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Scarification in progress

Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human anatomy or phenotype.[1] It is often done for aesthetics, sexual enhancement, rites of passage, religious beliefs, to display group membership or affiliation, to create body art, for shock value, and as self-expression, among other reasons.[1][2] In its most broad definition it includes plastic surgery, socially acceptable decoration (e.g., common ear piercing in many societies), and religious rites of passage (e.g., circumcision in a number of cultures), as well as the modern primitive movement.

Explicit ornaments[edit]

Surgical augmentation[edit]

In contrast to the explicit ornaments, the following procedures are primarily not meant to be exposed per se, but rather function to augment another part of the body, like the skin in a subdermal implant.

Removal or split[edit]

Female genital cutting:

Male genital cutting:

Nipple cutting:

  • Nipple removal[10]
  • Nipple splitting[11]

Nullification involves the voluntary removal of body parts. Body parts that are commonly removed by those practicing body nullification are: penis, testicles, clitoris, labia and nipples. Sometimes people who desire a nullification may be diagnosed with body integrity identity disorder or apotemnophilia.[12]

Tongue cutting:

Applying long-term force[edit]

Body modifications occurring as the end result of long term activities or practices

  • Corsetry or tightlacing - binding of the waist and shaping of the torso
  • Cranial binding - modification of the shape of infants' heads, now extremely rare
  • Breast ironing - Pressing (sometimes with a heated object) the breasts of a pubescent female to prevent their growth.
  • Foot binding - compression of the feet of girls to modify them for aesthetic reasons
  • Anal stretching[14]
  • Jelqing - penis enlargement
  • Non-surgical elongation of organs by prolonged stretching using weights or spacing devices. Some cultural traditions prescribe for or encourage members of one sex (or both) to have one organ stretched till permanent re-dimensioning has occurred, such as:
    • The 'giraffe-like' stretched necks (sometimes also other organs) of women among the Burmese Kayan tribe, the result of wearing brass coils around them. This compresses the collarbone and upper ribs but is not medically dangerous. It is a myth that removing the rings will cause the neck to 'flop'; Padaung women remove them regularly for cleaning etc.
    • Stretched lip piercings - achieved by inserting ever larger plates, such as those made of clay used by some Amazonian tribes.
    • Labia elongation



Some sources of controversy stem from the notion of attempting to artificially beautify the natural form of the body, often leading to charges of disfigurement and mutilation. Extreme forms of body modification are frequently viewed as symptomatic of body dysmorphic disorder, other mental illnesses, or as an expression of unchecked vanity.[19] Unlicensed surgery performed outside of a medical environment can often be life-threatening, and is illegal in most countries and states.

"Disfigurement" and "mutilation" (regardless of any appreciation this always applies objectively whenever a bodily function is gravely diminished or lost) are terms used by opponents of body modification to describe certain types of modifications, especially non-consensual ones. Those terms are used fairly uncontroversially to describe the victims of torture, who have endured damage to ears, eyes, feet, genitalia, hands, noses, teeth, and/or tongues, including amputation, burning, flagellation, piercing, skinning, and wheeling[citation needed]. "Genital mutilation" is also used somewhat more controversially to describe certain kinds of socially proscribed modifications to the genitals, such as male circumcision, female circumcision, castration,[citation needed] and surgeries performed to conform the genitals of individuals with intersex conditions to those of typical males or females.[20]

Individuals known for extensive body modification[edit]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]

Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_modification — Please support Wikipedia.
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5492 news items

MetroNews Canada

MetroNews Canada
Fri, 12 Dec 2014 15:33:37 -0800

Warning: Story includes graphic images of body modification. A Vancouver body-modification artist is attempting to break the Guinness World Record for most surgical needle piercings in one session. Russ Foxx says he hopes to make history Sunday by ...

MetroNews Canada

MetroNews Canada
Mon, 15 Dec 2014 17:30:00 -0800

He didn't quite reach his goal of 10,000 needles, but a Vancouver body modification artist says he has successfully broken the world record for most piercings in one session. “It was a long day, but we did it,” Russ Foxx told Metro. “It's pretty awesome.”.

The Inquisitr

The Inquisitr
Wed, 19 Nov 2014 14:28:36 -0800

Parents all over the world tell their children, “You can be anything you want to be!” And Jenya Bolotov, a 26-year-old Russian designer, wanted to be a platypus. So, using extreme measures of body modification, Bolotov has reformed his entire face.


Mon, 15 Dec 2014 03:42:40 -0800

Anfang März, wenn draußen die Krokusse blühen, wird es bunt in der Pariser Grande Halle de la Villette. Weit über hundert Künstler zeigen ihre Kreationen und lassen sich bei der Arbeit zusehen. Sie erschaffen Adler und Engel, indische Gottheiten und ...


Thu, 18 Dec 2014 13:11:15 -0800

“Find a rich man, marry his father.” “I only accept apologies in cash.” These status updates could pass as slogans for our generation of millennial microcelebrities: the girls (as they tend to be) who wholeheartedly embrace internet notoriety in lieu ...
Tech Times
Wed, 17 Dec 2014 20:18:45 -0800

The legislation to ban body modification on animals for aesthetic purposes was signed on Monday and will take effect in 120 days. Alexander Avgerakis, aka 'Mistah Metro,' the Brooklyn artist who triggered the movement to have the law passed in New York ...


Tue, 16 Dec 2014 06:26:15 -0800

One word you'll be hearing a lot, in reference to 3D printing, is “scaffold.” For instance, one of the weirder extremes in human body modification involves coral, which has been used for some time as a sort of poor man's bone graft. It might sound ...
Highlander Newspaper
Wed, 26 Nov 2014 11:30:00 -0800

Makeup, as a form of body modification, isn't for everyone. Lately, there has been a lot of girl-on-girl crime and even guy-on-girl crime revolving around the “too much makeup” dilemma. If you wear too much makeup, people call you “cake face,” and if ...

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