Types of Body Modification
There are all sorts of different types of body modification. Basically, anything that you do to your body to alter the way that it naturally appears is a body modification, so it includes body building, hair dye, and plastic surgery. More "punk" or alternative means of altering one's body, including tattoos, piercings, scarification, various implants, ear shaping, etc., are also considered body modifications.
Below, I've gone over the more alternative body modifications you are likely to encounter. You won't see modifications such as neck stretching or foot binding on the list, although they are two primitive types of modifications, because they are not as common in today's society.
- Tattoos and Piercings
- Tongue Splitting
- Other Modifications
1. Tattoos and Piercings
Tattoos and piercings are more common body modifications that you will encounter. It has taken years, but, to some extent, both of these modifications are becoming more and more accepted among today's adults and seniors.
Although both tattoos and piercings both have long histories, stemming from our tribal pasts, they fell out of popularity as civilization modernized and, well, civilized. Their popularity have since rebounded, but that does not mean that everyone accepts them.
Tattoos are a permanent body modification, and the removal process is more painful and expensive than actually getting them, which is why you should carefully think yours out before going to the shop. We all cannot afford tattoo removal.
There are so many different designs and patterns that you can have tattooed, but if you are thinking about getting one, you may want to find a design or create your own that has symbolism to you, versus a random pattern on the wall of the tattoo shop.
Piercings, on the other hand, are more temporary, and when you're tired of one, you can take it out and let the hole close. Now, that does not mean that you will not have a scar or impression left behind, but the actual hole will no longer be there.
The exception is when you stretch a piercing. With stretching, there will be a point of no return, which is generally different for everyone. After that point, your piercing will typically only shrink so much and never go back to normal. So, if you decide to stretch a piercing, you want to make sure that you make every stretch as though it were irreversible.
Scarification is a body modification that is slowly gaining more popularity, but it is not nearly as popular as tattoos. More adults accept tattoos than they do scarification; many adults assume that those who purposely cut or burn themselves for a scar have some mental instability.
Scarification, like tattooing and piercing, is another tribal body modification that was used as a rite of passage to marking an important point in a person's life, such as a hunt, marriage, or just coming of age.
Types of Scarification
There are different types of scarification, which include:
- Ash rubbing
- Chemical scarification
- Dremel scarification
- Injection scarification
- Tattoo gun scarification
- Skin removal
The type of implant determines the procedure and extent of the body modification. There are typically five different implants, some of which are not exactly legal everywhere.
- Eye Implants: Eye implants are actually illegal in most countries, and if you want to have an eyeball jewelry implant, you may have to travel.
- Magnetic Implants: A magnet is placed under the skin so that the other half of the magnet can be attached to the outside of the skin.
- Microdermal Implants: Similar to a transdermal implant, but smaller. They are also known as surface anchors and are an alternative to the surface piercing.
- Subdermal Implants: This implant is pretty much 3D body art with a piece of teflon or silicone material placed under the skin, creating a raised design.
- Transdermal Implants: This implant is not legal in all areas because it is more complex than a piercing and typically requires anesthetics—which, if conducted by a non-medical practitioner, can cause a legal concern. Basically, a labret-type stud with a flat back is pocketed into the tissues with part of the jewelry on the outside.
4. Tongue Splitting
Ok, I had to add tongue splitting. Who thinks of hardcore body modifications and doesn't think of tongue splitting? Ha.
How It's Done
Basically, it is what it is. The person typically starts with a tongue piercing, and slowly stretches the size of the barbell until there is just a small sliver of tissue on the tongue. A knife is typically used to cut the last piece. There are other methods of splitting a tongue, but that is the more commonly used one.
The only cool thing about a split tongue is that, with training, you can train both sides to move independently.
5. Other Body Modifications
You may encounter the following modifications as well:
- Corseting or waist training
- Ear cropping
- Elf ears
- Various adult hardcore modifications that I'm not going to mention, as the list is pretty extensive.
But, for the most part, anything you do that alters your natural body can be considered a body modification. And, yes, that includes having male infants circumcised after birth.
Would You Get One of the Following Body Mods?
This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.