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Scarification in progress

Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human anatomy or human physical appearance.[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 broadest 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

Others[edit]

Controversy[edit]

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]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b Thompson, Tim; Black, Sue (2010). Forensic Human Identification: An Introduction. CRC Press. pp. 379–398. ISBN 978-1420005714. Retrieved 2013-02-25. 
  2. ^ "What Is Body Modification?". Essortment. 16 May 1986. Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  3. ^ "Scrotal Implant". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  4. ^ "Microdermal". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  5. ^ "Dermal Anchoring". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  6. ^ "Silicone Injection". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  7. ^ "Horn Implant". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  8. ^ "Inversion". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  9. ^ "Genital Frenectomy". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  10. ^ "Nipple Removal". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  11. ^ "Nipple Splitting". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  12. ^ Jamie Gadette. "Underground". Salt Lake City Weekly. 
  13. ^ "Tongue Frenectomy". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  14. ^ "Anal Stretching". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  15. ^ "Ear Shaping". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  16. ^ "Ear Cropping". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  17. ^ "Ear Pointing". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  18. ^ "Tooth Filing". Retrieved 20 March 2015. 
  19. ^ Freak: Encyclopedia II - Freak - Made freaks
  20. ^ Wilchins, Riki. "A Girl's Right to Choose: Intersex Children and Parents Challenge Narrow Standards of Gender". NOW Times. National Organization for Women. Retrieved 12 September 2012. 

External links[edit]



Original courtesy of Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_modification — Please support Wikipedia.
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The Gateway Online

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Tue, 10 Mar 2015 22:21:03 -0700

Getting a tattoo or piercing can be exciting, but there's a lot of responsibility involved as well. Before you go under the needle, you should learn what it means to have body modification done, and precautions to take so that you can have a safe and ...
 
Reason (blog)
Sat, 14 Mar 2015 12:03:50 -0700

They discussed the future of of biohacking, body modification, and the effects that decentralizing technologies such as 3-D printing will have on the future of scientific innovation in America. Approximately 7 minutes. Interview by Zach Weissmueller ...
 
Radio Australia
Tue, 10 Mar 2015 13:15:00 -0700

For the past 20 years, Erik Sprague has been turning himself into a lizard. Alex Smith has various magnets and microchips inserted under his skin and Brian McEvoy is working on a miniature compass that will be embedded into his body. Amanda Smith takes ...

Western Daily Press

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Tue, 10 Mar 2015 04:54:44 -0700

"The way I look at it is I would rather have 1,000 people staring at me than at some poor person who may be disabled or in a wheelchair," Ted Richards tells me. I have come to meet Ted at his flat in Hartcliffe which is a bit like starring in an ...

Philly.com (blog)

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Mon, 16 Mar 2015 11:00:29 -0700

Body modification. No, it's not an experimental teenager, but a night at the Penn Museum (3260 South St.). As a part of their P.M. @ Penn Museum series, a once-a-month creative evening session, the museum will be exploring the history of tattoos and ...

International Business Times

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Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:07:30 -0700

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Sat, 28 Mar 2015 06:52:30 -0700

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Fri, 27 Mar 2015 00:18:45 -0700

While consumers may not quite be ready for Cannon's rough and ready approach to technological implants (he inserted the Circadia 1.0 without any anesthetic), with some refinement similar body modification could become widespread in the not too distant ...
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