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Tattoo Artist Turns Self-Harm Scars Into Art
Created By BBC Three
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Tattoo artist Whitney Develle spent an entire year giving free tattoos to 50 people who were self-conscious of their scars. Whitney initially posted on Facebook and Instagram offering one free tattoo a week to anyone who wanted to tattoo over their scars from trauma, surgeries, or self-harm.
Two weeks later, Whitney’s inbox was overflowing with more than 2,000 email pleas from people sharing their story in hopes of being chosen for the compassionate offer. One of the lucky 50 recipients was Stamatina, who is a self-harm survivor that was featured in this video.
The emotional pain from losing her mother to cancer caused Stamatina to start self-harming at a young age. Part of Whitney’s requirements for anyone she tattooed for all free cover-ups was that they agreed to stop self-harming after receiving the tattoo. This helped Stamatina put her days of self-harm in the past and finally move on from that part of her life.
Karen was another one of the fortunate 50 that Whitney covered up for free. Karen had significant scarring on both breasts after breast cancer forced her to have a double mastectomy. As you might expect, the aftermath of Karen’s surgery took a massive emotional toll on her which led to a deep depression.
Whitney’s tattoo instilled a newfound sense of hope and self-confidence back into Karen that you have to see to believe. In a separate version of this story published exclusively to Facebook, Whitney explained what she learned from this experience by saying a few words we could all stand to live by:
You don’t realize what happiness is within yourself until you do something for another person. - Whitney Develle