Weekend Write-Off

Scars as Beauty


“On the girl’s brown legs there were many small white scars. I was thinking, Do those cover the whole of you, like the stars and the moons on your dress? I thought that would be pretty too, and I ask you right here please to agree with me that a scar is never ugly. That is what the scar makers want us to think. But you and I, we must make an agreement to defy them. We must see all scars as beauty. Okay? This will be our secret. Because take it from me, a scar does not form on the dying. A scar means, I survived.

In a few breaths’ time I will speak some sad words to you. But you must hear them the same way we have agreed to see scars now. Sad words are just another beauty. A sad story means, this storyteller is alive. The next thing you know, something fine will happen to her, something marvelous, and then she will turn around and smile.”

– from Little Bee by Chris Cleave



2 thoughts on “Scars as Beauty

  1. Hi Jennifer:
    I have long been intrigued by the relationship between pain and beauty. I have seen it on a woman’s face when she loses someone she loves, I have seen it in my own face as I look in the mirror and I am longing, and I have seen it in a child’s frustration. I think it’s something about feeling that humanity is beautiful. Our feelings show that we are alive, like the quote says. It’s not that I think too much suffering is good, it’s definitely not, and I have worked with people who have suffered and continue to suffer more than I would wish on anyone, but our feelings have beauty.

    Thank you for sharing this moving passage.



    • Jennifer Butler Basile says:

      I’m glad you found it as accurate and moving as I did. And your response – as well as the passage – is beautiful! Thank you.


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