Body Modification Research Paper

1743 Words7 Pages
Body modification is defined as any deliberate alteration to ones’ physical appearance. Most people think that only tattoos and piercings fall into this classification, but this is barely grazing the surface of the extents that body modification can lead to. Anything from a simple ear lobe piercing to breast implants, or tattoos and scarifications are all considered as some form of modification. In western cultures, modifications are made for aesthetics and self-expression, but every culture is different. Native American tribes find spiritual clarity or vision in body suspension, where the body is literally hung on hooks, and in Imperial China's practice of binding the feet of women to represent wealth and beauty. In this paper we will not only look into different piercings, but the history behind them and tattoos as well, also the different modifications that various cultures practice, and why. I will explore tribes such as the Mursi tribe in Ethiopia and the Apatani tribe of Arunachal Pradesh, India. By the end you will have learned about various cultures and traditions, and have a whole new perspective of the art of body modification. Tourists call them Giraffe necks, the women of the Kayan tribe wear rings, a long brass spiral, around their necks. The practice of wearing neck rings in Thai culture began in Burma with a few Kayan tribes. At first the Kayan tribe were located in what is now Myanmar, but due to military conflicts in the 60’s and 70’s they were forced to flee to Thailand. They lived on the Thai borders in refugee camps until they were placed in permanent homes by the Thai government. Women believed wearing these rings enhanced their beauty. Many sources reported that the women were used for tourism by the Thai gov... ... middle of paper ... are being excepted and are not as taboo. Now, many people choose scarifications over tattoos. Its origins were in the practice of the Australian Aborigines dating back to 60,000 B.C.. People have now found creative ways of expressing themselves, such as the “Lizard Man” and the “Stalking Cat.” Both men modified their bodies using silicon implants, tattoos, sharpening their teeth, plastic surgery, and various piercings, to resemble what they believed was their inner animal. Yes, most of society do view them as freaks, but they no longer receive the hate one person would receive for a basic navel piercing. Everywhere, there is a person with a tattoo or piercing, wether it be for religious, cultural, or aesthetical reasons. More forms of body modification are still being invented or thought of everyday, but it is the persons choice to what extent they will take it.
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