As Forrest Gump so famously said, “Life was like a box of chocolates, you never know what you’re gonna get.” The phrase has become pretty cliche, but it gets the point across. There are some people who, by the luck of the draw, find themselves living a privileged life, while others have had to deal with more than you could ever imagine.
I have led an extremely fortunate life, so when I look at scars on someone else’s body, I’m inquisitive. The scars that my friends and I have earned come from playing too rough on the playground or a slip of the hand while dicing something in the kitchen. It wasn’t until a friend admitted that her scars were from a “slip of her ex-boyfriend’s hand” when he got too drunk one night that I realized not all scars come from accidents.
This tattoo artist is covering the scars from domestic abuse victims and turning them into works of art!
Meet Flavia Carvalho.
She’s an inspiring tattoo artist who practices in her own studio in Curitiba, Brazil. For the past three years, she’s been working on a project called “A Pele da Flor” (The Skin of the Flower). The project allows her to meet with women that have been hurt in abusive relationships and give them tattoos pro bono.
How It Started
She explained in a an interview with The Huffington Post, “It all started about two years ago, when I worked with a client who wanted to cover a large scar on her abdomen. She told me that she was at a nightclub, and when she turned down a man who approached her, he stabbed her with an switchblade. When she saw the finished tattoo, she was extremely moved, and that deeply touched me.”
“I was suddenly struck by the idea of providing free tattoos to women who were left with scars following domestic violence or mastectomies. Each tattoo would act as an instrument for empowerment and a self-esteem booster,” she continued. Unsurprisingly, the project has changed the lives of women all around the world.
What was the story that moved Flavia the most? She recounted, “They all move me, but the one that shocked me the most was the story of a 17 year-old girl who dated an older man and, for months, suffered from the physically abusive relationship. When he wanted to break up with her, he scheduled a meeting, and after they began to fight, he stabbed her several times in her abdomen, and violently raped her…”