the tribe of wrinkles that have colonized my face over the past several years: scars have stories to tell! Pay no attention to the wrinkles!

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