Cripes, and here I thought letting your best friend pierce your ear using a sewing needle and half a potato was unnecessarily risky! But it turns out, as do-it-yourself ear alterations go, the needle-n-tater trick is actually on the “Silly but Relatively Harmless” end of the Self-Mutilation Scale. What we have here is a slideshow that puts things into the proper perspective by showing us an example that resides closer to the “I Sure Hope You Know What You’re Doing” end.
Anyway, I got to thinking about the different ways in which people satisfy their artistic and/or autophobic impulses by manipulating their very flesh and how, just like everything else, there are both good examples and bad. From tattoos to piercings to sub-dermal implants, there are those who have modified themselves with artful skill and there are misshapen, butchered atrocities.
We’ve all seen great tats and we’ve all seen grievous ones. Perhaps the hardest part about looking at someone’s new ink is the fact that most people who have really shitty tattoos are completely clueless to the fact. It seems like the more someone has to explain what that misshapen blue blotch on their calf is, the prouder they are of it. You’ll often hear them gleefully declare “I designed it myself!” and then go into the story about how, despite the tattoo artist’s repeated suggestions, they insisted he refrain from changing it one single bit.
But when construction workers and prison inmates leave tattoo design to actual artists, we find that the human body can be decorated quite beautifully. The best pieces I’ve ever seen were invariably ones where either 1) the artist was given complete control or 2) the customer drew a basic design and allowed the artist to come up with the final interpretation.
You can give yourself a lace-up torso or put new openings in your head so large they can accommodate birds and small rodents, but when it comes to body piercing, the only way to truly impress me is by aerating those body parts society has deemed as private – not so much because those places also tend to be the most sensitive (though that certainly factors in), but because voluntarily punching holes in one’s own genitals represents a level of commitment seldom seen in the human species without having pure evil as its primary motivator. Hell, I’d even go so far as to say that suicide bombers haven’t got anywhere near what it takes to sport a Prince Albert.
Even though I don’t know a single person who has deliberately embedded anything in their body, I still feel compelled to formulate opinions on the subject. And in my opinion, objects placed under the skin…
…to expedite the unpleasant dialysis process = A+
…to simulate body parts that have unfortunately had to be removed or severely diminished = A+
…for the purpose of securely carrying imperative medical data or necessary identification = B
…so that the subject appears to have devil horns, rudimentary tentacles, or Cardassian facial structure = C+
…to keep from misplacing them = C-
…in case Monty Hall ever offers you $100 in exchange for anything you have to slice yourself open to get at = D+
…to render the subject susceptible to total brain control by the government and/or vicious alien overlords = F