The mark on my face made me who I am

| May / June 2003

Growing up, I had a scar on my face?a perfect arrow in the center of my cheek, pointing at my left eye. I got it when I was 3, long before I knew that scars were a bad thing, especially for a girl. I knew only that my scar brought me attention and tenderness and candy.

As I got older I began to take pride in my scar, in part to stop bullies from taunting me, but mainly to counter the assumption that I should feel embarrassed. It?s true, I was embarrassed the first couple of times someone pointed at my cheek and asked, ?What?s that?? or called me Scarface. But the more I heard how unfortunate my scar was, the more I found myself liking it.

When I turned 15, my parents?on the advice of a plastic surgeon?decided it was time to operate on what was now a thick, shiny red scar.

?But I don?t mind the scar, really,? I told my father as he drove me home from the local mall, explaining that I would have the surgery during my summer vacation. ?I don?t need surgery.? It had been years since I?d been teased. And my friends, along with my boyfriend at the time, felt as I did?that my scar was unique and almost pretty in its own way. After so many years, it was a part of me.

?You do need surgery,? my father said, his eyes on the road, his lips tight.

?But I like it,? I told him. ?I don?t want to get rid of it.?

Jane Fortin
6/21/2008 8:25:47 PM

As I child I too had a scar. Audet's essay was powerful and honest. It is interesting to think about where true power comes from.