NROP: Body modification – Does it make us more beautiful?

We have all heard about people in far away countries taking jewelry to the next level. Multiple piercings and/ or tattoos are something that WE, the Western world, are more or less used to. But the subject of today’s post went beyond all that. He had his concha removed. What is that? In laymen terms – it is the inner part of the outer part of your ear.

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No, it was not a medical necessity.

No, it was not an accident.

Yes, that man CHOSE to get this done for aesthetic purposes(If you follow the first link, you will be able to see the results of this removal procedure.)

That man traveled all the way from Australia to Sweden to get his procedure done by a famous body modifier. The artist claims that his patient might feel confused as to which direction sounds are coming from in the beginning, but that he should go back to normal in a couple of weeks. It is said to help you hear the sounds behind you better. Is the Australian fed up with people talking behind his back? Now he will know if they are doing so, or not. [cue laughter]

Several years back, I heard of a trend that had many people tattoo their sclera (the white of your eye). The color black seemed to be the favorite. It had you look rather menacing. Not too long after, I heard of some complications. He had to have his eyeballs removed. That procedure is not by a medical specialist. Those who do dabble in such tattooing see it as something safe. In case of the man losing his eyes, the ink was injected too deep. I cannot find a link to that as I write this, but it is mentioned in the below link. Aside from that guy, there was also a woman, who had her boyfriend do her eyes purple. She has to take antibiotics, and go through surgery to remove the excess dye. Her vision will never be the same. Her tattooist put in too much ink at once, used too big of a needle and went too deep, and did not dilute the ink. Her BOYFRIEND. You would think that he would have been extra careful. It just goes to show how unpredictable these procedures can be.

Wikipedia has a pretty lengthy list of body modification examples. It includes, but is not limited to:

  • Tooth-knocking – the act of deliberately knocking one’s teeth out, often to satisfy an aesthetic ideal.
  • Extraocular implant – the implantation of jewelry in the outer layer of the eye.
  • Pearling – also known as genital beading.

Is body modification a new trend? Piercing is a practice that has been known and documented in the Middle East 4,000 years ago. Tattoos have been documented over 3,000 years ago, but they are believed to be even 10, 000 years old. Surprisingly, pearling was common among the Yakuza members several hundred years ago.

The featured photo of this post illustrates lip stretching and comes from the Mursi tribe from Ethiopia. What does it stand for? The outstretched lip is a sign of adulthood and a reproductive potential. The bigger the plate, the wealthier they are. Or maybe it’s the other way around – the wealthier they are, the bigger their “jewelry”.

Women from the Apatani tribe in India had to outfit themselves with nose plugs to make themselves look less attractive. That way no outside man will consider them beautiful. (Is that a rape deterrent that should be adopted in the Western culture?)

The Kayans in Myanmar are famous for wearing brass coils on their necks, stretching them to be longer. Have you heard of giraffe women? The process of stretching their necks starts as early as at 5 years old. That set is said to weight 4.5 pounds.

Women from the Dani tribe in Indonesia cut off the tips of their fingers when their loved one dies.

In Mauritania, West Africa, there exists a practice called leblouh, which is the brutal act of force-feeding girls at a very early age in order to achieve proper obese proportions. To do so, the girls are led to a small hut called a fatting house, where a fattener plies them with an extreme amount of food and drink, sometimes in excess of 16,000 calories dailyIf the girls refuse? They’re beaten, or have a limb pinched between two sticks. All because the Mauritania people believe that being large in size is a sign of wealth and beauty, and thus, a woman will have a better chance of finding a husband.

If you are curious to see how far people have gone (photos included), please click HERE to see those who cut off their nose, or ears.

HERE is a link to a great article about various modifications throughout history.

I think we all like different things. I think that some tattoos can be tasteful and hold a lot of value for the ones who have them. However, like with anything else, humans seem to often take things to the extremes. Unfortunately, aside from the need for attention, I cannot figure out why anyone would want to do those things mentioned above.

Do you have any tattoos?

Do you believe that your body is a canvas/ piece of art and you are the artist?

How do you feel about body modification?

Why do you think people take such extreme measures to change the way they look?

Stay golden,

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69 thoughts on “NROP: Body modification – Does it make us more beautiful?

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  1. The body is an amazing thing, truly miraculous. The proportions, the design, the colors, the movement, everything is amazing. Typical of humans, we think we can do better. There was a guy who ran into the Art Gallery in Florence, Italy and took a hammer to Michaelangelo’s David. I have seen pictures of Leonardo da Vinci’s Mona Lisa “improved” upon and used for commercial efforts. Why would you take a perfect thing and try to improve it? I rarely wear make-up, would never tattoo myself, and never get a piercing. All but one of my kids has multiple piercings and/or tattoos. Beauty is in the eye (ear? lip?) of the beholder.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. “Typical of humans, we think we can do better.” That is something I totally agree with. What makes us so cocky?
      Your mention of Mona Lisa and David remind me of current movie remakes. In the beginning, I hope it will be a tribute to the old version. Soon enough I get disillusioned, because EVERYTHING changes about the movie. Especially the plot. Can’t you come up with a movie of your own, then?

      Like

  2. That was quite a lot of information on body modification.

    I don’t have any tattoos. But some of the people I know have them. The love that they have for getting inked makes me want to get one. But there are two reasons I don’t get them- its painful to get one 😂 and I fear that if I get something inked today, I may not like it tomorrow.

    I’ve heard about many actors getting their lips, nose, etc. modified. I think people do it because they think that it doesn’t suit them, it makes them odd. But I think that it makes them look all the more good. A couple of days ago, a was reading this post which talked about this actor finally accepting his lop sided smile when his fans loved him for having it. I think we should embrace our odds.

    Being a girl (now of a marriageable age according to social standards), people keep on telling me to this and do that to look better- my curly hair, my not so girly clothes, my fair skin colour, my thin eyebrows, my tall height (it would be a task to find a groom taller than me) and what not. I really can’t make people accept me for who I am. But yes, I’m trying my level best to make my parents understand that they should let me be. (And yeah, I sometimes listen to them because I know I have been very ignorant when it comes to taking care of my body.)

    Oops! I drifted from the topic 😂

    Liked by 3 people

      1. Hehe yes, kind of. Had got a lil make up done that day for my college farewell, but I’m sure it must have worn out when this was clicked! But yeah, that’s not my natural hair definitely 😝

        Liked by 2 people

          1. Occasionally. That too when I have to wear Indian traditional clothes- a suit during family functions or a saaree on school/college farewells.

            Doing it daily would damage my hair. A couple of days ago, I was thinking of getting my hair smoothened. Most of my classmates have got it done. But then nobody could convince me enough to get it done and my fear of getting a damage beyond repair made me sit back 😂

            Liked by 1 person

            1. That’s the thing about women and hair and makeup – they do specific things to adhere to the standards, which ends up damaging their hair/ skin, etc. And then they have to take even more drastic measures. I’m glad you’re thinking about yourself and being reasonable.

              Liked by 1 person

              1. How much I wish that I could stop people from being nosey in other people’s lives. Maybe that could help saving us from the social obligations and pressures.

                Liked by 1 person

                1. I grew up being told by my parents to not care about what others say. To refuse those who are nosy. And then I became an adult, and all of a sudden my parents starting caring about others and called the nosy people “caring”, or “right”. I still have no clue what changed.

                  Liked by 1 person

                    1. Well, I can’t say that I don’t care at all, because I bathe and wear clean clothes. I wouldn’t want others to call me dirty. But I mean the stuff that doesn’t affect them and shouldn’t be their business.

                      Liked by 1 person

    1. I started the post with the thought of writing about the guy who removed part of his ear, but then I wanted to write about other people who modify their body. And then I went down a rabbit hole. So much fascinating info. I just had to share it.

      I see people with what I think are silly tattoos, and I pity them. There is no denying that some of them occur in a drunken state. I don’t think it would be an issue of not liking it. I just can’t come up with important enough. Why have a tattoo just to have one? I’d like to have a better reason for it.

      That’s my fear, too. That there are serious mental issues behind those who go too far with those modifications. People don’t feel good in what they have. Unfortunately, the effect of the modifications can cause even more ridicule.

      You said it best about embracing our odds. Plastic surgery can be a phenomenal thing for people who are grossly deformed. But abusing it and creating a caricature out of yourself?

      Taking care of your body is one thing, but trying to live up to someone’s expectations is a whole other story. I hope you find a happy medium and are comfortable with yourself. You will only be miserable if you change for someone instead of yourself.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Yeah, the issue of being important enough is also there. The people I know who love getting inked, they have got multiple tattoos by now and plan to get many more.
        Yes, abusing self just for the expectations of others, it’s denying who you are.
        I am very much comfortable in my skin. I do things only when I feel and/or know that I should. Just that it’s sometimes hard to convince people, so I keep shut at that time and later on do whatever I want 😂😂

        Liked by 1 person

        1. Ditto. That’s why becoming an adult and being able to take care of yourself (live outside of home and support yourself financially) is such a big thing. Then there is no reason for you to pay attention to what your family says. Of course I don’t mean to say that parents are evil, etc., but we all need to have our own lives and freedoms.

          Liked by 1 person

    2. Good LORD! How could you think that your curly hair is a detriment? You are gorgeous! Amazing! Beautiful! What a smile! Gal Gadot, who plays Wonder Woman, is 5’9″ tall. My beautiful daughter is 5′ 10″ tall. Both are married. So if the guy thinks you’re too tall, he’s the wrong guy. How could you possibly improve on the perfection that is you?

      Liked by 2 people

      1. Such encouraging words.
        It’s funny how people want what they don’t have? So many women with straight hair curl it, and so many with curly hair straighten it.
        While I do think it’s harder for taller girls to find a suitable guy, than for a taller guy to find a suitable girl, I think in the case of a tall girl, it’s the girl’s issue (dating a shorter guy), not the other way round.

        Like

  3. I don’t care what other people do because to me your body is your canvas to do what you want, assuming you’re an adult and no one is forcing you. But for myself I don’t like any of it except pierced earlobes (one each). No other piercings, no tattoos, no fake nails, nothing. I don’t even color my hair anymore! It’s a waste of money and why do I have to? Men don’t! Most of them anyway. What’s wrong with looking my age? Anyway… I do like fun temporary stuff like nail polish and costumes, but nothing that can’t be removed quickly once I’m out of the mood.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. How very understanding of you. You’re right – ultimately we get to decide what we do with our body. The trend of “I have to look like I’m 20” is insane. Women are the ones that propagate it in the first place. Kudos to you for not diving into all that.
      And you make a good point – I worry that some of those people make a decision based on their mood. And then…???

      Liked by 1 person

  4. I admit, as a representative of Jesus Christ, I want to look my best. I do use makeup, just because I look tired or sickly without it, and I’m usually NOT tired or sick. I use Frownies to “erase” the vertical lines between my eyebrows, because they make me look angry, and as a Christian, wife, mother, grandmother, teacher, and friend, I do NOT want to look angry!
    The only extreme body alteration I would consider is if I had an abnormality that is distracting. If I’m trying to talk to someone about something important (like sharing the gospel) I want them thinking about what I’m saying, not staring at my weird [whatever]. As long as it doesn’t sacrifice something I need – like hearing or vision! (Tattooing eyeballs??? YIKES!!!)

    Liked by 1 person

    1. That is a good appraoch – to look good in order to represent Him well. Without overdoing it, of course. It is my hope that more and more people open their eyes to hear what is being said, instead of listening with their eyes.

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Piercings and tattoos are okay by me. To each their own. The big plastic earlobe plugs are not my cup of tea. A person who tattoos their eyeball is an idiot. No debate on that. A person who may not know what direction sounds are coming from because they removed part of their ear? Also an idiot.

    Liked by 3 people

      1. I don’t mind the small metal plugs. I just don’t think of plastic when I think of Jewelery. I bet they smell bad too.

        I’m not sure how those “pioneers” can sit still enough to have their eyeball tattooed.

        Liked by 1 person

        1. I haven’t thought of that aspect of it. Is it really plastic? I thought it was actually some other polymer.

          I wonder how they keep their eyes open the whole time. They must be completely numbed up/ high on Vicodin.

          Like

  6. I personally think human flesh makes a poor canvas. I had my ears pierced as a young girl but haven’t worn earrings since high school. The only jewelry I really wear are my wedding rings. For formal occasions I’ll add a necklace maybe some clip on earrings. One of my sisters is tattooed up one side and down the other. They’re well done but again the whole skin canvas thing gives me the heebie jeebies. It makes people look dirty all the time to me anyway. It doesn’t make me love my sister any less though. It’s just who she is. As far as further body modification I guess to each his own. Tribal communities seem to be strongly driven by their belief systems. Western culture it seems to be more of a way of expression artistically or in grief. But when a girl sat down in front of me at the next booth at a local restaurant the other day and I could see through her earlobes (her lobes had been stretched but the rings were not in) it kinda made my stomach turn.

    Liked by 2 people

    1. You make a great point distinguishing behind the reasoning for the modification. Artistic expression, or grief are the lesser of evils, I think. It’s when people think they can make themselves feel better about themselves that things get tricky.

      I have the same reaction to those stretched earlobes. People take those plugs out for job interviews to look more professional. I don’t think it looks any better. And when you stretch your lobe, do you not think of what it will do to your ears in case you decide to take those plugs out one day?

      People have their earlobes repaired just because their earring hole gets stretched out and finally reaches the edge. That already sounds like too much.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Oh that’s crazy! Disgusting! Horrific! 😖
    Noooooo i don’t have tatoos or any bizarre body enhancement except ear piercing.

    I looovvved the idea of australians backbiting 🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣🤣 that’s genius!
    I think that the human body has to remain how it is. Unless the person has to make a vital surgery.
    I prefer the art on canvas and walls rather than skin.
    But you know, every ethnic group has its traditions so…..

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Horrific is right!

      I’m glad you got the humor 😀

      You are right about traditions. Your comment made me wonder about something. If there are people among us who are into body modification, and others who look at them with disgust, are there any disapproving people in those ethnic tribes? Or are they all on the same page? It would be curious to know.

      Liked by 1 person

  8. Heh. I had a dream recently where I was offered $6000 to get a tattoo… Something to do with the tattoo-covered son of a country music star, giving money to anyone who got one of the tattoos he had… I don’t know. I have weird dreams. But anyway. In the dream, I did get one. Not just because of the $6000 (though, you know, that was a nice bonus) but because of the experience, the story. That appealed to me.

    In the waking world, though, I think it’s very unlikely I’ll ever do anything like some of the things you mentioned. I believe that things happen for a reason; that things are the way they are for a reason. I’m not going to screw around with things I don’t understand (i.e the human body) just because I can. I mean, cutting out part of your ear?? There are certain lines that just shouldn’t be crossed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It would depend on what the tattoo was, its size and where it would be to be placed, by 6k sounds tempting. The experience wouldn’t be fun at all. And I feel like after a couple of weeks I would even forget that I had it. (So what’s the point?)

      I think you are very reasonable, and I relate to your belief.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I’m not one who’s had many experiences. So to me, they all have worth, even the bad ones. At least in retrospect. And come on: getting paid 6k for getting one of a celebrity’s tattoos? That would be a story at least. Though, yes, possibly a moral one…

        Liked by 1 person

  9. Last week, I read an article about this guy who cut out his ear. I found it very funny. Istill find it funny.

    I find it funny that while, as humans, our level of understanding has advanced considerably over recent years, our mindset seems to become more and more primitive as time passes. There are some silly things that we shouldn’t do. There are some lines we shouldn’t cross.

    You know, I heard of a certain YouTube vlogger who installed a camera in his arm to make it for easier for him to film himself on the go. I don’t know how true this is, but, TBH, I won’t be surprised if it’s actually true.

    Our bodies are already perfect. What’s there to improve? I find it ironic that all these “improvements” don’t even improve our body. In fact, they damage it. You see people with terrible tattoos and piercings and modified bodies, and you can’t help but wonder where we’re going with this.

    I’ll keep saying this: we, humans, have completely lost it. But we’ll be fine in the end, anyway. I hope we will.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yea, it was supposed to feature last week, but then I found something else I wanted to write about more, so it was pushed to this week.

      People implant all sorts of things to make it “easier” to them. We don’t want to work for anything anymore. I have not heard of the camera, but, sure!

      The modifications make me wonder, too. I definitely don’t see it as anything beautiful, but I know others do. Why is that? I don’t really understand.

      I stand by what you said – we have lost it. We are destroying ourselves by thinking we’re evolving.

      Liked by 1 person

  10. No, I don’t have any tattoos. I am not a big fan of tattoos, well at least not for myself, but some tattoos look great. It’s just not for me. I can’t think of anything I would want permanently written or drawn on my body. Not one thing.

    The body is a temple to be respected and revered, but you’re entitled to do whatever it is you want with your OWN body.

    I am not a fan of body modifications but who am I to judge. I say live and let live. If someone is into that and he or she likes the idea of modifying his or her own body then by all means go for it.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m not against tattoos per se, either. Like you – I cannot come up with something I want on my body forever (yes, it’s possible to remove it, but the pain and healing isn’t fun). I like looking at art. Not necessarily becoming it.

      You’re right – “let live”, but it worries me how some people put their life at risk to do such modifications.

      Liked by 1 person

  11. You always pick the most interesting topics Goldie! I’ve always been fascinated by this human habit (I dont’t know what else to call it lol) of body modification. As you very well put it here there are very extreme cases that seem painful and even dangerous! We, humans, have always been such social creatures so vulnerable to social pressure! It seems there is no limit whatsoever to what we are willing to subject ourselves to “fit in”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks, Daniela! It’s good to hear that I’m not the only one that finds those things mesmerizing. You are absolutely right about the “fitting in” and social pressure. Even though we are openly celebrating diversity, we still persecute it. No extremes are needed. Just enjoy the middle ground.

      Liked by 1 person

  12. I do not have any tattoos, and will never get one… most of the things you talked about are really extreme and fearful.. I can’t even begin to imagine removing a part of my ears, or injecting ink into my eyes. Really insightful and informative post.
    Enjoyed reading till the end

    Liked by 1 person

  13. I’ve heard of the giraffe women, and I cannot imagine how they can stand that weight. For me wearing a necklace with a thicker chain sometimes becomes annoying, too heavy. I think people go through such extremes because of their cultures, beauty ideals, and society’s values/expectations. I also think that sometimes people don’t question or learn to question traditions and expectations, they go with the flow, with what they know to be true, and the traditions get passed down to other generations.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I feel good about traditions to a certain extent because they allows us to see life through other perspectives, they’re part of what makes us who we are, and reflective of our cultures and values. Storytelling and traditional foods comes to mind. I start disliking tradition when it keep us encased in ideas/beliefs that don’t lets us learn new things or see or do things a different way.

        Liked by 1 person

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