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Body Modification Essay

1395 words - 6 pages

There are many cultural differences of body modification in the Eastern world because the Eastern world’s views and ways of self expression are different to those in the Western world.

A person’s views on certain issues are often influenced by their upbringing or their religious influences or lack of. If someone was raised more conservatively and strictly, their views on body modification would definitely be different than the views of someone who was raised in a more open-minded family unit.

Self expression is something that is very open and personal. Since self expression is something that involves a lot of feelings and emotions, a person can become very attached ...view middle of the document...

For one to explore and better understand the body modifications that are around in the Eastern world, one must have an open mind and a willingness to learn. These body modifications are definitely different to the more common ones that are around in the Western world.

Neck rings are a popular body modification that hails from Thailand. It gives the illusion of an elongated neck, a symbol of beauty. But in reality, the neck rings or coils that are around their neck do not do any stretching to the neck as one may think. In fact, these coils press down on the shoulders and ribs, compressing them in the process. “A child is given their first set of coils at the age of five years old. Each set weighs about four and a half pounds. Then new rings are slowly added over the years.” (Murano, 2013) A common misconception that goes along with this body modification is that the women who wear these coils cannot remove them do to the fact that they cannot keep the weight of their head up or that their neck will break, this is definitely not true at all. “Unfortunately, these women have become a tourist trap. They now live their lives being gawked at and getting their picture taken by tourists visiting their villages.” (All Women’s Talk, 2014)
Lip plates are a popular body modification originally from Africa. It is especially popular among the Mursi people and Suri people of Ethiopia today. “When it is six months to a year before a young girl is about to be married, that is when they started the stretching process of the lip. They start with a hole big enough for a stick and eventually the hole will be stretched large enough to fit a plate.” (All Women’s Talk, 2014) Some women in certain tribes make their own discs and take pride in their work, they often decorate them with ornaments. The larger the plate, the more the young girl is worth in dowry. “Dowry is money or property brought by a bride to her husband on their wedding day.” (Web Definitions, 2014) If a young girl happens to have her lip break during the stretching process, she is ultimately doomed to be without a husband unless they find an old man to marry or someone who is sick.

Even though body modification can be as simple as piercing someone’s ears, there are still many body modifications in the Western world that are seen as taboo and obscene. Just as one has to have an open mind and a willingness to learn while trying to understand body modifications in the Eastern world, one must do the same with body modifications in the Western world.

Tattoos are one of the most common and popular body modifications in the Western world. They have become somewhat of an outlet for people to express emotions through body art. Not to mention, they can be quite beautiful to look at as well. “Tattooing is when ink is inserted into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment.” (Web Definitions, 2014) The process can be quite painful on certain parts of the body but some people see enduring the...

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