Scarred Dragon Scales

I love this scarification pattern done by Iestyn Flye on I believe Muffe Vulnuz. Normally when I see scarification over blackwork, I think it’s best left as light lightwork in a field of dark when healed, but depending on how this heals, I think it might look nice re-tattooed in the long run. Imagine if it healed either raised or better yet, sunk in, and then could be tattooed a dark, almost black red… It really would look like dragon scales then!

iestynonmuffe

By the way, I should add that no one has told me that it’s meant to be dragon scales — that’s just what I see when I look at it. So I hope I’ve caused no offense at this assumption!

Freshly Cut and Then Healing

Here are a pair of scars that are healing quite differently. The scary face is by Martin Kraus of Gelocht&ScharfGestochen (great name) in Neuss, Germany, and the second is by Baz Black in Dundalk, Ireland. Of course Baz’s is at a later state of healing, and Martin’s is just under a month old here, but as you can see, so far the skin removal face is getting an “inset” appearance, whereas the cut web has raised up with a nice even scar. You can zoom them both for a closer look.

scarmartin

scarbaz

The Rituals We Have

Right off the bat I’m putting the warning out there.  This post features SI cutting, so if that is triggering for you, don’t read it.  The images will be behind a clickthrough, so they can be easily skipped.

Alright, with that all said, let’s get on with this post.  I wanted to post these two pictures as they have an interesting dichotomy.  While both are recognizable as SI photos, the two are very different.  Keep on reading to see what I mean.

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Beauty over Harm

It’s been a while since we’ve had a Beauty over Harm post, and at first glance I didn’t even realize that this was one.  For those that don’t know, the Beauty over Harm posts are a series that Sean started earlier in the year.  It was inspired by those people who have had issues with self harm and have taken steps to move forward.  For the most part these posts are meant to look at how those who have suffered from SI in the past can take the reminder of something negative and turn it into a positive, thereby reclaiming their body.  Previous posts have seen both scarification and tattoos used in this manner, however today’s post features piercings in place of the other techniques.

Keep in mind that there are SI scars in this photo, so if they are triggering to you, it’s best to skip this post.

Bart Bastiaanse from Tribal Trading in Tilburg, The Netherlands was the piercer.  According to the description he used custom surface bars for this piece.

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Self Preservation or Self Harm?

Before I get into this post I want to post a quick warning, while these scars were created by a professional, they do resemble self-harm scars.  If you feel that viewing them may be a trigger to you, then you’re advised to skip this post and move on to the next.

Alright, now as I mentioned above, these scars were created by Arseniy Andersson for a client that wished to have scars that resemble self-harm scars.  The reason is that the client wanted to avoid military service in Russia, which evidently is avoidable if you can prove that you are a danger to yourself or others.  I think this is the first I’ve personally seen a scar used in such a manner.  The closest comparison I can think of is people getting scarification pieces that resemble dueling scars although in this case the scars aren’t meant to show off toughness, but rather to avoid army duty.

I’m curious to hear your thoughts on this.  Do you think this is a legitimate way to avoid service?  Do you think he’s exploiting his knowledge of self-harm?

Drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity…

“I hate to advocate drugs, alcohol, violence, or insanity to anyone, but they’ve always worked for me.”
— Hunter S. Thompson


hank

The cutting part of this scar/tattoo tribute to the godfather of gonzo, Hunter S. Thompson was done by Tony Snow. Tony is currently out in my neck of the woods guest spotting at Fatty’s with Hannah. A mere twenty minutes away from my shop and not even a visit. For shame you bastard.

Beauty Over Harm

The last few times we’ve done a Beauty Over Harm post, the focus has been on putting a scarification piece over top of self harm scars.  I’m not going to put this behind a click-through, but if you are prone to being triggered by images of self harm scars, then you probably should move on to the next post.

BandagesandButterflies sent in several photos of her arms to the ritual cutting and ritual branding galleries.  While some of the photos are just of the scars, this photo in particular is of a tattoo she has that not only covers some of her scars, but also incorporates them into the design.  It’s hard to see, but the gaps in the leaves are scars, the picture in embiggenable, so just click it to get a closer look.

Tattoo by Taylor from Saint Sabrina’s in Minneapolis, MN

Self-injury Awareness Day

For those that may not know, today is Self-injury Awareness Day.

Self-injury Awareness Day (SIAD) is a grassroots annual global awareness event / campaign on March 1, where on this day, and in the weeks leading up to it, some people choose to be more open about their own self-harm, and awareness organizations make special efforts to raise awareness about self-harm and self-injury. Some people wear an orange awareness ribbon, wristband or beaded bracelet to encourage awareness of self-harm. The goal of the people who observe SIAD is to break down the common stereotypes surrounding self harm and to educate medical professionals about the condition.

You’ll note at the end that today isn’t about passing judgment on others, but to just encourage awareness about the truths behind self-harm.  As such, I’ve selected a photo from the ritual cutting gallery to share with you.  As we do with all ritual cutting photos, it will be behind a clickthrough so those who choose not to view it have that choice.

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A slice of life

ModBlog is the part of BME that is meant to showcase all aspects of the community, by highlighting exceptional modifications, significant moments, or sometimes just a little fun.  Sometimes this also means ModBlog will cover topics that can be controversial, but most of the time, things are pretty mundane as most of the community has been around long enough not to get shocked by certain things.  The reason I’m mentioning all this is because when I found the image for this post, I did a bit of reading, and it seems that images of ritual cutting can evoke some strong emotions from people.

One of the main points that is brought up is that an image of a cutting can trigger the behavior in others.  Let me assure that is not the purpose of this post at all.  I want to take a quick moment to look back on something Shannon said a number of years ago.

Now, I understand that I tend to take a somewhat no-compromises or radical stance on these matters rather than seeking out the safe or mainstream stance that most people feel is “reasonable” (and I appreciate how one could come to the opposite conclusion), but I really do think it’s important to be honest about this being much more about politics and cultural bias than anything else. Ignoring the fact that it’s very difficult to make a compelling objective case that differentiates cutting from play piercing, suspension, pulling, and other ritual that’s rarely decried, the truth of the matter is that when it comes to triggering, the whole site is a giant trigger for those who are prone to being influenced by peer pressure.

One of the reasons I know this is that if I post a particularly nice serious of photos of a modification, I’ll almost always receive an influx of that particular modification over the next little while, as people see the pictures and decide that it’s something they want to do as well. How many times have I seen comments along the lines of “this makes me really want to suspend” or “this makes me really want to get another tattoo” and so on? Even in a culture that’s steeped in the concept of individualism, the truth is that a significant percentage of people are deeply influenced and “triggered” by the actions of others.

Again, I’d strongly urge people who are not able to take responsibility for their own actions (let alone control their own actions) not read BME (or at least the sections of BME that they’re not comfortable around) or other “triggering” media and get the help they need so they can be happy and self-empowered individuals. I’m sorry if some people feel that makes light of their mental illness, but I’d like to keep BME focused on people for whom body modification and ritual is a positive force, not those who see it as a mental illness.

Now, with all that said, let’s take a look at the image.

This particular shot was sent in by Sarah_B. who you may remember from her knee suspension a couple of weeks ago.

The reason I selected this image is because it shows a side of her that you didn’t see in her previous photos.  When someone is featured on ModBlog we normally only get to see a small slice of their life, a moment in time that was significant to them at that time.  Which brings us back to my opening remarks.  ModBlog is here to open the window into this wonderful community.  We’re open and sharing about moments that can be extremely personal and revealing.  This community, as wide ranging as it is, covers so many aspects of modification, even those that to some may be controversial.  ModBlog isn’t here to pass judgement, it is here to share with you, the readers, the stories and images from all corners of the community.

Now obviously this isn’t the most graphic cutting image that’s been shown on ModBlog, but sometimes simplicity can be just as important as shocking.