It wasn’t all that long ago that body modifications were considered to be something performed only by those on the fringes of society. Cyberpunk lovers would implant their own microchips, foreign tribespeople would use stretching alongside piercing and full-face tattoos, but in more mainstream society anything beyond ear piercings or small tattoos were viewed as “extreme” or “rebellious”. Throughout history, and in cultures around the world, humans have always attempted to shape their bodies to reflect the culture of the time.
An Increasing Freedom of Expression
Times have changed, and today society in general is more receptive to the idea of body modification. A part of that is because cosmetic surgery procedures such as nose jobs, botox and breast implants are widely available. You can get breast augmentation in Baltimore at a mainstream clinic for a reasonable price. There’s no need to go “underground” for such a procedure.
Tattoos, too, are simple, affordable, and not as permanent as they once were. If someone gets a tattoo in their youth that they later decide was a mistake, laser removal and cover-up tattoos are both affordable and effective, if not completely pain-free, options. Exploring your identity through body modification, and sculpting your body to represent your ‘true self’ is something that anyone can do.
Exploring New Boundaries
The shift in the range and scope of body mods that you might see in the average night club is something that comes down, in part, to the fact that formerly “unusual” piercings such as tongue, eyebrow, or septum piercings are no longer taboo. Now that it is possible to get piercings in high street stores, to the extent that some parents are getting ear piercings for very young children, in spite of the controversy surrounding those decisions.
As tattoos have become more mainstream, breast augmentation is common and affordable, and plastic surgery is something that is within the reach of the average person, it makes sense that those who are disenfranchised or looking to rebel may consider other options. Some people choose to mark important life events through body modification. For others, the desire comes from external influences and a desire to conform, even if the ideals they are conforming to are not those in the mainstream.
Extreme body mods such as tongue splitting or implanted horns may seem alien to those who are not a part of alternative cultures, but they give those who get them a feeling of control and a chance to express themselves. Microchip implantations are a combination of modification and personal experiments. The visual difference between an anti-aging ‘nip and tuck’ or breast implants and something more unusual such as under-skin implants to make a person look otherworldly may be jarring and seem massive to those who are generally comfortable in their bodies, but the right to choose and manage your body and appearance is an important topic in the world today. That is a common bond that tattoo lovers and other body-mod enthusiasts will always share.