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19-Year-Old Wanted To Cover Up Her Self-Harm Scars But All Tattoo Artists Refused To Help. Except One
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People5 years ago

19-Year-Old Wanted To Cover Up Her Self-Harm Scars But All Tattoo Artists Refused To Help. Except One

Ink has allowed an Irish teen to recover from self-harm and here’s her story. Aoife Lovett (19) had been struggling with mental health throughout the years, and even though she got better, the self-harm scars brought back memories she wanted to forget. Aoife wanted to cover up them with tattoos, but all artists she reached out to refused to work with scarred skin. Except for one.

Aoife’s mom came across Ryan Kelly’s project Scars Behind Beauty, an initiative that helps people leave self-harm behind with cover up tattoos. “It’s tough when you’re a couple of years clean from doing it, and every day you’re constantly reminded of what you did,” Aoife told the Independent. “It brings back memories of how you felt then. There’s a lot of shame that comes with it and guilt, especially when you’re around your family.”

Ryan launched his tattoo cover up project in February when another woman contacted him for the same reason Aoife did. “A girl just randomly came in looking for a tattoo to cover up some scars and I got talking to her, and she started telling me her story,” Ryan said. “At the end of that, it didn’t really feel right to charge her. It kind of felt like the self-harm tattoo cover up meant more to her than that.”

“The best tattoo cover-up is putting something beautiful over something ugly,” Aoife praised Ryan’s work. “It gives you a new sense of freedom and you get your confidence back because it’s tough to go into jobs and wear t-shirts with scars because you get looks and you get questions a lot about it.”

Ryan wasn’t quick to judge other tattoo artists. “Understandably to a certain degree because obviously if you want your best piece, it’s going to be better on flat skin. It can take a little bit more time sometimes, but for me, it means a lot more than that because you’re helping someone move on from a difficult time.”

(h/t)

19-year-old Aoife had been struggling with mental health throughout the years, and even though she got better, the scars brought back memories she wanted to forget

“It’s very hard when you’re a couple of years clean from doing it and every day you’re constantly reminded of what you did. It brings back memories of how you felt then”

Aoife wanted to cover up them with tattoos, but all artists she reached out to refused to work with scarred skin. Except one

After taking a look at Aoife’s scars, Ryan Kelly began covering them up for free

In the end, Ryan was able to put something beautiful over something ugly

“It gives you a new sense of freedom and you get your confidence back”

Ryan launched his project Scars Behind Beauty in February when another woman contacted him for the same reason Aoife did

“A girl just randomly came in looking for a tattoo to cover up some scars and I got talking to her and she started telling me her story”

“At the end of that it didn’t really feel right to charge her. It kind of felt like it meant more to her than that”

Ryan is not the only one dedicated to this great task, Poppy Seger is a tattoo artist from the UK who has helped many people already

Image credits: Poppy 

“Tattooing over self harm scarring can be triggering. It can bring tears, memories, flashbacks” says Poppy

Image credits: Poppy 

And Whitney Develle has done similar work in Australia

Image credits: Whitney Develle

People were reacting strongly to these artists’ great work

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What do you think ?
Poor unfortunate soul
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is an amazing thing for some one to do, especially for free, I congratulate all the people, who made it through this

Long Joan Silver
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Shut up, DaisyArnold. Take your spam comments elsewhere. Thank you

Load More Replies...
EleanorMayB
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm recovering from self-harm, so stories like this makes me hopeful. Once my scars have healed (unfortunately I have raised scarring), I hope to be able to have a tattoo

Cat Meow
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish I could upvote this more than once. It's such a nice thing of them to do, especially free of charge. Self harm is no joke, and having to look at them each and every day once you're at a better place mentally will always bring memories flooding back. And if you DO end up wearing short sleeves in the summer, there's always people staring or asking unwanted questions. So, THANK YOU to all those tattoo artists out there who don't shy away from tattooing over self harm scars.

Load More Comments
Poor unfortunate soul
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

This is an amazing thing for some one to do, especially for free, I congratulate all the people, who made it through this

Long Joan Silver
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

Shut up, DaisyArnold. Take your spam comments elsewhere. Thank you

Load More Replies...
EleanorMayB
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I'm recovering from self-harm, so stories like this makes me hopeful. Once my scars have healed (unfortunately I have raised scarring), I hope to be able to have a tattoo

Cat Meow
Community Member
5 years ago Created by potrace 1.15, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2017

I wish I could upvote this more than once. It's such a nice thing of them to do, especially free of charge. Self harm is no joke, and having to look at them each and every day once you're at a better place mentally will always bring memories flooding back. And if you DO end up wearing short sleeves in the summer, there's always people staring or asking unwanted questions. So, THANK YOU to all those tattoo artists out there who don't shy away from tattooing over self harm scars.

Load More Comments
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