Body Modification (General; Miscellaneous)

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Ogopogo said:
When my mother returned from a trip to Malta, she brought me some postcards featuring wax museum figures performing various acts of medieval torture.

One postcard featured tongue piercing. It used to be done as a punishment for a first offense for blasphemy.

Back in the Mayan Classic, rulers used to perform blood sacrifice by peircing with a stingray spine. Women pierced their tongues and men their penises. the blood was collected and a ritual performed by mixing with stuff (Can't remember what off top o' me head, but i'm sure Copal incence was invovled) and burning it. thus summoning a 'Vision Serpent'. the whole affair can be Viewed on 4 Lintels taken form the site of Yaxchilan, showing the ritual performed by Bird Jaguar and Lady Xoc, on display at the British Museum

Sorry but all this just made me think of that :D
 

Spookyangel

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So does that mean Caroline, that you find me saying I don't like tattoos or piercings offensive? Sorry, but I didn't intend to offend anyone. I just don't like them. I've never said to anything to any of my friends about their tattoos/ piercings. Hey, it's their choice, just not mine. :confused:
Piercings are another of my irrational fears I'm afraid. I can't even look at someone with pierced ears putting earrings in. *shudder*
 

Beakmoo

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Regarding judging people with tattoos, I have to say I used to, till I discovered this board, and the fact that nice, intelligent people can look like people I used to avoid. So the board has actually improved my personality. :)
 

Mighty_Emperor

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I'm impressed that she is still doing the rounds but (if that picture is anything to go by) she looks a real mess - possibly what she was going for but she could have just go the effect by going to cheaper plastic surgeons.

Artist's plastic surgeries defy beauty standards

French woman undergoes numerous cosmetic procedures

Updated: 1:40 p.m. ET April 23, 2004NEW YORK - French performance artist Orlan, who has undergone numerous plastic surgeries to transform her face and body to challenge traditional perceptions of beauty, says art “has to shock.”


And with her carnal art — which has included reshaping her face to resemble Zimbabwe’s Ndebele giraffe women and performing during her surgeries — she achieves that end.

“The whole idea of (my work) is to be against the idea of social pressure put on a woman’s body,” Orlan said through an interpreter Thursday during a discussion of her work at Manhattan’s Museum of Arts & Design. The 56-year-old artist was joined by Dr. Dimitri Panfilov, a plastic surgeon from the private clinic, “Nefrititi” in Bonn, Germany.

Orlan, whose only noticeable cosmetic enhancement was a pair of bulging saline implants embedded over her eyebrows, said, “I am against the ideas of normal beauty.”

Surgery and makeup
For Orlan, plastic surgery isn’t tummy tucks, liposuction, breast reduction or lip augmentation. It’s an expression of the sublime and grotesque, eccentricities carved into human flesh and sculpted in living bone.

Orlan’s work is graphic and bizarre, a mixture of the absurd and exotic.

During a multimedia presentation, she showed a 40-year history of her work, which began with black-and-white nude poses and ended with thematic performances of her undergoing plastic surgery in graphic detail.

Orlan’s results attempt to resemble nonwestern images of beauty, like the Ndebele giraffe women, who lengthen their necks by wearing dozens of tight neck rings.

Other images she conjures through surgery and makeup are that of a Persian Mangbetu woman, whose head is wrapped in a complex braid, and an Olmec monarch, whose nose is elongated artificially in a death ritual.

Orlan says her carnal art rebels against the Christian revulsion to pleasures of the flesh, and consists of “mutant hybrids,” a combination of tribal art with modern technology.

'An around-the-world tour of beauty'
“This is an around-the-world tour of beauty,” she said.

More shocking perhaps are Orlan’s performances during her surgeries, some of which have their own thematic motifs. During one surgery, she is dressed as a Madonna figure, holding up a large black cross in one hand and a white cross in the other, while the doctors and nurses, in costumes, peel back layers of bloody skin.

Although Orlan says her plastic surgery performances are painless, her work is permeated with a faint sense of masochism.

“My work is against the idea of pain,” she said. “Pain is not good as a form of redemption.”

Even the blood and flesh discarded after her surgeries are used. For one piece, she encased a piece of her flesh in glass and attached it to a tableau.

“The body is a sculpture and a pedestal,” she said.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/4816435/

Emps
 

escargot

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In nursing/care work we have to learn how to deal with wooden legs, prosthetic hands, glass eyes, colostomies, catheters, you name it, we can handle it.

In 20-30 years there'll be short courses on Care of Piercings and Body Modifications, and young student nurses will giggle when they see their first Prince Albert. :rolleyes:
 

hallybods

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I have read all the replies on this thread and have found many people's views to be the norm. I myself have serveral large tattoos and also have my nose and lip pierced. Because of my tattoos at times I have been treated pretty shabbily. I have had one man snigger to his friend and ask whether I was a man. I also have been followed around shops because they think I look like a thief. Most of the time people just stare.

I recently did a presentation on tattooing for my college course and there is more to it than shock tactics. The practice comes from the dawn of time and has been seen at different times as being a story of the wearer's life and a form of punishment. The whole subject is facinating. I urge you all to see for yourself instead of dismissing it outright.
 

ArthurASCII

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hallybods said:
The practice comes from the dawn of time and has been seen at different times as being a story of the wearer's life and a form of punishment.

True, Hallybods (or should that be "holey bod" ;) , but IMHO today's tattood-types are mostly fashion victims and attention-seekers who cannot wait to reinforce their self doubts about their "body art" by justifying their actions at every available opportunity to those who couldn't care less aout their "soon-to-be-ugly mauve smudges" body art. They are not participants in shamanistic rites, and mutilation by branding or tattooing to show ownership or to punish a thief or a rapist is surely not in the same category as self-mutilation.

In the words of David Bowie:

"Oooooooh da da da da fashion"
 

hallybods

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In my experience Arthur I find that of all the tattooed people I have met only a handful have had them done because it is in fashion. I had them done because I like them and each one means something to me that is very personal.

I would prefer if everyone with tattoos had them done for a symbolic reason, but I look at it this way, if it's not hurting anyone or affecting their way of life so what difference does it make?

As for attention seeking, hmm actually I hate being the centre of attention which is a real paradox because the tattoos tend to cause me to get it.

(Being Devils Advocate) As for you not caring less - well if you don't really care then why are you posting on the subject? ;)
 

ArthurASCII

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hallybods said:
(Being Devils Advocate) As for you not caring less - well if you don't really care then why are you posting on the subject? ;)

Ah.

Although I am ambivalent to the tattood body per se, I am intrigued by the historical and fashionable aspects.

It's good to know that your "body art" means something special to you. Most people who've told me that turned out to have merely picked a "tailor-made" design from a book in the tattoo shop or have a set of a la mode chinese characters that spell the word or phrase that they chose (at least, that's what the tattooist told them) - that's when the need to justify clicks in.

Good luck to you. Next time I am seized by the overwhelming impulse to advertise my innermost feelings in a symbolic shape by having a quantity of ink introduced into my body subdermally, I'll donate the money to charity instead - that'll be a more than symbolic gesture.
 

escargot

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I've read, and believe, that in the 'West' tattoos are traditionally sought at a time of change in a person's life. That's why young servicemen (my son among them) come home on leave, especially from foreign climes, with fresh tattoos.

The actual design isn't the point. It's the ritual that matters, even if it only consists of a crowd of drunken sailors dragging their wet-behind-the-ears colleague into the shop and holding him up/down while the tattooist does their worst.;)

Tattoos are asociated with working and especially criminal classes in Britain. The only respectable tattoos which an upper or middle class man (never woman) could have at one time were military ones.

It's just fashion now, and why not? It's peeps' own bodies. Three of my 4 offspring have them. I don't object (which I feel makes them think me somewhat unsporting- I'm supposed to be outraged!) as they are the ones who will have to live with them when they become old hat.

My brother and his girlfriend had matching Disney tattoos a couple of years ago, completely in keeping with the 'life change' theory. Why the hell would a grown man of 40-odd want a childish cartoon Tigger drawn permanently on his arm? Answer- the design didn't matter: he needed the 'blood ritual' to mark his commitment to this woman in his life, having divorced the mother of his children. :D

My son returned from his first Army posting with a gorilla tattooed on his shoulder. No idea why he chose the gorilla, he says- just wanted a tattoo and randomly pointed to that one.

I had a tattoo done many years ago and looking back I can see that it marked a definite stage in my life. At the time I just 'wanted' one. There you go.
 

ArthurASCII

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A very eurdite and interesting post Escargot. The ritual "thing" is no doubt the most common reason why most people have themselves tattood (you seldom see people queuing at the Tattooist on their own).
 

escargot

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Thank you, Arthur!
I really must get out more. ;)
 

punychicken

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escargot said:
I've read, and believe, that in the 'West' tattoos are traditionally sought at a time of change in a person's life.

i couldnt agree with you more! but i would like to add that it marks a transition in many many cultures beyond the scope of an east/west division. but im sure that goes without saying! ;)

as for stages in life, i think im approaching another one at the moment! what to have and where though...
 

escargot

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Lots of women dye their hair blonde after divorce too. If that isn't a life-change-occasioned-body-modification then I don't know what is. ;)

I too am feeling faint urges for another tattoo.

There's an African tattoo god who sometimes calls out to his followers. They respond by having a tattoo. The pain is their sacrifice and the decorative mark serves as a permanent reminder of their devotions.

Is the tattoo god calling to me?
Or am I in the middle of another life change?

Well, I've just been finally divorced, and the BF is now officially living with me. ;)
 

OneWingedBird

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to those who couldn't care less aout their "soon-to-be-ugly mauve smudges" body art.

My step dad had lots of tatoos that he picked up in his teens while he was in the Royal Navy. Having seen what they looked like at 40, I wouldn't even think of getting one. It doesn't matter how super they look now, give it 20 years and they will look a mess.

I really don't get the whole tribal/cultural aspect of tatooing. Staking a claim on someone elses cultural heritage is something that I've become incredibly sceptical of in recent years. Tatooing is cultural if you're a Dayak/Mouri/Inuit, but for the bog standard romano-british/anglo saxon, there isn't really any cultural context besides what we've invented in recent times.

Btw I've heard that some of the serious tatoo nuts quite like the pain aspet of it too...
 

punychicken

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if you look at the top 6 photos on this page you will see something that I am finding to be quite an inspiration!

The red dragon on the left side of this guys back is 'kinda' what I am after stylistically. As for the size of it....

I already have a dragon head and koi carp on my upper arm, which is quite nice as its signifying a change over period in my life (more on koi and dragons here ) but Im after Japanese this time. A quick note on Japanese Koi here
 

hallybods

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BlackRiver Falls - tattooing started about the same time in just about all cultures and ancient celts were extensively tattooed.

As for those 'mauve smudges' inks have been developed in the last x-amount of years and tattoos last for much longer.
 

punychicken

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Herodian 3rd C. AD III, 14, 68 :

Most of northern Britain is marshy since it is constantly washed by the ocean tides. The barbarians are accustomed to swim in these marshes or to run through them with the water up to their waists. For the most part they are naked and think nothing of getting mud on themselves. Also, being unfamiliar with the use of clothing, they adorn their waists and necks with iron, considering this sun ornament and a sign of wealth, just as other barbarians do gold. They tattoo their bodies with various designs and pictures of all kinds of animals. This is the reason they do not wear clothes: so as not to cover up the designs on their bodies.
 

escargot

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Sounds like the chavs in the park in the summer.
 

intaglio

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The royal navy and the army have used tattoos since the 18th century. We have little record of mediaeval tattos in northern europe
 

Mighty_Emperor

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hallybods said:
In my experience Arthur I find that of all the tattooed people I have met only a handful have had them done because it is in fashion.

This has been largely my experience too - I know a lot of people into tattoing and body modification (online and offline. However, I don't know anyone into amputation or castration), including a number of piercers and tattoo artists (I'm unsure how I have managed to dodge the needle for so long - more accident than design as I've known what I'd have done for a long time), and people rarely have it done because its trendy. I might be spoiled as people are some heavily modfied in my local that if you went for a trendy tattoo or piercing you'd look pretty silly so people either have none or a lot -the only exception I can think of was one of my friends who had a Native American done on his arm and he now lives in Belgium ;)

I do thnk that some things are very badly judged though - I saw a young girl the other day with a small stud in the middle of her top lip right under one nostril and just looked like a bogey which just isn't cool.

My feeling about Orlan is that while I am impressed by the fully body tattooists and body modifiers mentioned earlier she has run into problems because when your face is your canvas, and if you don't stick to a theme like the others have, then your face starts to become a palimpsest of all the various ideas you have had over the years and, as I said above, she is realy starting to look a mess but possibly that is her plan - to challenge our ideas of beauty but I'm not concvinced - she did that a while ago.

Emps
 

rynner2

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Branding! (Tats are for wimps!)

It’s the brand new body craze - and it hurts
Brendan Montague

FORGET tattoos or piercings. The latest trend for body decoration enthusiasts is to have their skin branded in the style of a Texan prize steer.

Red-hot metal brands or cauterising pens, which burn at more than 1,000C, are used to sear a design permanently into the flesh.

Historically, slaves and dangerous criminals were branded and it is still used as a form of torture in Iraq.

In Britain, the hot branding of livestock is outlawed by animal welfare legislation - but there are no rules to stop humans voluntarily having their skin burnt as a fashion statement.

The procedure, which costs about £70, is painful and can be dangerous because of the risk of nerve damage and infection.

Graham Martin, president of the Tattoo and Piercing Industry association, who offers branding at his Holier Than Thou studio in Manchester, said it was becoming popular with professionals and that he had branded teachers, nurses and a policeman. He claimed that the number of people asking him for the procedure has risen from just one a year in 2002 to more than one a week.

“We have had people as young as 16 ask for a branding. We have turned them away because we would not tattoo anyone under the age of 18. But there is no legislation banning this,” he added.

Dave Wiper of the Modern Savage tattoo studio in Wakefield, West Yorkshire, branded himself 10 years ago and has seen a steep increase in the number of people with the scar patterns in the past three years. He has branded a Muslim man who wanted a tattoo but cannot introduce ink to the body because of his religion.

Many of those who have their skin branded choose to film the experience and post it on YouTube, the video website.

Paul Doling, a 29-year-old insurance clerk from Eastbourne, East Sussex, had eight circles in two lines burnt onto his forearm, which took an hour to complete. “The adrenaline rush masks the pain,” he said.

A Health and Safety Executive spokesman said the practice of branding had not been made illegal and compared it with contact sports such as boxing, where deliberate injury was allowed by the courts.

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/u ... 753986.ece
 

OneWingedBird

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some of the s&m heads have been upto this sort of thing for quite a while... i'm surprised it's made it this far mainstream though... :?
 

rynner2

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Girl has 56 stars tattooed on face after 'falling asleep'
A furious Belgian father has gone to the police after his teenage daughter ended up with 56 stars tattooed on her face after allegedly asking the tattooist for "some points of colour".
By Bruno Waterfield in Brussels
Published: 5:33PM BST 16 Jun 2009

Kimberley Vlaminck, 18, claimed that she asked for only three stars to be tattooed near her left eye as a present from her father, Diego, who was upholding a family tradition of tattoos.

"My father wanted to pay because in our family everyone has a tattoo," she said.

As her father ate an ice cream outside, Miss Vlaeminck claims she fell asleep before waking up to find her face covered in the "nightmare" tattoos.

"When he started to tattoo me, I did not feel pain and I fell asleep. I awoke as he tattooed me on the nose and I saw what he had done. I counted 56 stars," she said.

"I cannot go out on to the street, I am so embarrassed. I just look ugly, a freak, mutilated."

Miss Vlaeminck and her family are seeking damages worth £9,000 to pay for laser surgery to remove the tattoos.

But Rouslan Toumaniantz, who runs the Courtrai tattoo parlour called The Tattoo Box, has denied the allegations and demanded payment of 50 euros for the stars.

"She was awake all the time. I did not hypnotise or dope her, as they say, it was with agreement. No way could I have tattooed so many stars on her face against her will," he said.

Mr Toumaniantz has counterclaimed that the problems only began when the father saw his teenage daughter's tattoos.

http://www.telegraph.co.uk/news/worldne ... sleep.html
 

mugwump2

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My step dad had lots of tatoos that he picked up in his teens while he was in the Royal Navy. Having seen what they looked like at 40, I wouldn't even think of getting one. It doesn't matter how super they look now, give it 20 years and they will look a mess.

I have to disagree with you here. My Grandad is 93, he had his tattoos done in the 1950's and they still look good.
Most people who've told me that turned out to have merely picked a "tailor-made" design from a book in the tattoo shop or have a set of a la mode chinese characters that spell the word or phrase that they chose (at least, that's what the tattooist told them) - that's when the need to justify clicks in..

I must be unusual as all three of my tattoos were designed by myself in collaboration with the tattoo artist and were very carefully thought about. My husband also designs his own tattoos.

I've read, and believe, that in the 'West' tattoos are traditionally sought at a time of change in a person's life.

I agree with this. I got my first one coming out of a 10 year relationship. I had wanted a tattoo for most of this time and as my partner didn't want me to get one it i had held off. I got mine to remind me to not let other people control me. I still love the tattoo i got done and it does still remind me to be true to myself.
 

Eponastill

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Girl has 56 stars tattooed on face after 'falling asleep'

Yeah right. Like you could fall asleep having a tattoo. On your face.

It's very obvious isn't it - the girl went home, her parents freaked out, she pretended 'it wasn't what she'd asked for'. I fear this is not going to stand up in court.
 

mugwump2

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No way she fell asleep more likely had to pretend she did after her dad freaked.
A small point but reputable tattoists in the UK follow a code of practice which discourages tattoing above the neck (the back of the hands etc) especially if the person is not heavily tattooed on other parts of their body.
 
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