Such a fab story from Neha of Mumbai
“Papa Roach says that your scars remind you that the past is real. Do not repeat this line in polite company, not everyone is familiar with emo rock circa 2004. Plus, that man wrote the song after stapling his own head eleven times, you don’t want to be quoting white dudes who are not Bill Nye tho.
Remember where each scar came from. Make sure these origin stories are more interesting than those two Wolverine movies, not everybody’s going to stick around for the third.
When they graze each with morbid curiosity and whisper “How did this one happen?”, tell the story with a laugh.
Grin and murmur “I’m such a klutz” like you’re in an indie rom-com where clumsiness can pass off as a personality trait. Kneel dutifully and offer yellow skittles to your effigy of Drew Barrymore.
Explain the thin scar that runs down your abdomen. It’s lasted two decades, the fall off the tree had taken all of two seconds.
Digress into a wistful monologue about wishing you could still climb trees, puberty doesn’t get everything right.
Laugh about the organised line of scars on your leg, the product of hasty pre-party shaving that bled through your crimson pants.
You attributed them to “falling UP stairs” for three years before you could muster the courage to reveal that you were the ‘type of girl’ that shaves and doesn’t wax.
Tell them about the arrow scar on your shin, the crescent moon on your knee.
The patches on your ankle that followed after you settled for Bata shoes a size too small for your relatively large feet. “Haha, I’m the abominable snowman huh, rawwr”.
Show them the mark under your belly button, the only proof that you had your navel pierced when you were 18. The ring quietly fell off one day, like your body was tired of posing as evidence of you being an interesting person.
Repress the dream you had about bumping into Amy Poehler eating momos while telling you that you are incredibly boring.
Skip the bit about back-ne and butt-ne marks and scars of an undiagnosed skin disease lumbering down your thigh.
Dinner conversation doesn’t need to include disclaimers about you never having had an STD. The night is still young and full of terrors.
Hide the two cigarette burns on the back of your hand.
You don’t even remember exactly why you decided to mark yourself, you’re hoping it’s not because of something as mundane as ‘feeling nothing’.
Sing the song named after these marks to yourself- “Thaaaat daaay you’re gonna rise above of the occasion”.
Skim over the part where you grew up hating your body.
Offended by its stains and imperfections because other girls had skin smoother than the Grammy award winning song by Santana feat. Rob Thomas of Matchbox 20.
Forget about the twenty different home remedies on the internet, the fifty different beauty products carefully curated by Cosmo depending on which brand paid them more.
Don’t mention resenting people who stayed hung up over these imperfections, even as your supply of fucks ran out.
Focus on the marks you do like- the cluster of freckles outlining your right breast, waiting to peep out from a dress that allows for some classy side boob. Put ‘get classy side boob dress’ in your To Do list, under item #4 ‘get your shit together’.
Focus on the dark ‘beauty’ marks that speckle your body. New ones show up in unexpected places but WebMD tells you not to worry. Speculate whether Zadie Smith would ever trawl through WebMD instead of working. Who’re you kidding?
You know what, just fuck it. If they ask about the scars then stare at the crowd of black heads on their noses and emit unintelligible noises. Groan “neuuugh neuuugh gahh” and do jazz hands. Drop to the floor and pray at the altar of Tina Belcher.
Is your body still breathing, sugartits? Then fuck everything else. Take it for a swim in the sea, moisturise it with the oil you dabbed of your pizza and tell it you’re glad it exists.”