Would you purposefully burn or cut your skin to create “body art” out of the scar your self-mutilation leaves behind after your body heals?  This process of “scarification” is gaining momentum on college campuses and we are left to wonder why.  Do you find the scarred design on the breasts below appealing or appalling?  WARNING:  The third image in this article is brutal, bloody, and not safe for upset stomachs.  Continue reading at your own risk.

Where is the aesthetic beauty of “branding” someone else’s palm print on your back with a red-hot poker?

How is this sort of torture artful and precious and respectful of the body in situ?

The cutting process is certainly a surgical procedure.

Bring a towel.

There will be blood.

Are we crying out for help as a culture when scarification becomes the latest bodily fad of the day?

Or must we expect a devolving evolution when it comes to protecting the body from harm when the mind is wild and every whim and disinhibition are honored as sacred and sanctified?


  1. oh god too much off off off the third one is too much. Not attractive. Not for me. Don’t get it.

  2. I know I know I know Anne! Sorry! I warned you. It looks like it hurts more than it beautifies. Is beauty in the eye of the beholder or in the eye of the beheld?

  3. It also befuddles me, like horn acquisition and tongue splitting. On the other hand, if that is what it takes to make them happy… well, perhaps some couch time would be helpful! 🙂

  4. It is sort of wild, Gordon, how body modification begins with ear piercing, then, perhaps the nose and mouth and then tattoos and then, sometimes, into this more serious transformation of the skin. Scarification is ancient in other world cultures, but the fact that it is “catching on” in mainstream American college life — but without the rich, historic, cultural memes in antiquity to give it depth and meaning — makes it more of an amusement and a bland statement than a binding of values to morality.

  5. I find the first image extreme, though that’s largely the design/placement. I think the hand-print is absolutely gorgeous. For a few years I had an entirely coincidental pair of scars that resembled a musical note, and I loved it. I was very sorry when one of the scars faded. My only concern with ornamental scars is that they are probably more permanent than tattoos, and carry a risk of infection. I hope that whoever is doing the cutting in that third pic has some medical training.

  6. The first image looks like branding, as does the palm print. The third image is definitely cutting.
    Why do you think the hand is gorgeous, Lilly?
    It’s funny that is sort of severe scarring is generally an indicator of bad skin that doesn’t correctly heal — keloids like that are an immediate dismissal from any sort of corrective laser eye surgery because reputable eye doctors always begin their comprehensive pre-screening exam by asking to see your body scars. If you have keloid scarring, they won’t do the elective surgery because they fear your eyes will “heal” from the cutting in the same way and that will mess up your vision.
    Perhaps this keloid body art is freeing from the stigma of skin that doesn’t smoothly heal? Celebrate your limitations instead of being condemned by them?

  7. I feel nauseous, really. I can feel the knife cutting me through…not fun.

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