Piercings and other body modifications are becoming more and more commonplace in mainstream culture. Workplaces are more lenient on their employee’s sporting visible tattoos and piercings, allowing people to become increasingly more adventurous in their body alterations. Whether it’s stretching (or gauging) a piercing to a more extreme size, strange piercing placement, unique ways of creating body art, or fully committing one’s body to a life filled with body modifications, these ten body mods are both shocking and are gaining popularity. While none of these alterations include genital mods, be warned that some viewers may find some of these images to be graphic.
When considering to make a change to your body, it is important to think about how the modification may affect your job and how your body may react to the alteration. It is crucial to only seek out licensed professionals who are experienced in performing the procedure you desire. Each state has its own laws regarding piercings, tattoos, and other mods, though most states require customers to be at least 18 years of age. Failing to have modifications done in a clean, sterile setting with an experienced artist can lead to injuries, serious infections or other complications that would require immediate medical attention. These ten shockingly popular body mods will make your everyday earlobe piercings, ankle tattoo, or standard navel piercing look completely tame.
Warning: The following article contains graphic images.
10. Conch Piercing
Ear piercings may seem totally tame considering they are a staple in the beauty world. Women (and some men) everywhere have their earlobes pierced and wear earrings to accessorize their outfits. While earlobe piercings (at the very bottom of the ear in the soft cartilage) are common, things get a little more extreme as someone begins to pierce the more structured hard cartilage of the ear itself. With the “Conch” piercing, the ear is pierced on the back inner wall of the ear, closest to the outermost side. To keep the piercing comfortable and easy to clean, this piercing is typically shown with a captive bead ring (CBR) or other hoop style jewelry though barbells (which have a straight post) may also be worn. The important thing to be careful of with such a visible piercing is that it can easily be caught with a hairbrush when combing hair that extends past the ear.
9. Gauged (Stretched) Piercings
Like standard earlobe piercings, stretching (or gauging) a piercing to a larger size has become more and more popular over the years, particularly as workplaces have become more lax on their personal appearance rules. Gauged ears can be shocking when the gauges are quite large, such as a gauged ear piercing that is stretched to a size 00 (3/8”) or beyond. Piercings can be stretched with kits (including tapers) and then kept in place with jewelry (of varying materials) that is made for the desired gauge. As body modification popularity grows, people have become increasingly more creative with what they want to gauge, such as nostrils, lips, and even their tongue. While stretching a piercing may be common, it is important that people are careful to only stretch their piercings under the supervision of a professional to ensure proper methods are used. Avoiding expert advice and guidance can lead to injuries or infections that can cause you to forfeit the piercing all together.
8. Smiley Piercing
For those who like to keep their piercings a bit of a surprise, a smiley is a popular choice. The smiley piercing gets its name because the piercing is placed in the center of the small flap that attaches your upper lip to your gums. When pierced, the jewelry hangs down from the flap (called a Maxillary Frenum), making it visible when the wearer is smiling. While not as directly visible as other piercings, the smiley is a piercing that will likely cause a stir in most corporate settings. Like all other mouth piercings, smiley piercing wearers must take extra precautions to keep their mouths clean while also avoiding snagging the jewelry with utensils as they eat.
When piercings aren’t your thing, but tattoos seem too obvious, scarification is an option. Using scarred skin in place of ink to create an image or pattern, scarification is a somewhat more subtle approach to permanent body art. While quite painful and permanent, scarification can create an oddly organic and attractive look on a person’s skin. This method of body modification is unique in that there are two stages of the image, the initial scarification where the skin is raw from being freshly scarred (typically done using sterile cutting instruments or a precise method of burning the skin) and the healed product where the image is raised from the skin via the scar tissue created in the initial scarring process. Like any procedure that involves cutting or damaging the skin, this work must be done by a professional in a sterile environment with careful attention paid to the healing process to ensure infection does not set in afterward.
6. Tongue Splitting
Another extreme form of body modification that has gained popularity is the act of tongue splitting. Much like other permanent modifications, this one takes time to accomplish. A tongue splitting is accomplished by taking a person’s tongue and forcing it to split (or fork) into two parts at the front of a tongue, much like that of a snake’s. While there are at home kits and methods, it is best to only perform such a mod under the guidance of a professional using sterile equipment. As the risk of injury or infection are high, it is best to consult a physician about the risks involved.
5. Uvula Piercing
Easy to conceal from the public eye, uvula piercings are an extreme body mod that may pass in the workplace. The uvula sits in the back of your mouth between your tonsils, keeping it carefully concealed unless you open your mouth wide enough to reveal your piercing. These piercings are typically done with a captive bead ring style of jewelry. Thanks to the placement of the uvula in your mouth, this piercing must be carefully monitored to ensure you do not swallow the jewelry should it come loose. While these piercings are less common they are sure to create a stir at any party.
4. Corset Piercing
Corset lovers and piercing enthusiasts can rejoice at the ability to create a corset look on their back with a series of piercings and some ribbon. The corset piercing uses captive bead rings (or other hoop style jewelry) in vertical lines down a person’s back (these piercings are more popular amongst women than men). Once the piercings are fully healed, the wearer can have someone help them to (gently!) thread ribbon through the piercings to create a laced effect that mimics the back of a corset. While these piercings have a uniquely delicate appeal to them, they can be a bit of a pain while healing because of the inability to lay on your back as they heal. It is also important with corset piercings to be mindful of wearing tight fitting clothing or doing activities that could snag the piercings and cause damage.
3. Surface Piercings
Surface piercings have the allure of being a bit more exotic than standard lip or ear piercings. Surface piercings have a unique look because only the end points of the jewelry are visible on the skin. The barbell or post of the jewelry is hidden beneath the surface of the wearer’s skin, hence the name surface piercing. While surface piercings sit just below the skin’s surface, the look itself is intense. Due to the vast amount of skin on the body, there are many possibilities for placement options with surface piercings. The neck, temples, collarbone, and hips are popular spots for surface piercings to be placed.
2. Microdermal Implants
Microdermal implants give an even more intense look than surface piercings because they appear to only exit your body one way. The Microdermal uses a special type of jewelry to secure the jewelry in place. With only one entry point in the skin, this piercing is different because the single piercing acts as the only entry and exit point for the piercing. Many people choose gem or diamond like jewelry for their microdermal piercings to make them more feminine. Like surface piercings, these have a wide range of placement options because they are placed in the upper layers of the skin. These piercings can often be found on the chest, face, back, and arms.
1. Whole Body Mods
When a single body mod isn’t enough, the greatest body mod enthusiasts concoct a creation that will use most (or all of) their body to create a desired look. These full-body modifiers typically choose a theme to base their creation on and set to work. Tattoos, piercings, implants and the like are all fair game in creating their desired mod. Whether it’s recreating the look of an animal or simply having a desired look, these modifiers consider how to modify their entire body. The result is a visually shocking and awe inspiring creation. From the late “Stalking Cat” (Daniel Anver) who modified his body to look more and more like a cat to the “Vampire Lady” (Maria Jose Cristerna) who went from the corporate world as a successful lawyer to transforming her body to look like her version of a vampire. These transformations take years of work and money to create. Due to their extreme nature, no other mods live up to these mixed mod creations.
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