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Body Modifications Essay

1627 words - 7 pages

Body Modifications

Is it impressive to be different? Some people think they need to be different to fit in. Body modification is the art of altering some parts of the human body to look different. The most common body modifications are tattoos and body piercing. The extreme body modifications are scarification and suspension. If people want to be different, why are they following a trend that has been around for thousands of years? Even though some people think it is destroying the human body, body modification is a beautiful art form with a rich history.
So, why do people perform body modifications? They are seen as a form of personal expression. Body modifications have ...view middle of the document...

Some body piercing is done as a form of resistance, pride or eroticism. “Only 14 percent of people practice body piercing for religious or cultural reasons. The majority of individuals choose piercing for ornamental, sexual, or spiritual reasons,” (Piercing – One of the common body modifications types, 2006). One of the newest trends in body piercing is the corset piercing. The corset piercing is sometimes called the ladder piercing and it is a series of surface piercings arranged in two vertical columns. The piercings are located in the spot where the eyelets would be just like wearing a corset. There are equal numbers of ‘holes’ on each side so they can be laced up with ribbon or string. These piercings have also been laced up the sides of legs, thighs, arms, wrist, and throat and, of course, the back.
Tattoos have been around for thousands of years and have interesting stories. The first recorded incident of tattoos also came in ancient Egypt, like the body piercing. Tattooing was a way to decorate as well as for identification. “The word tattoo is said to have come from the Tahitian word ‘tatau’ which means to mark something,” (Conner 2008). Tattoos are practiced for many rituals and traditions. Tattooing dates back over five thousand years in Polynesia and Borneo. Samoan Island men were traditionally tattooed from the waist to the knees. They were tattooed between the ages of 16 and 18, to show their social status after puberty. The Maori men of New Zealand tattooed their bottom, thighs, and faces in stages starting in their early adulthood. “Maori facial tattoos were indications of power and prestige, designed to impress and intimidate, especially in battle,” (University of Pennsylvania Museum 2007). There is evidence of tattoos found in early civilizations of North America, South America, Hawaii, and even Japan. North American practices prior to the 1980’s were usually left to sailors, criminals and prostitutes, and then musicians started getting them. Now days it is hard to walk down the street without seeing some form of body modification, it ranges from anyone like lawyers and doctors to musicians and soccer moms. This is an art form that also stands as a symbol of strength. “A Harris poll estimated that 36 percent of 25- to 29-year olds in the United States have at least one tattoo,” (Guynup 2004). Another definition of tattoo derived from the traditional process of putting ink on the body then using a sharp object to drive the ink into the skin. “In the Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender community’s tattoos are used to express both the resistance to mainstream society and pride in a sexual identity,” (Gilmour 2004). Tattoos vary from the small and careful to the large and noticeable. The world of tattoos has changed over the past few thousand years. There are people who tattoo their entire body, just for fun. There are also people who have one tattoo and decide that is all they want on their body. That is exactly it, it is...

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