Friday, July 28, 2006

we can make a difference...

I could probably spend hours just writing about the wonders of body modification. I believe that from mods we can achieve a more confident, hopeful, and open-minded state of being, among other things (such as a lifetime of intensely pleasurable s-e-x...).
One particular aspect of modification that I recently began thinking about relates to the plethora of tattoo art galleries popping up around this country and the world. Upon comparing the world of fine art to that of tattoo art, I came to realize how much of an impact the audience really has on tattoo art. There has been obvious progression in terms of tattoo style over the years, and it seems quite natural to assume that the Inked are the ones behind this change. Not to say that the artists have had nothing to do with such evolution, but the sole fact that tattooees have the majority of the say in what an artist ends up creating is enough to convince me that we aren't just passive admirers of the art. We are the art. And as we grow, the world of tattooing grows with us. It's a beautiful thing :o)
It's in this phenomenon that we find the line drawn between fine art and tattoo art. Think about it...the world of fine art is a helluva lot stuffier than us inked folk. We don't waltz around, hands clasped behind backs, lifelessly staring at dead art. We wear our art with confidence and pride, allow it to act as a reminder of times past and present, and hopefully realize the amazing fact that we play an active part in the future of the art form.
I did a lil' post for Modblog today if anyone's interested in checking it out. That is if you haven't checked Modblog yet, as I do every 30 minutes or so hehe. I don't know when it will be up, but yea, it'll get there eventually.
QUICK update on my job search: IT SUCKS BEING MODDED AND TRYING TO GET A JOB! Especially in suburbia sheesh. I've been looking all summer, applying like a mad woman....and I get nothin'. Oh well, at least I still have my trip to New Zealand to look forward to. Ahh...those crazy Maori :o)

Wednesday, July 19, 2006

dees ees boulsheet

Ya know, I'm not even heavily modified, and just because I live in a small town, I get looks of disapproval everywhere I go. I went grocery shopping this afternoon, and a friend who I was with informed me that every woman over the 30ish age range gave me a dirty look as I passed by. I don't know about you, but when I go grocery shopping I don't care to judge those around me. I just want some cereal and milk goddamnit. Sans the negative vibes.

Friday, July 14, 2006

metallic magic

A good friend of mine from home is a newcomer to the world of body modification. I can't help but take a little credit, after all I did introduce her to BME's modblog and other favorite sites of mine such as Needled and Modified News. After joining me for some hours-long tattoo and unusual mod viewing sessions, she gave in to curiosity and got a lip piercing. She then began to stretch her ears with some exquisite 6g hand-blown glass earrings. Finally, after experiencing the positive (emotional) effects of her lip piercing for about one month, she decided to go for something a little more unusual. We hopped a train to NYC and eventually found our way (not without a few mishaps) to Pure Body Arts in Brooklyn, NY. Both herself and another friend of mine were there for the same wonderful reason: to acquire a set of clavicle surface piercings from the world-renowned body modification artist, (and apparently the inventor of the punch-and-taper surface piercing method) Brian Decker. We enetered the shop and I was immediately overwhelmed by the pictures of flawless scarifications and complex piercing projects. Although I hadn't originally planned to get any mods on this day, I couldn't fight the warm, slightly anxious feeling I get when I consider getting modified. I needed something :o)
So back to my friend, the newbie. I know that her self-confidence isn't so great, and I've been wondering whether the new piercings would help boost it at all. In addition to this issue, I wondered whether she felt "changed" at all, or saw society in a new light as a result of the new additions to her body. So I decided to find out!

MSOM: Now that you have your clavicles pierced, do you think it was worth the pain, and is it worth the fact that they prevent you from doing some things you used to do?
CF: I absolutely believe that my clavicles were well worth the pain. First of all, the pain wasn’t even that bad. Having my friends in the room to distract me and putting my mind somewhere else definitely helped. The only part that hurt even a little was the punching part, the rest just felt like someone was touching my chest, but I wasn’t sure what exactly he was doing. When it comes to not being able to do some of the things I used to do before, that’s a little different. I guess in some ways it is worth having them still because I really really love the way they look and to be honest, I like the reactions I get from some people. But on the other hand, lately I’ve been wanting to run and I can’t really because they’re still really sore, and sometimes I’m scared they’ll feel like this for a long time. Another thing is having to hide them. I can’t let anyone in my family see it, well at least the older people in my family, especially my parents. They would never approve. So this means I’m going to constantly have to watch what I’m wearing when I’m at home, and make sure they’re covered at all times, this is going to be a seriously difficult task for me.

MSOM: How did you feel the first time someone asked you about your piercings, and how do you feel now when people ask you?
CF: Ok, well the first time someone asked me, it was on the subway ride back to grand central station form Brooklyn which is where I got the piercings done, and honestly, I loved it! The girl was extremely interested in what they were and how they were done. She thought they were cool, and it made me feel even cooler ☺ Now when people ask me it’s a little bit different. I get a wide variation of reactions from people that first see them. “Why the hell did you do that?” “That’s so weird” “what made you do that?” its actually pretty annoying when people react in a negative way, and to be honest.. whenever someone does it, I get so upset with the person for making a comment to me that might hurt my feelings. Don’t get me wrong, it definitely doesn’t hurt my feelings at all, but people don’t ever make negative comments about anything else. I dunno, maybe its better that people are being honest, but I just think a lot of people are really ignorant and way too quick to judge people that have something “freaky”

MSOM: How do you feel in general now that you have the piercings? The same? Different? Better? Worse?
CF: A lot of aspects in my life are different because of my piercings, but I still feel like I am the same person, regardless. Sometimes they make me feel very confident, when I’m around like people my age, people that I know will be sincerely interested in what they are and think its awesome. I’m definitely self conscious when I’m around my family and when I’m at work. Simply because I don’t want to get in trouble. For the most part, I think I feel better with the piercings, they haven’t brought me any serious distress or problems so I’m just gonna love on them til they do!

MSOM: How do you feel about your body in general now that you have the piercings?
CF: Hmm, well I'm not all that happy with my body in general to be honest. I’m not completely unsatisfied, but sometimes I wish it were nicer. But I must say, I love what these clavicles (piercings) do for me and my chest! They look so awesome, they don’t even really look like piercings! I don’t think I’d like them half as much if I got them done with balls rather than disks! Oh, and it draws more attention to my boobs, mm.. I guess that could be a good thing? ;)

MSOM: If you had seen clavicle piercings on a person walking down the street, say 3 years ago, how would you have probably reacted?
CF: Lets think about where I was 3 years ago. Summer before my senior year. Hmm, that was a pretty awesome time in my life, and Im pretty sure I was very open minded then, but not the way I am now! Honestly.. I just saw clavicles for the first time a few months ago probably, and when I first saw that I was just like, wow, that's intense, but at the same time I had already been exposed to things like a corset piercing and a nape, wrist, things of the same nature.. so it wasn’t as bad. But 3 years ago, yea.. they definitely would’ve been weird to me.

MSOM: Do you think that you will acquire more unusual mods in the future? If so, why?
CF: Hmm, unusual? Who knows. Surface piercings are definitely cool, and there are a few others that I would probably consider getting in the future, but as far as other things go, I’m not sure. Scarification, suspension, amputation, things of that manner.. I probably will never get into. I respect the people who choose to do it, its their lives, do whatever you want, but I’m straight with that. I’ll probably get more tattoos though, absolutely! ☺

I wouldn't necessarily say that these piercings completely fixed her confidence issues, but they surely helped. And if nothing else, my friend is learning the difficulties of living as a modified person, and hopefully she will become stronger and less judgemental because of it. People say that body modification is addicting, and I whole-heartedly agree, but I sometimes wonder what exactly makes this so. Is it the attention? The unavoidable life lessons modding teaches? Or is it simply the pleasure of adorning one's body? Whatever the case, I'm glad my friend has entered into a world which makes her think, feel, and act a little differently. A little better even.
P.S. I got my wrist re-pierced with a surface bar :o) More on this new development to come.

Thursday, July 06, 2006

what the hell...

Sometimes I the system trying to send society subliminal messages saying "tattoos are dangerous (AKA bad)"? Some warnings geared toward tattooed individuals don't even make sense. MRI-related warnings aside, take hair dye warnings for example: the side of my Garnier Nutrisse hair dye box holds a warning that reads "IF YOU HAVE A TATTOO the risks of allergic reaction may be increased." Upon reading this warning I was confused as to why having a tattoo would affect one's susceptibility to allergic reactions. After some research, the only explanation I can come up with is that the FDA got confused and started assuming that since some people had developed a hair dye allergy as a result of improper 'henna' tattoos that people with normal tattoos might develop the same allergy. Now I'm not positive, but I'm pretty sure that henna tattooing and needled tattooing are VERY DIFFERENT. Not only are the inks used in regular tattoos nothing like the PPD laced ones used in sketchy henna tattoos, but the respective methods of application are a world apart. One is PERMANENT, and the other can become permanent due to the blistering caused by PPD 'henna' tattoos. So the only explanation I can come up with for the warning is that the FDA is afraid we'll get too excited and dye our skin instead of our hair. We may be "freaks" but we're not idiots...

Monday, July 03, 2006

the 'dangers' of being tattooed

As I noted in the most recent post, my mother recently got word that she is cancer-free. This news was made possible by an MRI scan that she underwent last week. While in the waiting room prior to the scan, my mother was sitting next to me and filling out some paperwork. As MRIs produce a magnetic field 10,000 times the strength of the Earth's magnetic field, I had expected that she would be required to remove her earlobe studs before the procedure. However, I was quite confused when she noted with some satisfaction that the paperwork warned tattooed patients that their ink may heat up and cause burns during the scan. "Seeee!" was her only comment, as if this warning meant that I would never be able to have an MRI. But with all of the tattooed people I've seen in my life, it's unlikely that none of them have ever had one. So I decided to do a little research on the subject, and here's what I found...
First off, there have been situations in which a patient with tattoos did experience minor burns as a result of an MRI scan. The good news for us youngens is that this type of reaction is unlikely if you have acquired your tattoo within the last 20 years. The recent developments in tattoo equipment and ink have resulted in a lessened amount of trace metals (namely iron oxide) in the ink. Nowadays, the only real risk of reactions to MRI scans involves cosmetic tattoos such as eyeliner or lipliner, whose inks often contain higher quantities of iron oxide metal.

Tattoo that has been burned as a result of an MRI scan.

All in all, the risk of reaction for us tattooed folk when entering that claustrophoby capsule is quite low. The one thing you will want to remember if you are tattooed and must get an MRI is that your body does not lie to you. If you feel tingling or heat on or around your tattooed areas, inform the technician immediately.
Now you know! :o)

Sunday, July 02, 2006

cancer-free gum

I'm very happy to report that after a long, hard 6 weeks of chemo and radiation therapy, my mother just got word that she is officially cancer-free. Over these past few months, I’ve become closer with her than I have ever been before. I felt that this time would be my golden opportunity to finally convince her that my modifications are merely physical adornments, and should not instill her with the anger and disappointment that they previously have. Alas, no…
I came out of a recent discussion with my mother on the insignificance of body modification as it relates to our relationship with a new realization. I have come to see that she is more resentful of the embarrassment that I have caused her as a result of my mods than she is of the mods themselves. Apparently, some 'friends' of hers recently mentioned my mods to her. Although they merely made casual comments, my mother seems to have taken them as insults or criticisms. Such assumptions make her feel as if she has to "stick up" for me or "explain" for me. I don't even want to know what these supposed defenses might sound like. All I know is that they surely don't portray me in a very positive light. I mean, how can someone who doesn't support or understand my interest in modification accurately "explain" why I do the things I do? And who said I need explaining anyways? It just irks me that, with all of the commendable things I might do in life, people are more concerned with how I look. Just let me be, please. If it bothers you, don’t get modded. It sounds so easy…so what’s the problem? I just wish that my mom would take the time to listen to what I have to say, and be open-minded enough to realize that she truly is in the wrong here. Her arguments against me never go anywhere, and I have finally figured out why. She’s embarrassed of me...sheesh.