Body Modifications Essay

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Body Modifications | An obscure form of self-expression | | J Bailey | 4/27/2012 | | Introduction It is becoming increasingly difficult to come into contact with a person who has no body modifications. Society, and the media which fuels it, encourages conformity to what is socially acceptable. Body modification is a worldwide practice, and is a topic that could fill volumes. This paper discusses body modification specifically in westernized culture. The relevant dichotomy of society from the culture of “body mod” will be discussed as well as body modifications as they are linked to the image of gender. Reasons will be laid out for what the individual involved in body modification is attempting to transgress as well as the morality of it all. By integrating specific quotes from literature used in previous class discussion, the theology of extreme or “hard” body modification will be analyzed. While body modifications vary slightly between male and female bodies due to the natural addition or removal of body parts, extreme body modifications are not limited to a specific gender image. This creates a sense of otherness, morality and a dichotomy not linked to language or gender, but to transgressing the images formed by society. What is Body Modification? Body modification, or “body mod” is defined as “the deliberate altering of the human body for any non-medical reason, such as aesthetics, sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, religious reasons, to display group membership or affiliation, to create body art, shock value, or self-expression” (Essortment). Hair removal, dying and styling as well as tanning and body building are all methods of body modification that are considered publically acceptable by which one may achieve his or her ideal gendered “look”, therefore gaining acceptance into society’s public eye. There are also many more extreme
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