Peter Hentges (jbru) wrote,
Peter Hentges

Thoughts on body modifications

I saw an interesting blog post today listing 10 people with very extensive body modifications. While purporting to be a "top 10" list, I and at least one other commenter noted the absence of The Enigma from the list. Still, it's an impressive selection of people.

I'm not too surprised that a number of comments to that blog's entry have been derogatory toward the people that have chosen to make these modifications to themselves. A few of them give me that instinctual "not one of us" reaction that comes from seeing something very outside the norm. The processes for achieving these effects and the mindset of the people undertaking them intrigues me, though, so I kept an open mind as I looked through the entry.

I came away with a reinforcement of my usual thinking regarding tattoos and piercings, which is that these things have not called to me yet but I have some degree of admiration for those that choose them. There's something brave about using your skin and body for artistic purposes and something noble in choosing to live your life in a way that is so dedicated and focused. Each seems to be choosing, in their own way, to express something felt very clearly and deeply, risking ridicule and prejudice to display that feeling outwardly for everyone to see.

There's a feeling of control about these folks as well. They have taken their lives into their own hands, setting out on a path of their own making and dedicating themselves to that path. It's almost religious in its feeling and some of the people making these modifications definitely have a spiritual bent.

The techniques used in some of the modifications also intrigue me and I'll be interested to see how technology on biological and surgical fronts makes other modifications possible or easier as time progresses.

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