Beauty comes in a lot of different forms. What one person finds beautiful, another person won’t, and that’s okay. When it comes to transforming yourself, for some, it is as simple as swapping a clear lipgloss for a bright red lipstick.
For the next person, it is the big chop and having seven beautiful inches of hair left. Microbladed eyebrows, micro dermal implants, and even scarification – all of these things are transformational, beautiful, and let a person express themselves.
But all beauty started somewhere. What people find interesting to look at, different tattoo types and even piercings.
What is body modification?
Some people consider body modifications, something like full-body tattoos or piercings that have been stretched out to hold extravagant jewelry. Yet, body modification really means anything that alters your physical appearance on purpose. Something that you do to change how you look on the outside. There are more extreme versions, like complete body jigsaw puzzles or removed bones – but in the end, it is all about what the person finds interesting and attractive.
Within every culture and throughout history, there has been a rich and well-documented range of modifications.
Body Modification Through History
If you look at adornment for the body, you can find roots weaved into the history of many cultures.
Body modifications and piercings date back to the Aztecs, although there are mentions of them even before. Piercings and body adornments used to have some strict rules applied to their usage. In general, there were piercings that would show the rank of the military that someone was in, and there were also notes that it would display social standing too. You would often find tribesmen with stunning jewelry decorating their lips, ears, and noses. These piercings were a sign of beauty, strength, and standing.
When it came to displaying your social standing, there was an easy sign. Piercings in the ears, nose, and lips would be stretched. However, this varied depending on what was socially accepted in the culture.
The piercings would usually be stretched with bone or wood. It has been customary for many years for people to have ears, noses and even nipples pierced. Nipple piercing specifically rose to popularity in Ancient Rome. Men would have his nipples pierced in order to display his virility. Many people find it interesting and exciting that, during the 14th-century, women have their nipples pierced. The pierced nipples were considered decoration for the necklines that plunged.
After some years, the view of piercings and body modifications changed. They became a requirement for people who were considered lower in society. By the 17th century, this changed again! And because a sign of wealth and the readiness to be married.
Over the following years, piercing and body modification in society has transformed into something that anyone can enjoy. You will most likely see people with nose piercings, tattoos, ear stretchers, and more in many industries.
Body Modification and Self-Esteem
Confucius once said, “True quality of life comes from a lasting harmony between the body and the mind.” And there is a lot to be said for having that unity between how you feel, how you look, and how you enjoy it. There are times when we simply do feel better about ourselves, and as mentioned above, for some, it is the dyeing of hair; for others, it’s a new piercing, and for others, it is a split tongue.
Research by Laumann and Derick asked 500 people between 18 and 50 if they had a piercing or a tattoo. Of that, 24% had a tattoo, and 14% had piercings—more than that. Tattoos, as we know, are a way to make special occasions, memorials, and just for the love of it. From time to time, there are tattoos that we don’t love as much as we did. For those, you can head to Bare Tattoo & Hair Removal – the research also shows that “about 5 percent had already covered a tattoo with a new tattoo and a further 17 percent said they were considering tattoo removal”.
Considering Body Modification?
Before you go ahead and make permanent changes to your body, you might want to consider how long you want it to be around.
For the most part, things like ear piercing and hair dye, once removed, can be a distant memory. Tattoos and stretched piercings are generally around a lot longer – so they usually need more consideration. While almost everyone is cool with body modification, there are still some people who will judge you before you speak. This is, unfortunately, something that will need to be standard for you. Many people might just want to ask if they hurt, how do you have a job, and so on. Just be prepared for many questions about your body mod.
Although it happens with much less frequency than in previous years, there are still some societal issues when it comes to client-facing work and having tattoos and piercings.
This does often depend on the type of modifications that you have and how visible they are. If you know that your specific career path isn’t as accepting as other fields, it might be worth considering the type and style of modifications you have. Almost all tattoos on the body can be covered up should you be required to do so, though.
In the first few weeks of a tattoo, they will require some strict maintenance from you, but after a while, they’re just there in all their glory. You might choose to have them relined or recolored at a later date. In some cases like blackwork and tattoos on joints or fingers will need to be touched up every few years.
Piercings need six weeks plus cleaning and maintenance, and then if you choose to stretch them, further cleaning and care will be required. Your body modification professional will give you a detailed list of what you need to do and when to keep your tattoos and piercings healthy and clean.
We are lucky enough to live in an age where if we want to have our noses pierced and a tattoo of the beloved cat we had when we were 15, we can. Expressing our personalities, ideas and what we love on the outfit is a gift. Beauty is transformational and can make us truly feel like we are our authentic selves like butterflies, starting as one thing and ending in a flash of color and beauty.