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.