Body modification: embellishment, restoration, individuality

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  • Publicado : 12 de marzo de 2012
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In our modern world consisting of cool new cell phones, flashy cars, and fashionable clothing, body modification (but what most people associate it to is “body piercing”) is rapidly becoming teens and young adult’s favored latest trend. Piercings in the ears, nose, navel, tongue, and other areas are a few examples of body piercings done to the body. Almost anyone walking in the city has comeacross someone with a galore of randomized facial and body piercing. We stare at them; amazed, horrified, then little by little we get curious. We wonder what the hell they were thinking and if it hurt. Body piercing has been a way of self-expression since the ancient times and is still used today, whether as a means to designate societal standing, or as part of religious ritual. For example tonguepiercing was practiced by Aztec and Mayan priests and shamans, in belief that they could communicate betterwith their gods. People today get them either as a statement of their personal individuality, or as a means of sexual gratification or inspiration. They also get them as a transformation of their bodies from physical or emotional trauma, for example, “some survivors of sexual abuse have saidthat they experience piercing as allowing them to retake control over their own bodies.” But not all piercing have to have a personal meaning. Others are done for means of embellishment. Who doesn’t want a little “bling bling”?

Most people that don’t understand the motives behind the action would agree that it’s a dangerous process. Others wonder why people even get piercings.Unfortunately most of society today still don’t really know the background of piercings. People still judge other people by their facial and bodily modifications. Society is, and always will be, fixed on visual judgment. I’ve even caught myself sometimes feeling uncertain about the people because of how other people stereotype them on how bodily modified people act aggressive and vulgar.

Anumber of doctors have stated that body modification can cause serious health risks. These health risks are due to the piercing being susceptible to infection during the healing period. Another of the risks is the transmitting of HIV and other blood transmitted viruses, states Dr. Leland Rickman of the infectious disease division at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine.Schools and parents, on the other hand, would also argue against body modification for the reason that students with such piercings are disrespectful and would cause bad encouragement to others for their “rebellious behavior”. My mother stated that “children so young shouldn’t have piercing done at such an age because it could lead to trouble with teachers and other student relations.” I saidback, “Well mom, you pierced all 3 of your own holes on both ears when you were young and nothing happened.” That pretty much shut her up.

Many people would assume that body modification, it involving puncturing the skin, is an extremely painful and risky thing to have done, but in fact it is the opposite. Because of endorphins that are released from the brain, it gives your body anadrenalin rush which quickly ceases the pain, and gives you a high feeling for almost a several hours. Nokio, the hit group Dru Hill says that chest piercing gives him a tremendous sensation, which might explain its popularity. “It’s real sensitive,” he said. “When I first had it done, if you touched it or the wind would blow or anything touched against it, it felt like I was going to pass outbecause the blood would rush to my head. It was too exciting. It’s a crazy feeling. Pain is cool sometimes.”

Though it varies for many people, if done correctly, many of the risks are minor. Regular treatment and cleaning also helps with keeping a piercing clean and infection free. Many people assume that taking care of a piercing is not necessary. They are the people that are ill...
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