Badges of Defiance (and beauty)

I strolled into the pharmacy, removed my jacket, rolled it into a bundle, and tried to stick it in my shoulder bag… without success. “I might have to get a cart to haul my jacket around”, I said to the nurse who had accompanied me to pick up my meds.

“You don’t wear your coat indoors as much as you used to,” she said. “Are the hot flashes that bad?”

I opened my mouth to say yes, but frowned… and said, “No, not really. Not now. The chills and hot flashes get nasty at night, but I feel quite cool right now.” I peeled off my knitted cap, letting my sexy scalp and a bright grin reinforce my sense of coolness.

“Weird,” she said.

I nodded, agreeing with her ‘weird’ assessment. I mean, I’ve always hated to carry my jacket around… I’ve been known to keep the damn thing on even if I’m boiling in it.


…some time later, while walking home from the hospital, jacket shoved in my bag (persistence or raw stubbornness pays off), I reexamined the exchange… and realized that my newly found determination not to wear my jacket (unless I must) is not weird at all: I enjoy showing off my one-breasted glory. I feel incredibly strong (and slightly superior *cough*) walking around with a symbol that roars: I am not only kicking breast cancer’s ass, but I am looking freaking amazing while doing it!

I just roared with pride-rich laughter, while typing the last sentence. Because to me, scars prove that when life kicked me in the (insert sensitive area here), I didn’t just kick back, but I kicked… and got up with learned lessons on my skin. And that, my Wicked Luvs, is wild magic that makes my beautiful (and modest) flesh stunning.

That understanding about my Self is what makes me appreciate the wisdom and love in Fleur Delacour’s reaction, after someone suggests that her fiancé’s new scars might make her reject him: “What do I care how ’e looks? I am good-looking enough for both of us, I theenk! All these scars show is zat my husband is brave!”

That understanding about my own value is what makes me want to chant the last few lines of Rommy’s “Signature of a Scar” into the heart and skin of the world:

That understanding of how I wish, I wish, I wish… everyone could feel about their own Selves is what inspired this year’s Beautiful Freaks Fest’s theme: Scars, Scars, Scars… Such Terrible Beauty!

Show off your stunning terrible with me: Let’s create art (short tales, dolls, poems, sculptures, paintings, spells, jewelry… anything you can think of) that celebrates the magic of embracing the scars life has marked our skins and minds with and turn all that hurt into an artful armor of terrible beauty.

click the banner for details


23 thoughts on “Badges of Defiance (and beauty)”

  1. And that wild magic is what makes YOU, as a human being, stunning, my friend. I have never seen cancer’s ass being kicked so gorgeously. I love Rommy’s quote. There are some freaking amazing women in this community, and you and Rommy are two of them. Wow. Way to shine!

  2. “I am not only kicking breast cancer’s ass, but I am looking freaking amazing while doing it!”

    Yes, you are! And I love Rommy’s poetry too! And with all that inspiration, I’m off to sew… sew like the wind! 😀 ♥ ♥ ♥

  3. I thank the Universe for you! I thank you for your indominitable grit, your wicked cackle, your ability to weave together this band of survivors and warriors into some of the people I admire most in the world. Your words are changing our DNA!

    • And here I was, thinking I could not smile any wider or warmer. I’m pretty sure my smile just touched a few clouds, and the warmth, well… I just heard the sun say, “It’s just me, or is it getting hot in here?”

      Thank you so much, Sharon. You rocketh very mucho…

      I, too, thank the Universe for you. We are very, very, very lucky… I never forget about that, not ever.

Leave a Comment