A 22-year-old Australian tattoo artist is making headlines after offering free tattoos to people with scars from self-harm, BuzzFeed reports. "I want you to be able to look down at the scars that bring you pain, embarrassment, shame, and be able to put those feelings behind you and instead feel proud of the body part that now contains art and offers a new beginning," Whitney Develle wrote on Facebook and Instagram last week. The posts went viral, and Develle got so many responses she had to update her offer: She will provide 50 free tattoos between March 17 and the end of the year, and will offer discounted rates to others who want to cover their self-harm scars.
The overwhelming response to her offer has been "humbling but also heartbreaking," Develle tells 9 News. She says she came up with the idea after a friend showed her her scars and told her how much it hurt when people commented on them; Develle says her friend was much happier after Develle tattooed over her scars and people started commenting on her tattoo instead. In her Facebook post, she notes, "This offer is not for people who are still self harming. Please have the courage to talk to a friend or family member about seeking professional help." Closer to home, Cosmopolitan notes that Brian Finn of Ohio has since October dedicated one day a week to giving free tattoos to those marked by domestic violence or self-harm. (Find more uplifting stories here.)