Kneejerk armchair psychoanalysis.
I’m feeling pretty annoyed with people. A friend very recently had a photo of her facial scarification pop up on a popular forum based website (not going to link here, sure you can find it yourself with a bit of digging around) and I had to stop reading comments because I got so angry.
I have made posts myself on here about body modification and the ramifications of changing public skin before you have the skills to support yourself properly, and similar topics before on here. My opinions on that have not changed at all, but this situation here is a bit different.
It would seem that the majority of people on that site are in their 20s. I am absolutely shocked to see the number of narrow-minded and judgemental people on there. The attitudes I see displayed are ones I usually associate with a previous generation. I feel like I must live in a bubble somewhat, I suppose I do. Dividing my time between Divine Canvas and the body modification community, and where I live (with people involved with Burning Man and with small scale creative businesses) insulates me from the attitudes that seem to be a lot more common than I suspected. I feel like I’ve woken up and I don’t like what I see much.
I feel like a lot of the ‘nobody will ever employ you looking like that’ and ‘she’ll regret it when she’s older’, ‘she’s obviously an attention seeker/masochist/mentally ill’ really means ‘I don’t understand this and it makes me uncomfortable’. Don’t use fake concern or speculation about someone’s mental health, it’s obviously insincere and wildly offensive.
I feel like some of the commenting, for example the speculating about infection, comes from genuine ignorance and misinformation, and that’s ok. The other stuff though… just, no.
There is a screening process for scarification clients. No reputable artist would work on someone who seemed unstable or in a place in their life where this would be a bad idea. Just because you don’t understand something does not make it wrong. Just because you couldn’t do something for whatever reason does not make someone who does make that choice stupid. And to claim that someone’s obviously mentally ill because of a choice they made like this is just so far beyond ok that I can’t believe I am typing this.
If you don’t like the aesthetics of something, fine. Everyone’s entitled to their own opinion. I just wish that people could use consideration for the feelings of others when expressing their views.
My mum always taught me that if you can’t say something nice then don’t say anything at all. I don’t understand why that’s such a hard concept to grasp. People in pictures on the internet are just that - people, with feelings.