“You look like cotton candy.” “Your hair reminds me of a Fruit-by-the-Foot.” “So, did you do this for Easter?”
Why am I being compared to so many foods?! I guess that I should have realized I would receive such comments in coloring my hair with shades of fluorescent pink and purple. Unfortunately, I did not anticipate such responses, and after the first few days of compliments and, err…remarks about my hair, I began to become annoyed. I’m sure that any of my readers with facial modifications or other readily visible body projects have shared in this very feeling.
Prior to dyeing my hair, I had never considered this process a form of body modification. However, I still do not deem the dyeing of hair to a relatively natural color to be body modification. So, then, what is considered a body modification? How can we distinguish between corporeal alterations and true body modifications?
Honestly, I have tried and tried, but I cannot come up with one catchall definition of body modification. Although I am compelled to try and create a definition that relates only to the forms of body modification in which I am interested (i.e. piercing, tattooing, scarification, suspension, amputation, etc.), I have come to realize through my recent unexpected experience with body modification that there are so many more ways in which modification can be achieved. Still, there is a huge grey area present when one attempts to pin down the slippery definition of body modification. Many, but not all mods, are artistic expressions. Even more are in conflict with western bodily norms. And, for those of us who are a bit ‘freaky’ on the inside, mods allow us to express our inner self through altering our external appearance. All of these statements are true for some modifications, but certainly not for all.
So what is one to do when the meaning of the most pleasurable aspect of his/her life is ambiguous? Create your own meaning. That is the beauty of body modification. It holds different meanings and comes in different forms for every person whose life it has affected. Even more beautiful is that, as I have found, there are enough body modification processes in existence to last a lifetime of modding. So, whatever your personal modification pursuits may be, and for whatever reasons you may pursue them, they are yours. As long as they make YOU happy, who cares if there isn’t a bodybuilding gallery on BMEzine (ahem…feel free to send me any such pictures…).