Pride & Joy Day 22: Trifecta of Ugliness

[Today‚Äôs donation was made to Transwomen of Color CollectiveClick here to see my Pride & Joy Project 2020 Daily Donations List.]

I think scars are sexy because it means you made a mistake that led to a mess.

Angelina Jolie

Unlike Jolie, I see scars, well, mine anyway, as hideous. Yes, I made a mistake. Yes, it’s messy. Now it’s my responsibility to hide it from others so I don’t offend them.

This is why I wear socks that go just under my knees, or at least mid-calf, because I have a scar to hide.

When I was fourteen, I fractured my right tibia climbing my fence. I had to have a platinum pin surgically put in to support my leg. And then, a year later, I had to get another surgery to remove it. Just thinking of it and writing about it make my heart pound. It was sixteen years ago, I no longer feel the pain, but I can still feel the trauma.

The surgery left a scar, about eight inches tall. It still feels tender and numb, and there’s a strange sensation when it’s touched.

My teeth, my skin discoloration, and this scar have become the trifecta of my physical flaws. And for years and years, I’ve tried to accept them. I suppose I care less about them now as I’ve aged and settled quite comfortably in my own body. But sometimes when I see photos of myself that show my teeth or my hyperpigmentation or the scar, I’ll feel self-conscious.

In a way, these three flaws have saved me. They made me feel so insecure, so ugly, that for the longest time, I was afraid to be seen naked. I always thought I was unattractive and so I didn’t have sexual partners and had to resort to masturbation, the (relatively) safest form of sex. Sure, I got STDs later as I became more sexually active, but drugs had already been invented to combat and prevent the diseases. At least those we know of.

The rainbow on the socks I’m wearing in these photos are strange. It has red, orange, yellow, green, and indigo, but it also has azure and periwinkle. Azure is the color of the sky or shallow water on a beachside. Periwinkle is a flower that’s supposedly dangerous but is still used in herbal medicines. That’s gotta be some kind of metaphor for those two colors and their existence in the rainbow on my socks. That, and the constantly missing violet.

Photography by Yuska Lutfi Tuanakotta.