#576 Appreciating the beauty of all your body’s scars and scratches

My friend Joey got his face ripped off last week.

Yeah, while staring at his cheek in the mirror a few months back he noticed a a small rubbery bump below the surface of his skin. Few months, few phone calls, few appointments later he found himself under the knife in a five-hour surgery getting a chestnut sized tumor slowly untied and airlifted out of a knotty nest of nerves in a high stakes game of Operation.

Thankfully he’s okay and he’s all better and he’s managed to bounce over a pretty bumpy hill in life. We were all pretty nervous but he’s come out clean on the other side.

Plus, now he’s got a crazy scar from his ear down to his neck to show for it.

And sure, over the years the stitches will drop out, hair might grow over, and the lines on his face could slowly fade away. But he’s really got a reminder every day of how lucky he is to be alive. He added some dents and scratches to his life story.

And unless you’re a baby-powder-smelling ball of smooth skin and giggles, I’m betting your flesh and bones is covered with some gashes, scratches, scabs and stains, too.

Maybe it’s that fleshy scar on your hand from the eighth grade fistfight. You were on the bus back from shop class throwing pockets of sawdust around when tempers flared and a couple headlocks later you tripped and hit the ground.

Maybe it’s the ghost of that Giant Zit of ’97 on your forehead. Did you squeeze it too hard before prom and end up with a bad cover-up job? If so, maybe you can still find your old friend in that photo album, wedged tightly between up-dos, wrist corsages, and freshly pressed tuxes.

Maybe it’s a blurry tattoo you got with distant friends you don’t speak to anymore. You were young, you were graduating, you wanted a memento of getting through a tough year together. And you got it.

It’s the zippery line up your groin from the hernia, the tingly bump in your collarbone from the monkey bars, or the big birthmark on your back you’ve hidden under bathing suits for years.

But whatever yours are, wherever yours are, and however you got them, one thing’s for sure: your bumps and scratches are part of your life and part of your story. They’re part of your lows… and part of your glories. Yes, they’re memories of bad decisions and reminders of good ones. And they all come together in a nicely wrapped package that we like to call… you.

See, we’re all a bit bent, we’re all a bit busted, we’re all a bit broken, we’re all bit rusted. Underneath all the crinkly jeans and wrinkly shirts are beautifully personal collections of hairy legs, scratchy scars, and spotty skin.

So take a second to stop today and love all your scabs and patches. Just kiss those moles and rub those bumps and smile at all your scratches.


Psst, take a second to check for lumps today.

Photos from: here, here, and here

115 thoughts on “#576 Appreciating the beauty of all your body’s scars and scratches

  1. Have a bigger pic of his scar? It looks cool.

    And for mine, i have matching scars on my feet from surgery, it feels weird to rub them.

  2. I love bragging about where they’ve all come from.
    This one from my first attempt at a half pipe, this was a piggy back race, this from baking cookies. AWESOME.

  3. I’m still working on trying to appreciate the beauty in mine. It might take a while, but hopefully I’ll get there.

  4. I have a grey dot in the middle of my right palm where I accidentally got stabbed with a pencil in first grade.

    Not as cool as some, granted, but it’s all I got…for now.

    1. OMG! And here I always thought I was the only one in this world with a grey dot on her hand because of that! I stabbed myself accidentally with a pencil :’)

      1. YEAH same here. Happened in my freshman year, when my boyfriend at the time, although he didn’t know it, and I were wrestling over a pencil during some lame ethics film we had to watch at Catholic High school. That was a million years ago but even now when I see that dot, I rub it, and Frank is sitting next to me again.


    2. Ha, I also have one of those dots on my left arm and I know at least one other person, a former school mate of mine, who also has one. :)

  5. I have a huge scar that runs from bikini line to just above my belly button but I’m proud of it because is shows that I survived major back surgery at 26 and am a runner again on the other side. Plenty more scars where that came from too :-)

  6. I’ve got a couple sweet ass scars. But sadly, all my awesome cuts and burns didn’t even scar. All my best stories have no proof!

  7. Four tiny little scars. Two on each leg. They’re from where the doctor inserted the catheters into my leg and up into my heart to get of some cells that weren’t supposed to be there.

    Science is pretty awesome.

  8. Again, your blog makes me so happy that I am not the ONLY person in the world who notices/takes pride in so many little things!

    Most of my ‘good’ scars have faded to almost nothing or are in areas of my body I do not normally display in public (let your imagination run wild here, people).

  9. i have a #575 proposal
    just happened to me today

    “going to your hometown dentist, who knows you since you had baby teeth , who works like a magician, absolutely no pain, and charges you half as much as a city dentist ;)
    and he’s still giving you lollipops at the end :))
    even if you’re 24 years old”

    your blog is an inspiration ;)

  10. Awesome post!

    I have a huge scar on my belly from having a kidney removed, which makes me feel lucky I’m still here and healthy; and several small ones all over given to me by my late very beloved cat. I love them all. :)

  11. Hmm, I have the usual collection of scratches that are in the process of healing thanks to my cat. Then there is the old burn on my foot thanks to a bit of molten slag that worked its way through my boot. A small scar is just above my left eyebrow thanks to my cousin chunking a sizable lump of driftwood at my head.

  12. My brother’s got a scar that looks like a J on his leg. Interestingly, he got it from jumping off a bed at a young age, but his middle name is Joesph, so the whole thing is a bit of a conversation piece now.

    1. My sister busted her chin open three times in about a year, and needed stitches each time, once on a seesaw, once on a desk, and once on somebody’s head. The scars made an “I” shape which is the initial of our last name.


  13. This totally got me! (I think it’s even my favourite until now.) I have some huge scars all over my belly, which are constant reminders of the toughest time of my life… but also of the fact that I was strong enough to get through this. Through all the years that passed by, I grew to appreciate them every day. I’m still here, more alive than ever, so bear with me!

  14. i don’t have any really cool scars, but my husband hit the only tree at the bottom of the hill when he was sledding at 5 years old. He fractured his skull and has a large scar, very similar to the one pictured, from his forehead around and down in front of his ear. For years it was covered with hair, as he begins to bald friends he has known since childhood suddenly say “OMG what happened to your head?!” and he laughs and tells the story. I love his scar.

    1. Amen. Some of mine are not happy scars. But I look at them and know that I made it through… And I remember that love isn’t supposed to hurt.

  15. I like to make up stories about mine, which sadly are quite striking, when kids (or older people) ask me about them. My favourite one is: “A shark attacked me”. I once said to my 9 year old cousin: “I got that one in Vietnam”, and he said: “You fought in Vietnam?!??” even though I’m a 17 year old girl. It made my day.

  16. I love scars for this reason. My big “thing” in life is to have a story to tell, and scars do that for you. They’re reminders of our kickass stories and our not-so-graceful moments.

  17. hahahaha “Giant Zit of ’97”
    Loved this post! Once again, you’ve hit the nail of life on the head.

    1. Speaking of.. this one time I was working in shop class, and I most certainly DID NOT hit the nail on the head. I’ve got the scars to prove it!

      1. Oops! Shop class was so dangerous! But so was Home Ec. A guy in my class put the sewing machine needle right through his thumb, thumbnail and all. That’s the worst, because it would hurt like *&$#@^ but wouldn’t even leave a scar.

  18. Every scar has a story and I love each of mine because I love to tell each story!
    This blog is the best!

  19. Wait wait wait.
    My best scar: ravioli can cut to the knee. 5stiches and 1tetnus shot created my most retold scar story.

  20. I have an AWESOME knee scar from an unfortunate slip n slide accident (seriously, who doesn’t) as a kid.

  21. I have graphite in my knee from when I was 4 that’s still there.

    Along with scars, I also love my birthmarks and moles!

  22. Whenever I start to get sad about my saggy stretchmark ridden previously smooth tummy, I think about my 10 month old ball of soft skin and giggles. The “Why??” in my head becomes a “Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.”

  23. I freaking love scars. I always want to know about them and if someone has facial scars, I want to be them and/or be their new best friend.

    I have always sad that I didn’t have more. I have the regular “got in a fight with my brother” or “fell out of a tree” scars, but I want a big badass “I fought a lion” or “I rescued a kitty from a rickety old well” or “I sailed the seven seas and now you can see it on my face” sort of scar.

    Oh – and I do have a birthmark on my back, but I’ve never thought to cover it up!

  24. Natalie – Me too! The most badass things I’ve done have left no traces on me. But last summer when I tripped on my dog’s leash and landed on a rock? Huge spot on my knee that will be there forever.

  25. I want more scars haha. I had to take my eyebrow piercing out (terribly sad) and I hope the mark doesn’t go away completely haha.

    And I love my chicken pox marks too :)

  26. I have a scar from a nasty bike accident. My bike tipped over and I fell off head first. But it’s barely there now :( but if you look at it closely, you can see it! I also have a permanent mark that happened when I was 2 and I hit my head on the tip of a Sippy Cup.

  27. Good thing he is OK. I don’t let no moles bother me anymore. I alwys figure it could be a lot worse.

    I use to own Operation! I have to buy it again one day. That game seems like fun from what I remember.

  28. i have the exact same face-ripped-off scar as your friend! (tumour on the parotid gland, yes?)
    although i have to confess that whenever people ask about it, i tell them that i got slashed with a broken beer bottle in a bar fight.
    it makes me laugh to see people try to come up with a response to that. :)

  29. prayers and congrats to your friend Joey!

    i particularly like this post…what you wrote is very beautiful and very true, and not one of the first 1000 things i would have thought of. thanks for making me aware of my awesome imperfections today!

  30. Its funny that this article mentions scars but so carelessly forgets to mention self injury scars haha

  31. I love scars! I have an extemely cool one on my wrist that I got when I was about two years old while crawling around and got a glass stuck.

    It’s really fun telling people I tried comitting suicide and looking at their faces!

    Recently I was playing goalie in soccer and when I blocked a ball my watch’s strap drove right into my wrist and cut me up exactly on the same spot and now I have another scar. I just say it was my second attempt!

    1. I’m sorry you do that. Suicide is certainly not something to laugh about. People children and adults alike do it. Every 15 minutes someone attemps it. And every 17 minutes someone succedes.


      Take a look. I hope you better understand why this Is not a joking matter.

  32. My large scars, to me, remind me that I am strong enough to survive. I have 2 scars on my right hip from a birth defect (hip replacement surgery as an infant and as a toddler). I also have one from my navel to my pubic bone, which was from a very serious car accident that almost took my life. The one on my spine is from the same car accident, where they put rods in. (Magnets don’t stick!)

    The other scars I have are small and from dumb things…I have a tiny quarter moon scar on my forehead from where I decided to see which was stronger-my head or the side of the coffee table-when I was learning to stand. Coffee table 1, me 0. I also have a burn scar on my right elbow from hitting either the stove or the oven…and my little triangle scar on my left hand, right in the webbing between my thumb and forefinger. I was trying to open, of all things, a safety seal on a bottle of apple juice. I was using a steak knife and the tip kind of found its’ way into my hand….the irony was not spared….

    Hope your friend is doing well!!!!

  33. I have a bunch of large moles on my back and I hated them for years and years – covered them up for most of my teenage years and early 20’s. Then I had a guy tell me they were beautiful and made me unique and I finally realised they made me who I am. Now I finally love the freedom of a nice cool bare back during a hot summer – why it took me so long to shrug off my hangups, I don’t know. They’re one-of-a-kind and I’m lucky to have them!

  34. Yeah… scars are little memories. I have one on my foot from a girl coming down on it in gym, one on my chin from a pimple gone wrong… many more. But they’re mine!

  35. This has really cheered me up!
    I have a massive (2 inch) scar on my neck from burning myself, I’ve been putting that bio oil stuff on it for ages, and I was really upset that it hasn’t worked. To hell with it now! :)

  36. I agree with the people who say that it’s always the average stuff that leaves scars. Almost lose part of your finger in a door? No scar. Get a small mole removed? Huge one that looks like it should really have a better tale.

  37. My favorite scar is on the inside of my head…it’s lump of scar tissue that used to be a brain tumor. It was killed by radiation a few years ago. I only get to see it once a year when I have my follow-up MRI, and it’s always exciting. To all of you who have scars on the outside from brain surgery, I salute you. You are far braver than I.

  38. My grandson (age 10) would love this entry. He is very proud of all the scars he has. Most are so tiny you have to look hard to see them, but he does define his life by them.

    Awesome indeed!

  39. Neil,

    Haven’t checked this site in a while — life gets busier than it should sometimes. This post reminded me of what I’m missing — makes me feel good to be alive. Hope Joey is doing well!

  40. This is awesome! I have a inch long scar along the bottom of my back…. From a TV That fell on me. And a one cm on my upper right arm, from jumping over a fence and spearing my arm through the spikes on the top of it.. xD

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