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Body Modifications- Modify

Updated on December 27, 2007

Today and Yesterday

Body modification is a popular trend in today's society. Beginning with the primitive tribes and lip plates, ear stretchings, and scarification, today's society has continued th tradition. We get tattoos to represent special times, memories, people, and other important things in our life, as in earlier tribes, body modifications marked marriages, puberty, and statuses within the tribe.

Women would have their lips pierced six months before marriage. They would then slowly begin stretching the piercing placing larger lip platelets and plates in replace of the smaller one.

Scars were deliberately made on the faces of warriors and hunters to mark great defeats and hunts.

In many cases body modifications were used to as a rite of passage into another stage in life. This can be the case today as well. Some people decide to get a tattoo after surviving cancer or another illness, getting married, graduating, etc.

Today's society will accept certain body modifications as though they were naturally placed through and in the skin, but sometimes they do not. Many businesses will not hire a well-qualified person due to the fact they may have a visible tattoo or a few too many piercings. Other times, the tattoos and piercings lead into a discussions about their meaning.

Many people get tattoos that have special meaning to them. It may appear to be a simple butterfly, but to the person the butterfly may represent a new times. A rebirth. A new outlook on life.

Tattoos and Piercings

Both tattoos and piercings are one of the more common body modification besides tanning, plastic surgery, and dying one's hair.

Today tattoos can be found on various parts of the body to include, the face, arms, back, legs, feet, and even genital areas. Various types of people, too, are found with tattoos. Sometimes, people you wouldn't expect to have a tattoo, indeed may. Business people, construction, retail, mom's, dad's, grandparents, journalists, writers, anyone... Of all ages, races, and cultures...

Piercings aren't as visible around town, well except the average ear lobe piercing. Other than that you may not see so many industrial piercings, conch, tragus, or surface piercings. Navel piercings, nose, and tongue piercings are more popular than eyebrow piercings, genital piercings, and nape piercings. But, none-the-less, piercings are very prevalent in today's society.

Body modification does not stop with piercings, tattoos, brandings, scarrings, and implants. Simple things such as tanning, hair dye, and plastic surgeries are, also, considered body modifications, as the body is modified is some form or fashion.


I have found a great documentary about all body modifications. The documentary speaks to people about tattoos, piercings, branding, scarification, genital beading, plastic surgery, trans-gender surgery, tanning, and more.

Anything that causes a change to the body is considered a body modification, down to the simpliest trip to the tanning bed or salon for a hair dye.

Modify, the movie, is a very interesting documentary for those interested in body modifications and those who really aren't. The documentary can open one's eyes into the art of tattooing or piercing. It can open one's eyes into the practice of modifications and why some people do what they do.

Modify. Documentary of body mods.
Modify. Documentary of body mods.


I am a person who has several piercings, tattoos, and scars. I tend to get my body modifications when I want to mark a time in my life or a memory. One of my tattoos is to mark the memory of my pit bull, Chance. I have scars representing depressed times and the coming out of. Piercings to make a change in my life.

My boyfriend has tattoos to mark times of his lifes, jobs, bands, etc. Many of the bands that he has worked with, are marked by tattoos on his arms. To mark memories and times in his life.

Pictures can be found at


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      emily 5 years ago

      I'm surprised there aren't more comments. I like this, it's interesting to see how body modification has become popular, and what it means to people.

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      Samm! 7 years ago

      I enjoyed reading this. Most people don't take the time to read it and just loook at the pictures. So they don't understand.