“The aim of argument, or of discussion, should not be victory, but progress.”
– Joseph Joubert
Body modification is the intentional altering of a person’s physical appearance. There are tons of reasons people alter their appearance and those include (but aren’t limited to):
- sexual enhancement,
- rites of passage,
- religious beliefs,
- to display group membership or affiliation,
- to create body art,
- for shock value,
- and as self-expression, etc.
Even with opinions on body mods evolving and progressing to more positive connotations, they are still quite a taboo topic of conversation. So today, I’m gonna share snippets of my convos on body mods with two (2) friends, Cathy and Trishana (Check out their full stories here – Cathy’s & Trishana’s). Let’s hear what they have to say.
What does “Body Mods” even mean to us?
KW: What does body modification mean to you?
Trishana: Body modification is altering any aspect of your physical appearance or composition. Most persons think nose jobs and breast augmentation when they hear “body modification” but (in my opinion) body mod is much broader.
KW: Broader how? What do you think falls under the broader heading?
Trishana: Lip injections, skin bleaching/toning, ear stretching. Anything that alters the natural appearance. So tummy tucks, Brazilian butt lifts, hairline adjustment… all that.
KW: So what do you consider Body Modification (Body Mods) to be?
Cathy: Body modification would be conscious alteration of the human body. I consider weight loss / gain body modifications too.
What kind of Body Mods do you have/want to try?
KW: Are there alterations you’ve tried (including piercings, tattoos, etc) or want to try?
Trishana: Definitely! I have 7 piercings and a tattoo and I can’t wait to do more. I guess you could say I’m all for body mod as long as it makes you happy… I’ve considered breast augmentations and rhinoplasty a few times lol.
I’ve also looked into permanent eye colour change.. I like my eyes as they are now but I want a more exotic look sometimes – and so I’d go for green.
KW: And what would you consider your limitations to altering your [body]?
Cathy: [I have] piercings yes, but I have commitment issues, so tattoos for me, are a no go. Surgery for me is a no go too. But that’s just personal.
That’s because I have had a long journey of accepting my body, and through that, I’ve come to love it, so I wouldn’t go under the knife.
KW: Fair enough. Have any preferences for where you’d pierce?
Cathy: As long as it’s not on my face, I’m open to different options
Do you think Body Mods will ever become the norm?
Trishana: I think that our society is built on controversy. Persons are always going to have to deal with others who don’t like it.. or think they should do more. And eventually, the negative connotations may die down but there will always be new trends and THAT ONE SUBSET who thinks its the worst thing ever
Cathy: Honestly I think it depends on the type of body modification. If we’re talking about like a tummy tuck or a nose job or a breast lift or something like that, I believe it has become normal, it’s just that there are few people who are open about the fact that they have done these surgeries. And with these type of body modifications, in specific industries, you might actually be more likely to find a job, as you are perceived to be “more attractive” .
Tattoos and piercings however do not have the same effect, in Jamaica specifically.
Lastly, What would you say to those who want Body Mods?
KW: Finally, any opinions, advice or experiences you want to share?
Trishana: The most valuable advice I could offer to someone interested in doing mods is to think deeply about their decision and why they’ve chosen to do this. Because I believe unless you do it for yourself, you’ll never be satisfied and this could result in permanent damage and negative results. As for social acceptance, I would say: your body is YOUR temple and temples were meant to be adorned.
KW: Do you think you’d pass on to your future children or just the younger generation your views on self-expression through body modifications or would you teach them the way your parents taught you?
Cathy: Firstly, I can only speak about my future children. Everyone has a right to their own opinion, and parents have a responsibility to teach their children whatever they see fit.
But for [my] children, they would learn what [my] views are on body modifications, why we view things the way we do and they’d also be taught that their actions have consequences and we do live in an imperfect world, where sometimes what we look like determines what people think about us, even for characteristics that they cannot change.
They, in return have the responsibility of first of all understanding why they want to change the things they do, then making the best decision they see fit.
Nothing’s taboo if you’re willing to not deprive yourself of another’s opinions and share yours for the sake of always moving forward.
To each his own body modification and self-expression.
Check out their full stories here – Cathy’s & Trishana’s and join the discussion.
Cathy’ Snapchat: @bellisticcatt