Different Types of Body Modifications: Why People Do Them

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Olivia Louis
Marjorie Downie
English 119
4th February 2013
Different types of body modification and why people do them. It is so obvious that we as humans crave to stand out in any instance we can, no way are we going to let anyone out shine us. So we modify things about ourselves daily, drastic or not to show others that we are different and worth being noticed. Body modification has become a norm of today’s world; reasons for body modification vary from a rite of passage, to religious beliefs and even cultural practices. We often see body modification as drastic changes to the body, though body modification is defined as “the deliberate altering of the human body for any non-medical reason”. In other words there is no life threatening disease forcing us to put a giant tattoo of a lion on our back. We often seek a rite of passage in adolescence resulting in our lifelong obsession of body modification, as simple as shaving our arm pits to piercing our ears. We see these little changes as rites of passage. We are now old enough to do these things, bringing us one step closer to adulthood. After all, if they can handle the suffering of the modification, they can handle the challenges of being an adult in their community. In most cases body modification varies with gender. During adolescence males turn to fitness, some seeking to body build. Turning their puny chests into the desired “six pack”, though in most cases bodybuilding is not seen as body modification. However it is and males use this as a means to attack the opposite sex. Females on the other hand are also interested in attracting the opposite sex but are consumed with the need to compete with others females. They change hair color, add hair extensions, have breast augmentation and adorn their bodies with interknit tattoos with secret meanings. All to win the never ending “competition of the females”.

More drastic body modifications, believe it or not, are influenced by religious beliefs. For...
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