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Body Modification Essay

1079 words - 4 pages

Body modification and adornment is a universal culture. All civilizations have attempted to change their body in order to fulfill their cultural construct of beauty, religious and/or social obligations. Body adornment and modification is a very broad subject, ranging from ceremonial body paint to the amputation of appendages. In modern society many people today are looking more like tribal warriors of many African cultures. In fact many of these modifications actually do come from many ancient cultures. So why is body modification just now coming to the attention of the modern world? It is my belief that a greater amount of young adults are finding that imitating traditions of primitive cultures is an excellent way to express themselves. However, the quest for non-conformity is not the only reason people change their appearance. Dissatisfaction with ones appearance and fascination with alteration is also reason for one to modify their body.A piercing can be defined as any object, intentionally left in the body, for which there is no physiologically functional purpose, and must have be placed in an event which took a conscious decision. "Historically, piercing has had a long history in Europe, with references dating back to the Roman Empire. Soldiers in Caesar's army pierced their nipples, while male members of the Victorian Court wore Prince Albert piercings (piercing of the genitalia) as a 'dressing ring,' and was used to secure the penis to either leg with a string or thong, to suit the fashion at the time." Pants were cut very closely at the crotch, and would make the male genitalia very pronounced. I asked several men in an online chat room that had the same piercings mentioned above and typically their response was due to fascination or for sexual pleasure."When viewed as a material aspect of our culture, popular piercing is an attempt to create an alien other: Something to shock and disconcert: An attempt to break out of the biological and cultural confines that limit the range of personal self-expression."Earlobe piercing is the most socially acceptable form of body piercing in industrialized countries. Modern ear adornments include the conch, the tragus, and two innovative cartilege piercings, the daith and the rook, which were introduced by California body piercer Erik Dakota. Other popular piercings in today's society include the navel, tongue, lip, eyebrow, and the nose. These are usually used to express ones eccentricity and individuality.Ear piercings are most widely practiced piercings among cultural groups in Africa, India, Indonesia, North and South America. In some third world countries ear piercings mark the life stages of an individual and to signify group affiliation. Ear cartilege piercings, especially popular among the Masai and Fulani, also emphasized beauty and wealth. Stretched earlobes are dominant among groups in Indonesia and South America. Stretched earlobes have increased in popularity among modern piercing...

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