Body Modifications

Steph of bohemian rhapsody made a post recently about her dreadlocks and her decision to get them, which was inspired by another artist’s blog about her thoughts on “to dread or not to dread”. Both posts made me think a lot about how I have felt confined to look a certain way because of the things I have done and involved myself with in my life. I have never thought about dreadlocks, I don't quite think they are my style, but I do totally relate to the way bohogirl describes her relationship with her hair:

"You thing people have always noticed about me is my hair. My feminine, loose, long, flowy hair. So, in a sense, I have sort of hid behind it. Often wondering if I would be pretty without it. Wondering if that is the only thing that is really pretty about me at all. I rarely put my hair up because I feel self conscious about my face sometimes. I just never felt I was that girl that looked that great with her hair up."


But back to body mods in general. Firstly, being a dancer, I was unable to get obvious body modifications like tattoos and piercings. Costumes exposed enough that there were few reasonable tattoo locations that were hidden by them. Even though I decided not to pursue a career as a professional dancer (and I could have), I was so involved in the performing arts, that I didn’t dare rock the boat with obvious body art. Well, okay I did get a tattoo, though a hide-able one on my lower back (a tramp stamp) only days after my eighteenth birthday as an exercise in independence and adulthood. Secondly, being a small business owner and a young woman, I needed to present an extremely professional demeanor, as I did have those two things to overcompensate for already, being young and female. I dressed and acted the part I knew I was supposed to, and it worked, in both cases, I got what I wanted by playing the games and following all the rules. All those years I was content to live as I had been, with a perceived inability to change my appearance in any dramatic and permanent or semi-permanent way. I never really thought much about it, until now.

Well, rewind. I DID get my nose pierced when I was 25, in fact it was on a birthday trip to St. Thomas for my 25th birthday, so it was about this time four years ago. Even that decision, weighed on me for a long time, I had always wanted a nose ring since seeing Joan Osborne’s video “One of Us”, and admiring the delicate and perfect metal ring that looped through her nose, but still at age 25, I was extremely concerned about the repercussions such a piercing would have on my life. How silly! I did it, though I never have put a hoop in it, and I absolutely love the little genuine diamond in 14kt white gold that sits on the left side of my nose. My customers even compliment me on it!

The reality is that I could have done what I wanted at any point in my life, there were no rules confining me to a vanilla existence, but I was more concerned with what others thought of me than I was with asserting my individuality. These days, as I get older and the window for being a dancer disappears (the only thing I would still sacrifice body mods for), I am more comfortable with who I am and the path I am taking, enough to start taking risks where fashion and body mods are concerned. I am wearing colors, wrapping my head with fun scarfy type things, donning bright costume jewelry (gasp!), even wearing blue eye-shadow, and thinking about what I like instead of what I should do or wear. The more I embrace my inner artist, the more she manifests in so many ways. I’m pretty bored with looking like everyone else and am finding myself open to yet another means of self-expression.


Slyde said…
ive never been a big fan of the nose, lip, or eyebrow piercings myself, but i have a tattoo that i got when i was in my 30's, and i'd like to get another...

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