Thursday, March 31, 2011

knives and needles

"humans will continue to reshape and redefine themselves by modifying their bodies."

Little Sis just got a boob job. I'm thinking about getting her this tshirt. Also, I am contemplating getting my nipple pierced when she comes to town. Sort of a solidarity thing (BOOBS: she gets a new cup size, I get a sparkly ;). I was planning on doing it anyways (shiny!)

It has body modification back on my mind.

I was going to try and to write up some introspective piece about body modification, social acceptance, class distinction, aging, self image, hypocrisy in the various demographic groups that look down their nose at certain forms of modification while embracing others... etc etc etc...

but... my brain is not working so smoothly and I am short on time. So, in stead, an odd assortment of links on the subject.

Lori St. Leone's essay on the history of body modification (see quote at the of this post) is a MUST READ. Then follow that up with these rather extreme forms of body modifications. While you are at it, here's video footage of breast augmentation surgery and a post I wrote a while back regarding some dinner time conversations about boobs. Then over to Doves and Serpents where Heather admits to being judgmental towards people who have elective cosmetic surgery (and those who dye their hair; "Just accept yourself the way you are") and Heidi's exceptional follow-up post regarding the individual nature of how we choose to accessorize/alter our bodies to express who we are. Oh! Oh! and you MUST read this powerful poem, How To Make Love To A Trans Person! ("[bodies are] just oddly-shaped vessels for hearts." I love that.) On a different note, I love how prostheses are getting a make-over and becoming fashion statements (and... Aimee Mullins... /SWOON!)

But one last thing I wanted to note... these things really aren't just a matter of personal decision making. Every one of them is a luxury that requires expendable income. My nipple piercing will cost considerably less than little sister's implants, but still no free lunch.
It's another factor in how we express our individuality; what we do with our expendable income (assuming you happen to be part of that small global minority that happens to have an expendable income.)

Anyhow, for your entertainment, I leave you with Amanda Palmer's Map of Tasmania, because self expression through pubic hair freedom must never be underestimated!



Lessie said...

I heart you. Forever and ever. I can't wait to read the links you posted here. And I was just discussing this with my minister the other day. It's such a complex issue. I've tended to judge women who get boob jobs... but I have an eyebrow piercing. WTF, me?

Anyway, I look forward to the discussion :)

G said...

thank you lessie <3

it *is* complex, and so very personal.

I've been pretty judgmental myself too... usually being very sympathetic to alternative forms of body modification, while turning my nose up at things like botox and breast implants... but lately, I am just coming to realize it is all in the same sphere: We can alter how we appear to others. How we chose to do that is personal.

mfranti said...

Lessie, eyebrow piercing vs breast enhancement...apples to a BMW.

Galen, you're brave to post so openly about where you want a piercing. I don't know if I could be so open. (not ashamed for some stupid reason or other)

on that note...I'm still thinking of joining you on it. Same breast.

are you seriously saying that all forms of body mod are equal?

G said...

mel: "you seriously saying that all forms of body mod are equal?"
nope :)
boob job = $$$$$$$$
piercing = $

(plus, go watch that breast augmentation vid. a BIT more recovery time for something like that than for a piercing.)

what I am saying is that it is all in the same realm; the desire and ability to alter appearance.

hence: eyebrow piercing to breast enhancement is more like: bicycle to BMW.

G said...

one more note about various forms of body modification being "equal."

one of the ways in which they differ is the reason the person is getting the modification.

just taking breast augmentation as an example;

someone might choose to undergo this modification because she has extremely small breasts, OR she had breast cancer and both of her breasts were removed (LOVE this tshirt), OR she was born into a male body, and wants to be more 'feminine'.

On the other hand, maybe she was born with extremely large breasts and they are difficult to live with OR He was born into a female body and wants to be more masculine.

It's easy to stereotype (and judge) something like "boob job" but it is JUST NOT THAT SIMPLE. It's personal, and it's complex. That should be recognized.