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Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Created: 01/28/15

Replies: 17

Posted Jan. 28, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

In The Wonders, Christos is an artist who uses his own body to express his artistic vision. Average people are also permanently altering their bodies to express themselves more than ever before. Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?


Posted Feb. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
lorik

Join Date: 08/25/14

Posts: 13

RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

People want to be noticed, and express themselves through how they look. By modifying your own skin, which is something that no one else can take away from you, you feel empowered.


Posted Feb. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
jww

Join Date: 05/31/11

Posts: 128

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

We live in a 'cookie cutter' world and many people strive to be seen as something other than a number. They want to be seen as unique. More often than not, what they do to be unique just puts them in another box with a different 'number'. When a modification becomes an everyday occurrence it is no longer 'seen'. I believe this is why celebrities act in bizarre ways. When they are copied they have to come up with something that sets them apart once more. Each act a bit stranger than the previous one.


Posted Feb. 10, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
pennyp

Join Date: 03/22/12

Posts: 271

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I so agree with jww. I know the idea of tattoos and body modifications is to have a sense of control and to be uniquely different. This might have been more true before it became so popular. I think of these people as just another group of people who are trying to make a statement, and I always wonder if they will ever regret the gauging and tattoos..


Posted Feb. 12, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
Suzanne

Join Date: 04/21/11

Posts: 223

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Being from the generation of the older seniors, it is so beyond me why body mess-ups seem attractive to young people other than trying to make a statement. I sometimes have to laugh to myself when I see all these "beautiful" tattoos on younger people--my lord, what do they think they'll look like when they get to be my age and all the body is drooping, sagging, and wrinkling! Artwork--hanging ....


Posted Feb. 12, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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lianned

Join Date: 03/19/14

Posts: 6

RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I agree with Suzanne 100%. What are these people thinking?!! And what they have permanently added to their bodies is probably not going to be of paramount importance when they are 20, 30, or 40 years older. Yukk. I've seen some ugly tattoos around town!


Posted Feb. 12, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 27

RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Eh, to each his own. I have a friend who got a tattoo in her 60's that represents her Scottish heritage. She likes it, it makes her happy. I don't personally desire one. But then, people wear makeup; is that much different? It is still body adornment, and it is all in the eye of the beholder.


Paula J
Posted Feb. 13, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
joyces

Join Date: 06/16/11

Posts: 392

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I can sort of speak to this from a different view point in that I am definitely in the senior citizen category but have a family member who is in the tattoo business very successfully. I am not at all interested in getting a tattoo but have been exposed to them since I was a small child. At that time I had two uncles who were Navy veterans with navy insignia tattoos on their upper arms and I was very impressed by them. Both were doctors and well respected men. At that time tattoos were rather rare and most of the adults around me thought they were a rather awful thing. As with so many things general attitudes have become a little less judgmental. As an example, I never saw my mother in anything but a dress until she was in her seventies because women did not wear pants. Now you see people of all ages and both sexes with tattoos and if it makes them happy who am I to judge. Some are grotesque and ugly to me but again I think that is their choice. For young people I thing it is an attempt to impress and stand out and I only fear they may feel a bit differently as they mature and regret it.


Posted Feb. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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donnac

Join Date: 03/26/14

Posts: 120

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I think people who get tattoos often want to mark themselves physically to correspond with a specific emotionally significant occurrence, such as falling in or out of love, losing a loved one, feeling emancipated, etc.. In that sense it can be a very healthy way to deal with an internal scar, kind of putting an exclamation point on it; shutting that door or opening it, whichever applies. As for piercings/implants, I think people may not feel their appearance reflects the real person so they take permanent measures to show the world just who they are.

There is something exhilarating about enduring pain to achieve what one perceives as beauty. We do it everyday in one form or another. Dieting, shaving -- or not -- dying/curling/straightening hair, stiletto heels. You name it there is no limit to what people will do in the name of beautification. Some prefer to go to more extreme lengths.

Why tattoos? Why now? Who can explain the logic of fashion?


Posted Feb. 16, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
mariannes

Join Date: 12/17/12

Posts: 206

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I don't understand this either. I don't like pain and try to avoid it. I guess it's a matter of degree. I did get my ears pierced once, and that hurt. I like the way earrings look, but I'm not going to have them pierced again.


Posted Feb. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
amberb

Join Date: 07/28/11

Posts: 78

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I work with college students, and my colleagues and I often remark that the only things students will commit to is a tattoo!
I think much of it is self-expression... the students I interact with seem to have a need to stand out, to find their own path. It's also partly a chance to mark - permanently - what is important to them.
As far as piercings, I think maybe that is just a phase? In my early 20's I really wanted my nose pierced, but couldn't for professional reasons. I just liked how it looked. 12 years later, I wouldn't dream of it!


Posted Feb. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
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pauj

Join Date: 04/26/14

Posts: 27

RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Question if anyone knows: why were tattoos so popular with military personnel in the 40's, 50's?


Paula J
Posted Feb. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Military tattoos continue to be popular. I think you'll find this article of interest from the US army's official website http://www.army.mil/article/27582/. To quote from the article:

First Sergeant Aki Paylor, Echo Company, 1st Attack Reconnaissance Battalion, 10th CAB senior enlisted advisor, believes that for many Soldiers, tattoos are a way to express themselves as individuals - especially when their day-to-day lives revolve around conforming to Army standards. But when military service has shaped a large portion of your life, it is only natural that who you are and the experiences you have had would be best represented by military images.

"Every tattoo I have on my body says something about who I am, where I'm from, or the things I've been through," explained Paylor, who got the Warrior Ethos tattooed on his left forearm while home on leave in April. "I've got 16 years in the service. After this deployment, I'll have 37 months in combat. The Army is not just a job; it's a way of life. For me, the Warrior Ethos - that's who I am."


Posted Feb. 17, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
davinamw

Join Date: 10/15/10

Posts: 1318

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Also, you might find our "beyond the book" article on Russian prison tattoos of interest: https://www.bookbrowse.com/mag/btb/index.cfm/book_number/2283/the-secret-speech#btb


Posted Feb. 18, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
rebeccar

Join Date: 03/13/12

Posts: 294

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I am not sure what the answer to this is, but I have wondered where people get the money for tattoos when they are in a welfare line, using food stamps to buy food and they have a couple of kids that should be fed and clothed before tattoos are purchased. As for the implant thing, I think that began with a promise of relatively fast total "beauty" makeover. What's weird is how many people are starting to look alike, or you see celebrities in person that look good in magazine photos and in person -- YOWZER! the cheek implants are visible, the nose is so tiny it looks bizarre, and if the fake teeth get any bigger and whiter it will be comical. You can always tell by the lisping and whistling sounds when some t.v. show personality has just had all their teeth ground down to be covered in big Chiclet crowns (aka "veneers" - as if is just this thin little nice coating over your own teeth.)


Posted Feb. 19, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
bobbie7

Join Date: 09/19/13

Posts: 49

RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Nowadays nothing is private. It all hangs out. Those with tats and piercings are exhibitionists and enjoy being looked at. I suppose they do it for the sake of "beauty" but beauty is in the eye of the beholder.


Posted Feb. 25, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
susanj

Join Date: 06/18/11

Posts: 25

RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

I find it ironic that many people commit to a tattoo which lasts for a lifetime, and fewer than ever can commit to a relationship. Maybe it's a reflection of our increasing emphasis on the importance of the individual, or the feeling of control or power that the person feels.
As an older person, my first association of tattoos was with Navy vets, then with ex-cons or gang members (a scary, negative response). Now I consciously try to be more accepting, although I would never get a tattoo. Some are laughable, as others have mentioned, and some are works of art. The only tattoos I really enjoy are the ones on Pacific Island males, which represent their pride and their history. I'm such a strong feminist, but I still prefer traditional tattoos on men.


Posted Mar. 01, 2015 Go to Top | Go to bottom | link | alert
deeh

Join Date: 03/03/12

Posts: 158

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RE: Why have body modifications, such as tattoos and piercings and implants, become so popular?

Tattoos on women seem to have become more acceptable in the 1990s. One of my daughters has beautiful, pale skin and a young man she knew offered her a free tattoo if he could put her picture in a magazine to promote his work. Fortunately, the young man is a decent artist and the tattoo is in a place she doesn't have to be ashamed to show . I think it is an attempt to be fashionable and to show people you are not "uptight." Piercings are another thing. I think it may be to show that you tolerate pain well and are somewhat iconoclastic.

I remember how scandalized my grandmother was when I got my ears pierced. Marring my body forever! The fact is that the prettiest earrings are made for pierced ears.


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