Including piercings - Including piercings many...

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Including piercings, many modifications become part of your body. Some require tools or surgery to remove them. When one modifies their body, they are changing their outward representation to the world. Not only does this change how others view an individual, but also changes how an individual views his/herself. A person's "self" or personal identity derives from his/her public and social representation of self. Who someone is, is a function of his/her social role. Individuals identify themselves by what role they play in society or the environment in which they function. The visual nature of body modification; therefore, is a conduit through which an individual constructs his/her self-view. The focus of body modification is changing and becoming more aware of one or more body parts. (Perlingieri, 2003) The most frequently stated reason for having a body piercings is that said piercings denote individuality and personality. For example, many sexually-abused individuals use genital modification as a means to reclaim their body. These types of modification allow people to reclaim parts of their body which they had been psychologically and emotional separated from because they had associated those parts of their body with incidences of abuse. (Stirn, 2003) These individuals redefine that body part as an element of the whole body again. They are making the statement that " This is my body and it is not here for anyone, but myself." Through modification, the individual is taking control of his/her body and sending a strong message of ownership and presentation to his/her social world. Many view body modification as a primitive act that our society has moved away from. In older human societies, individuals modified their bodies and modern societies see body modification as a connection to the primitive past. The "need for even young adolescents to improve their appearance and self-esteem with extreme and even risky measures can be viewed as evidence of
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a regressive trend in Western culture." (Stirn, 2003) Many members of the Body Modification community even label themselves as modern primitives. While members of the community see modification positively, society as a whole associates piercings with primitive regression. This association with regression has a logical connection to the assumed link between body modification and crime. Many forms of body modification, especially tattoos, are associated with gangs, prisoners, and criminals. Gangs and prisoners have used tattoos as a means of identification and communication for generations. One example is the Yakuza, generally considered the Japanese version of the American mafia. Members of the Yakuza are involved in crime, gambling, loan sharking, sex clubs, bars, and even underground government business deals. On BMEzine encyclopedia#, the Yakuza's connection to tattoos is described: "Respected members are often heavily tattooed, for a number of reasons. First, because of their bakuto origins. Second, because it is a sign of strength. Third (and this reason is the most
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Including piercings - Including piercings many...

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