Friday, August 8, 2014

True Beauty Comes From The Inside; A Beautiful Face Is A Bonus

Dear Tazi:

My boyfriend of several years, "Barry" is a bartender. He works in a nightclub that is known for its fights, due to differing ethnic backgrounds (that don't get along) who both like to hang out there and call the place their ground. About six months ago, a raging brawl broke out. Barry was working that night and tried to calm things down before the cops arrived and got caught in the middle. He was struck in the face by a broken beer bottle, and had his cheek sliced open, from the top of his jaw diagonally down to his chin. The doctors say he was very lucky not to have incurred any major nerve damage and the only evidence of his ordeal is a long, jagged scar that runs the length of his face. It is this scar that is the problem.

Before this fight, Barry was a very handsome man. Now, the scar makes him look like a thug. I can't stand looking at him and seeing that nasty, jagged reminder of that awful fight! Because the scar is on his face, he was well-compensated by the worker's compensation insurance; and his health insurance will pay for any plastic surgery to have it removed. I have told Barry my feelings on the matter - that I would like to see the scar taken care of - but Barry has refused to undergo reconstructive or laser surgery to have it removed. He says the scar adds "character" and that he has learned to live it with it. I am not sure that I can learn to live with it, Tazi. I have told Barry this, but he just shrugs me off; he says that it is his face, so it is his decision. Don't I have a say, Tazi? I am the one who has to look at him! I know that sounds mean, but this scar is very upsetting to me!

Scarface's Girlfriend

Dear Scarface's Girlfriend:

What is it exactly that bothers you about this scar? Are you upset that it has marred Barry's once perfect face? Or is the scar a difficult reminder of the night your boyfriend could have been killed in a bar-fight? You need to be honest with yourself when answering this question, for Barry's sake and well as the sake of your relationship with him.

To answer your question as to whether or not you have a say in the matter of Barry's scar, my answer is "maybe" - it all depends on what you want to say. If the scar is upsetting to you because it reminds you of the violent attack your boyfriend suffered, you need to explain this to him. Barry should then try to work with you in getting past this emotional trauma; because I am certain the attack was no picnic for him, either. This bonding experience could bring back your closeness as a couple.

If the scar is upsetting you because you think it makes your boyfriend look ugly - which, from your signature, I am guessing is closer to the truth - you need to get over yourself. Any kind of surgery is painful and has risks; and facial surgery possesses risks all its own. The face has more than a dozen major sensory and motor nerves, and thousands of nerves that branch off of those nerves, making facial surgery a painful experience. Additionally, should any one of those many nerves be damaged during surgery, facial deformity could occur. Barry could be left with a drooping eyelid or a sagging jaw if a nerve is damaged. I am almost positive that these risks were explained to Barry during his recovery period, and are most likely the reasons for his decision to leave the scar as it is - not because he thinks it adds "character".

I think you may have to learn to live with Barry as he now is and remember that true beauty emanates from within. You say that you have been with Barry for "several years"; I'd like to think your feelings for him are based upon more than just his good looks.


Ask Tazi! is ghostwritten by a human with a Bachelors of Arts in Communications. Tazi-Kat is not really a talking feline.

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