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Scarification is Not a Cry for Help

October 8th 2009 13:47
Scarification is an ancient body art that is very tribal. It was used to mark significant points in one's life, achievements, and other points of interests. Although, the art of scarification isn't as popular today as tattooing is, another ancient form of body art, it is still a body art that should not be frowned upon those more conservative people.

You'll find that even people with tattoos, may find scarring a sign that a person is asking for help. But, it's not like cutting. It's not like you're taking a blade and just slicing your skin. Scarification is a beautiful art when the process is handled by a professional.

People who opt to have a solely decorative scar, is not paying good money to have skin cut and in many cases removed from his/her body because they feel like they need to cut themselves.


Self cutters generally cut for attention, but there are actually about 3-4 general types of cutters. (These are general reason. None specific and do not apply to everyone.)

1. They may have the occasional urge to cut themselves, which usually isn't going to cause too much attention.
2. A self cutter may cut themselves to feel the physical pain instead of focusing on the mental pain.
3. You may have a self cutter who just wants attention; these people will generally cut themselves in the open where people can see, such as wrists, arms, legs, etc. These people are hard to help because while helping them, you're just giving in to what they're wanting, which is attention, but you just can't sit by and let them continue to cut.
4. Fetish cutting is another common form of self cutting, which in this case can turn out bad if the cuts are too deep, but most of the time these cuts are controlled and situational.

Scarification does not fall into any of these categories. It is more of a tattoo than cutting. People who get decorative scars generally have it all planned out, as it is permanent, and it would surely take a good bit of Mederma to fade the scar. Generally, people will get flowers, flames, and tribal designs. Scarification in any of it forms- branding, skin removal, dremel, etc.- is going to fall into the body modification category more closely with tattoos,

People who want or decide to pay for a professional scarring, should not be harassed and pestered about talking to someone about any potential problems or suicidal thoughts. Just because someone gets scarification, it doesn't mean they're crying for help.


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10 Comments. [ Add A Comment ]

Comment by scream4alltohear

October 9th 2009 03:05
Your text goes hereok i have to say that i was a cutter and that i was 1, 2, and 4 and well yeah i dont know i wanted some scarring on myself that i saw on taboo the show and it was kool it was done in th UK though it is very rare that you would find it in the U.S. because of CDC and the health risk caused by infection but yeah you should totall put some art work of actual scarification i also kknow that you can put color into your scarring and stuff and make it beautful because like you said it is an ART and like tattooing and you can mek it your own but yeah

Comment by Whitney

October 9th 2009 12:38
You can get color added. It's with a powder. I forget what type of scarification it is; I believe it's a particular kind that it works best with. I have a post on it; it's called 'ink rubbing'.

Comment by Anonymous

October 12th 2009 05:33
I've worked with many cutters and I have yet to find one that cut for attention. I'm sad to say that many people believe that because it's a horrible thing to have in your life, and people stereotype it just like they do people with piercings, tattoos, and anything else that isn't quiet what they grew up with as something to do with attention.

Comment by Journeywoman

November 16th 2009 04:11
I agree with anonymous - cutting is rarely, if ever, about getting attention. It's currently considered by psychologists to be an addictive behaviour that stems from the need to 'feel' emotional pain physically, however it's a very complex issue and so the cause will vary from person to person.

No offense intended here Whitney, but you're perpetuating some dangerous myths with this post.

Otherwise, scarification looks... interesting.

Comment by Whitney

November 16th 2009 21:52
Journeywoman, what myths am I portraying?

Cutting and scarification are completely different. Cutting is generally more of a problem than scarification.

Comment by Journeywoman

November 17th 2009 00:16
"Self cutters generally cut for attention" - myth. This is the dangerous one!

"there are actually about 3-4 types of cutters" - myth.There are hundreds.

"In many cases, you'll have a self cutter who just wants attention; these people will generally cut themselves in the open where people can see, such as wrists, arms, legs, etc." - myth. Most cutters will go to excessive lengths to hide their cuts.

"suicidal thoughts" - myth. Cutters are rarely suicidal. Many are not considered mentally ill either.

Essentially your article is just not well researched in regards to the cutting references. I'm not a doctor yet, so when I write, I write about things I know, that do not have the potential to cause harm to people; I wouldn't consider publishing anything that I wasn't qualified to write about.

I know that bloggers would say "it's just a blog, it doesn't mean anything" but there are people who will believe anything they read. As such you need to be a bit more careful about writing things that have little to no basis in truth. Even if you personally know a cutter, they aren't representative of every cutter as they're one person in a huge and very diverse group.

I'm just suggesting that you stick to body art in the same way that I stick to hairstyles, fashion and Hollywood! Topics that don't have the potential to cause harm, and that we're currently qualified to write about.

Comment by Whitney

November 17th 2009 14:26
2-4 basic types. Yes, there are many different reasons people cut themselves, but in general there are so many types of cutters.

You are right that most cutters hide their cuts, but those who want attention do not.

I never said they were considered mentally ill, but some cutters do have suicidal thoughts.

What I have said, is general information, which is true and not myths. If you know hairstyles and fashion, what exactly gives you the right to say anything medical?

I have given general information, nothing specific. I have not diagnosed anyone. I have not tried to say that if you cut you must have a problem and are suicidal. I said some people, which is not a myth and is the truth. I never gave anything specific in terms of ratios, percentages, or said that all cutters fall into those only categories. I also said that there were about 3-4 types, which doesn't mean that those are the only types of cutters. I never gave 100% specifics; everything I said consisted of 'about', 'may', 'some', and other general descriptions.

Sorry if I sound a little rude, but one blogger does not have the right to tell another what he/she should write.

Comment by Journeywoman

November 17th 2009 16:52
Okay, it's your blog and I can see we're not really getting anywhere here, and I've made my point so I'll leave it at that. It's nice to know that the issue has finally been given some thought.


Comment by Anonymous

January 28th 2012 06:38
scarification may be an ancient ritual, but scratching denigration onto your body is not. i resent this picture being used in this context

Comment by Whitney

February 13th 2012 22:51
The picture is an example of cutting, not scarification.

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