I've been recently researching body modification for a book tentatively titled, Scarification. This is a novel about scars physical, emotional, and upon the soul. While some are intentional, others are inflicted, or happen by accident. The story involves a family's attempts to keep demons away from their children.
I have no intention to actually have scarification done to my body. However reasearching has brought me into the world of body modification. I plan to blog along my journey of both body modification and writing this novel.
Now, before you tell me I'm nutty, let me explain a bit of what I've learned. I've been involved in body modification my whole life and just never thought of it in those terms. I've been to exercise classes to change my body shape. I color my hair, get the ends trimmed. I have acrylic fingernails. I first had my ears pierced for earrings when I was in the 8th grade. I wear glasses which change both how I see and how I look when wearing them.What I eat also contributes to how my body looks. I have three tattoos, the first of which I had inked at the age of 37. All of these modify my body from it's natural state--the definition of body modification.
Body modification comes in many forms and it doesn't have to be extreme. One example I see repeatedly in my research books are body builders. These guys and gals work those muscles to sculpt their bodies a certain way. Some of them take supplements to help them. Many of them feel the result is worth the effort.
Putting on make-up is another mild form of body modification. It changes the skin tone, lip color, and can mask or highlight certain areas of the face. Yep. I've done this since my teen years and even was a Mary Kay lady for a time. We can change the texture and tone of our skin with balms, moisturizers, and other beauty products. We change our natural scent with deodorants, colognes and perfumes. What about shaving? Yep. It's body modification.
Hell, the type of clothing a person puts on is an everyman's version of body modification. Our bodies come into this world without any. Within minutes of birth a baby's body is covered up with a blanket. It's funny to consider that we've made it illegal not to modify our bodies. Just try walking downtown with no clothing on and see how fast you get arrested. The requirement to be clothed is a form of forced body modification. We just don't think of it in those terms.
We often define ourselves, change our image, fit our body to the appropriateness of a situation (such as work clothing, work out clothing, bathing suits, wet suits, evening attire, costuming) by our clothing. Differing colors and styles can modify how a body looks. We judge people by the styles of their body modification, whether it's their clothing choices; make up and jewelry choices; their piercings, tattoos, implants, or scars. Those judgements can have positive and negative results, depending upon the persons involved and their own views concerning what's appropriate.
Tomorrow I'll talk a bit more about what I have planned for myself. I can only speak for myself but this research has opened my eyes to a wider world around me. I wonder if I'll be more accepting of others.