From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human body for non-medical reasons, such as sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, aesthetic reasons, denoting affiliation, trust and loyalty, religious reasons, shock value, and self-expression.. It can range from the socially acceptable decoration (e.g., pierced ears in many societies) to the religiously mandated (e.g., circumcision in a number of cultures), and everywhere in between. Body art is the modification of any part of the human body for spiritual, religious, artistic or aesthetic reasons.
Types of body modification
In contrast to the explicit ornaments, the following procedures are primarily not meant to be exposed per se, but rather function to augment another part of the body, like the skin in a subdermal implant.
- Breast implants - Insertion of silicone bags filled with silicone gel or saline solution into the breasts to increase their size, or to restore a more normal appearance after surgery
- Silicone injection 
- Subdermal implant - implantation of an object that resides entirely below the dermis, including Horn implants 
Removal or split
Applying long-term force
Body modifications occurring as the end result of long term activities or practices
- Corsetry or tightlacing - binding of the waist and shaping of the torso
- Cranial binding - modification of the shape of infants' heads, now extremely rare
- Breast ironing - Pressing (sometimes with a heated object) the breasts of a pubescent female to prevent their growth.
- Foot binding - compression of the feet of girls to modify them for aesthetic reasons
- Anal stretching 
- Non-surgical elongation of organs by prolonged stretching using weights or spacing devices. Some cultural traditions prescribe for or encourage members of one sex (or both) to have one organ stretched till permanent re-dimensioning has occurred, such as:
- The 'giraffe-like' stretched necks (sometimes also other organs) of women among the Burmese Kayan tribe, the result of wearing brass coils around them. This compresses the collarbone and upper ribs but is not medically dangerous. It is a myth that removing the rings will cause the neck to 'flop'; Padaung women remove them regularly for cleaning etc.
- Stretched lip piercings - achieved by inserting ever larger plates, such as those made of clay used by some Amazonian tribes.
The head of a man with conspicuous tattoos and other body modifications
Some sources of controversy stem from the notion of attempting to artificially beautify the natural form of the body, often leading to charges of disfigurement and mutilation. Extreme forms of body modification are occasionally viewed as symptomatic of body dysmorphic disorder, other mental illnesses, or as an expression of unchecked vanity. Unlicensed surgery (i.e. the plastic surgery field) performed outside of a medical environment can often be life-threatening, and is illegal in most countries and states.
"Disfigurement" (a subjective term) and "mutilation" (regardless of any appreciation this always applies objectively whenever a bodily function is gravely diminished or lost, as with castration) are terms used by opponents of body modification to describe certain types of modifications, especially non-consensual ones. Those terms are used fairly uncontroversially to describe the victims of torture, who have endured damage to ears, eyes, feet, genitalia, hands, noses, teeth, and/or tongues, including amputation, burning, flagellation, piercing, skinning, and wheeling. "Genital mutilation" is also used somewhat more controversially to describe certain kinds of socially prescribed modifications to the genitals, such as circumcision, female circumcision, castration, and surgeries performed to conform the genitals of individuals with intersex conditions to those of typical males or females.
Potential future methods of body modification
Various practices of gene alteration in humans are becoming more and more exact, as well as realistic. As certain cells in the body, such as muscle cells, never reproduce during adult life, the potential to physically alter ones self through various forms of gene doping will probably become easier realities. One could theoretically create stronger muscles, or even add extra protein types that could create things such as spikes or plates on their skin, as well as patches of hair that wouldn't exist. This is all, however, simply theoretical.
Individuals known for extensive body modification
- Rick Genest, has had his entire head and torso tattooed so as to appear like a human skeleton
- Pete Burns, had extensive polyacrylamide injections into his lips, along with cheek implants, several nose re-shapings and many tattoos
- Elaine Davidson, the "Most Pierced Woman" according to the Guinness World Records.
- The Enigma
- Lolo Ferrari
- Julia Gnuse ("The Illustrated Lady")
- Cindy Jackson, had more cosmetic surgery procedures than anyone else in the world
- Katzen ("Cat woman")
- Tom Leppard, formerly considered by the Guinness Book of World Records to be the world's most tattooed man.
- Erik Sprague ("The Lizardman"), with sharpened teeth, full-body tattoo of green scales, bifurcated tongue, and recently, green-inked lips
- The Scary Guy, his nose, eyebrows and ears are pierced and tattoos cover 85 percent of his body.
- Lucky Diamond Rich, holds the Guinness world record as "the world's most tattooed person" as of 2006
- Hao Lulu, extensive cosmetic surgery in 2003 to alter her appearance, tagged "The Artificial Beauty"
- Horace Ridler ("The Great Omi"), tattooed in a pattern of curved black stripes, often described as zebra-like
- Pauly Unstoppable, the first person to get the white of their eye tattooed
- Stalking Cat ("Cat man")
- Stelarc, got a cell-cultivated ear implanted into his left arm
- Jocelyn Wildenstein ("Lion Queen/Cat Woman")
- Fakir Musafar, having exposed himself to body piercing, tightlacing, scarification, tattooing and suspension
- ^ What is body modification?
- ^ Dermal Anchoring - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Scrotal Implant - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Microdermal - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Silicone Injection - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Horn Implant - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Genital Frenectomy - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Inversion - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Nipple Removal - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Nipple Splitting - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Jamie Gadette. "Underground". Salt Lake City Weekly. http://www.slweekly.com/index.cfm?do=article.details&id=1CA812CA-2BF4-55D0-F1F09D9BE9B80EB9.
- ^ Tongue Frenectomy - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Shannon Larratt. "nullification, the voluntary removal of body parts". BMEzine. http://cgi.bmezine.com/cgi-bin/glossary.exe?search=nullification. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- ^ Shannon Larratt (March 18, 2002). ModCon: The Secret World Of Extreme Body Modification. BMEbooks. ISBN 0973008008.
- ^ Adam Callen. "What is TOO Extreme for Body Modification?". Ezine Articles. http://ezinearticles.org/?What-is-TOO-Extreme-for-Body-Modification?&id=98231. Retrieved 2007-08-29.
- ^ Anal Stretching - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Ear Shaping - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Ear Cropping - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Ear Pointing - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Tooth Filing - BME Encyclopedia
- ^ Freak: Encyclopedia II - Freak - Made freaks
- ^ "Guinness World Records - Human Body - Extreme Bodies - Most Pierced Woman". Guinness World Records. 2001-08-09. http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/records/human_body/extreme_bodies/most_pierced_woman.aspx. Retrieved 2007-08-26.
- ^ Lucky Diamond Rich is now acknowledged as the world's most tattooed person. Guinness World Records. "Most Tattooed Person". http://www.guinessworldrecords.com/records/human_body/body_beautiful/most_tattooed_person.aspx. Retrieved 2007-08-21.
- ^ Windrow, John. (September 1, 1998) Star Tribune. The Scary Guy brings a message of the spirit. Section: Variety; Page 1E.
- ^ Guinness World Records, Most Tattooed Person, http://www.guinessworldrecords.com/records/human_body/body_beautiful/most_tattooed_person.aspx, retrieved 2007-05-07
- ^ Masters, Paul (27 February 2008). "See world's first eyeball tattoo". The Sun. http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/features/article853274.ece. Retrieved 2009-04-15.
- ^ Performer gets third ear for art BBC News. Last Updated: Thursday, 11 October 2007, 14:49 GMT 15:49 UK