Body modification is a form of self-mutilation …
Female Genital Mutilation | Body Modification
Tattoos are often the outcome of a tattoo artist and enthusiast working together to create a visual that tells a story that's meaningful to the person getting tattooed. The same could be said about scarification and branding designs. But what about piercings and implants? Can people create personal narratives with them, too? The answer is yes. Any body mod can be utilized to create a personal narrative on some level. You might get a piercing or implant as a right of passage when you become legally able to get a modification without parental consent. Your mods may be a way for you to express your personal values or even your heritage. A study titled Modifying the body: Motivations for getting tattooed and pierced also mentioned the way that abused women "create a new understanding of the injured part of the body and reclaim possession through the deliberate, painful procedure of body modification." Embrace your story, whatever it is, and let your mods share it with others. At the very least, they may encourage people to ask you about the meaning behind your modifications and give you an opportunity to verbally share the personal narrative behind them, if you choose to do so.
Posts about Denmark written by Lena Nyhus (@iqvixen / Twitter)
People have been modifying their bodies for a variety of reasons for thousands of years--reasons like aesthetic enhancement, spiritual enlightenment, signifying social status, and marking major life milestones. Despite their rich history, modifications ranging from piercings to tattoos, brands to implants and beyond have at times been viewed by many as a form of self-mutilation and a sign of underlying psychiatric issues. It's true that some people who desperately want to change their appearances, whether with plastic surgery or extreme body modification, do have issues like body dysmorphic disorder and need mental health intervention. That may have been the case with the Stalking Cat, Dennis Avner (shown right), who sadly committed suicide in November 2012. However, mentally unstable body mod enthusiasts like the Stalking Cat represent a very small percentage of the masses who seek out varying forms of body modification today. If body mod enthusiasts aren't all mentally ill, what's driving them to do things like get dermal implants, stretch their lobes, get tattooed or branded, or even go to the extremes of modifying themselves to look like other creatures ranging from cats and lizards to elfin sprites and split-tongued, horned demons?