Tonight I wanted to talk about one of my favorite photos of myself. The photo in question is this:
I have sent this photo to my my and have used it as my Facebook profile photo. I was thinking about it the other day and wondered to myself about why it is that I (and others) take photos of ourselves bleeding or bruised or otherwise hurt in some way.
I have gone through several friend's facebook pages and have found similar photos taken after skateboarding or wearing heels and some in an ambulance. Photos of scars and surgical stitches from collapsed lungs and head wounds, all carefully photographed and shared. Even fake injuries are represented, bruises painted on at roller derbies for example.
In my photo I am bleeding from my face as a result of ripping of a scab I acquired from falling on the pavement. And I think this is one of my favorite photos of myself. But why? Is it because of the stunning bathroom background? My amazing photography skills? No. But I love it. And I think it might illustrate a lager issue that I have dealt with my whole life and maybe others are dealing with too. .
Being damaged is interesting. And whatever the way one has to convey that damage, be it in this case, physical, emotional, spiritual, whatever, is an interesting way create identity. I could (and might later) wax poetic on my affair with emotional damage as a defining character trait, but that's not what this photo conveys to me.
I'm bleeding yes, but I have let the blood run down my face and am in no hurry to patch it up. And while I may be a little whiny at times about getting hurt, this was taken at a time where I was 99.9% on my own and had to deal with things myself. Because there was no one there to clean me up and put a band aide on me I realized that I really did not need one.
There is an element of pride in an injury. An aspect of not getting through life with a body perfectly intact and in the original packaging but one that shows direct confrontation with life. While my cut face isn't from anything terrible exciting, it does make for a good photo.