• Katrina Oke

Why Do People Get Body Modifications?

Being an Artist myself, I have my own deep feelings of respect for body art.

From the long history and use of tattoos, scarification, and other modifications for religious and cultural purposes. To the sheer aspect of using them to express how we feel or who we are in today’s world.

There is a lot of misconception about why people modify their bodies. There's so much stigma behind it that often gets manipulated to suit the opinions of those who don't particularly understand it. It's often interpreted by by the media as a negative thing. Criminals are tattooed, drug dealers are pierced, and colored hair is for promiscuous women. So it's really easy to label under the impressions of stereotypes when they're constantly paraded by misinformed people. We don't modify our bodies to try to impress people, or intimidate people, or try and fit in with a certain crowd, in fact it has nothing to do with other people. We don't change our bodies for anyone else but for ourselves.

It's can be brought down to a few reasons.

Primal instinct is probably the most common, but the hardest to explain. It's the unexplainable desire to want to tattoo, pierce or stretch our bodies. Our ancestry would do this across all nationalities and it's thought that a small amount of it is hereditary and it's brought down through lineage, but it's also a lot more reasons than that. It's human nature to want to constantly better ourselves, and everyone has their own interpretation of what "better" is and for some people that means modifying our body, and it's not for anyone else's gratification. It's something that we do for ourselves, to improve our self esteem and our self worth. It's hard to love yourself when you're anything but exactly what you want to be and it's important for us to be constantly striving towards our personal goals. But most importantly we modify our bodies because we own our bodies. We don't belong to anyone.

We are our own person. We are not property, we are people. People in charge of our own lives and our own decisions. We are making personal commitments to ourselves to become the person that we want to be. When we look down and we see that tattoo, or piercing, or that bright purple hair we are reminded of the person that we are. Even if twenty years from now a dolphin tattoo doesn't particularly represent you as a person, it's about the journey. It's so important not to live up to other people's expectations of who you should be. So although not having any tattoos or piercings may be more socially acceptable and considered to be more modest, there's no point in us not doing it just to make the people around us more comfortable. If we are not fulfilling our own personal desires and wishes then what's the point of living?

So why do people get body modifications?

Because it's already a part of who we are.

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