CW: prejudice against scars / disfigurement.

I'm tired of how scars (especially facial scars) are represented in fiction.
It seems like, if a character has (a lot of) visible scarring, they have to have some cool backstory as to how they got it, and have to be physically
skilled, almost certainly at fighting. They're probably muscular.
Because there have to be things to make up for the scars, and a cool backstory or physical strength / skill are enough to make a disfigurement tolerable to people's sensibilities.
If a physically weak / unskilled person is scarred, they're just (perceived as) pathetic, not cool. If a person got their scars from a cooking accident or boring old fall, they're just pitiable, not cool. If they're not muscular, they're ugly, not cool.
Scars can only exist in stories if they're cool. People with scars can only exist in stories if they're cool, if they're interesting and if there are things about them that "make up for" them having scars. Characters with scars can never just exist, their scars have to be
justified in some way that is interesting and entertaining to non-scarred people. Scars must look cool, have a cool story, exist on a cool person. No-one wants a disfigured character who isn't cool.

And I am damn tired of that. It's so, so similar to prejudice against disabled
characters (often overlapping, as scars can be linked to disability, chronic illness, or neurodivergence).

I'm also tired of how post-apocalyptic or at-war societies seem to have so few people with scars (and disabilities). Because of course, most characters still have to be
attractive, and of course, scars aren't attractive. Unless they're cool. Unless they exist on a strong, muscular, handsome man who's good at fighting and has a cool backstory. Then they're attractive. But scars on an average person? No, bad, that designates them pitiable.
I am tired.
I am tired of there being so, so many ways that fiction (especially mainstream fiction) fails to represent real people, and so, so many ways that it perpetuates harmful ideas.

Scars are not some wild, exciting thing to be fetishised. They are also not some hideous
thing to keep off of any character who's supposed to be perceived as attractive. And they don't need to be cool. They can just exist, especially on characters who've been through a lot. There are times when there can be a backstory (though it doesn't need to be cool - your
character might just have had a mastectomy or an accident or self-harmed, there doesn't always have to be some dramatic fight scene involved) to them, and there are times when a backstory isn't necessary. Scars don't always need to be explained; they can just exist. People with
scars don't always need to be explained; they can just exist.

Oh, and the options for characters with scars are more than just:
- strong, muscular, handsome man who's good at fighting
- villain
- random pitiable side character who gets killed off.
Do better. The bar is so damn low, it's not hard to go higher than it. Do better.
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