TattooingTattooing is one of the most commongforms of body modification. A tattoo ismade by inserting indelible ink into a layerof the skin to change the pigment. Tattooinghas been practiced for centuries in manycultures spread throughout the world. Sincethe 1990s, tattoos have become amainstream part of global and Westernfashion, common among both sexes, to alleconomic classes, and to age groups fromthe later teen years to middle age.
Tattoo Machine The most common method of tattooing in modern times is the electric tattoo machine, which inserts ink into the skin via a single needle or a group of needles that are soldered onto a bar, which is attached to an oscillating unit. The unit rapidly and repeatedly drives the needles in and out of the skin, usually 80 to 150 times a second.The tattoo artist must wash not only his or herhands, but he or she must also wash the area thatwill be tattooed. Gloves must be worn at all timesand the wound must be wiped frequently with a wetdisposable towel of some kind. The equipment mustbe sterilized in a certified autoclave before and afterevery use.
PiercingBody piercing, a form of body modification, is thepractice of puncturing or cutting a part of thehuman body, The reasons for piercing or notpiercing are varied. Some people pierce forreligious or spiritual reasons, while others piercefor self-expression, for aesthetic value, for sexualpleasure, to conform to their culture or to rebelagainst it. Some forms of piercing remaincontroversial, particularly when applied to youth.The display or placement of piercings have beenrestricted by schools, employers and religiousgroups. In spite of the controversy, some peoplehave practiced extreme forms of bodypiercing, with Guinness bestowing World Recordson individuals with hundreds and even thousandsof permanent and temporary piercings.
ScarificationScarification involvesscratching, etching, burning, or cuttingdesigns, pictures, or words into the skin as apermanent body modification. Scarification isoften more popular than tattooing among darkerskinned ethnic groups as scars are more visiblethan tattoos depending on a persons complexion.Cutting is generally the most widely used form ofscarification in the west, since finer lines anddetails can be achieved with a scalpel than with abrand.
Branding The second most widely used form of scarification is branding. In branding, a hot piece of metal is used to burn patterns into the skin. While branding can not match the level of detail achieved in cutting, the results are often much more prominent, lasting, and visible.
What do you think?• What do you think of people who have tattoos?• What do tattoos symbolize in your culture?• Is there any difference between piercing your ears and piercing your lip?• Do you think scarification is any different from tattooing?• Do you think more people will have tattoos in the future?
Ocular ImplantAn extraocular implant (alsoknown as eyeball jewelry) is acosmetic implant involving a tinypiece of decorative jewelrywhich is implanted within thesuperficial, interpalpebralconjunctiva of the human eye.Eyeball jewelry was developedfirst in the Netherlands as aradical new form of bodymodification in 2002. It was firstdesigned at the NetherlandsInstitute for Innovative OcularSurgery and is marketed thereunder the name JewelEye.
Tongue Splitting Tongue splitting or forking, is a type of body modification in which the tongue is cut centrally from its tip to as far back as the underside base, forking the end. In the late 1990s tongue splitting was almost unheard of, but is now considered a common alteration among body modification enthusiasts. A tongue that has been properly split will function as two completely independent tongues that can do anything a normal tongue can.
Subdermal ImplantsA subdermal implant refers to a kind ofbody jewelry that is placed underneaththe skin, therefore allowing the body toheal over the implant and creating araised design. These kinds of implantsfall under the broad category of bodymodification. Many people who havethese implants use them in conjunctionwith other types of body modification tocreate a desired, dramatic effect. Thisprocess is also known as a 3-D implantor pocketing. One common form ofsubdermal implant are horn implants onthe forehead.
Transdermal Implants Transdermal implants are a form of body modification used both in a medical and aesthetic context. In either case, they consist of an object placed partially below and partially above the skin, thus transdermal. The skin around it generally heals as if it were a piercing. This type of body modification is somewhat rare due to the possibility of infection.
What do you think?• Are people with extreme body modifications frightening to you?• Are there any of these modifications that you would like to try?• Should people be able to show their strange modifications at work?• What is “normal”? Is normal the same for everyone?