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Body Modification

Foot Binding

Foot Binding

Thought to have begun late in the Tang Dynasty (618-960), the practice of foot binding accelerated during the Song Dynasty (960-1297) and lasted over a thousand years. It started with the wealthy, but quickly spread to lower social classes as well. The ideal bound foot was 3 inches long, the shape of a crescent moon, and covered by a tiny embroidered shoe. Considered the most erotic part of the female anatomy, wives and concubines were selected based on the size and shape of their feet. It took years of intense pain in order to attain this ideal.

Horn Implants

Horn Implants

Your next patient may be the devil or may look something like it. As culture as a whole relaxes, body modification trends have made tattooing as shocking as a slice of white bread. Horn implants, technically known as subdermal implants, are becoming more popular and carry every ounce of shock factor imaginable. The inventor and purveyor of subdermal and transdermal implants is Steve Haworth, a man famous for his wide-ranging and innovative body modification work. Since his body-mod invention in 1994, both the implant procedure and Haworth himself have only risen in popularity. He first performed the procedure after a New Zealand woman requested a bracelet and he found a way to embrace the challenge.

Eyeball Tattooing

Eyeball Tattooing

When it comes to body modification, it’s no surprise that certain people go to great lengths to both express and adapt themselves. For some, the length they’re willing to go stares you right in the eye. Eyeball tattooing is not necessarily a new phenomenon, as records indicate that as far back as 150 AD, Galen, a Roman physician and philosopher, was practicing the procedure, specifically known as corneal tattooing, to hide leucomata of the eye. Though corneal tattooing has existed throughout history, the actual dying of the whites of the eyeball is a new procedure that was first performed in 2007.

Tongue Splitting

Tongue Splitting

Tongue splitting involves cutting the tongue centrally from the tip to as far back as the base. This divides the tongues to resemble the forked tongue of a snake and is sometimes referred to as “forking the tongue.” This used to be rare but today is common among body modification aficionados and is one of the newest trends.

Radical Reshaping

Radical Reshaping

Body modification is described as “Intentional alteration of the human body for religious, aesthetic, or social reasons. Modifications and mutilations are performed for purposes such as magical protection, medical or pseudo-medical intervention, cosmetic enhancement, and punishment. Alterations include head flattening, insertion of a lip plug, tattoos, scarification, piercing of the ear and other parts of the body, circumcision, foot binding, and amputation. That similar modifications are interpreted very differently from one culture to the next is an excellent indication of the relativity of ideals of beauty and deformity.”

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