Body Modification vs Body Mutilation – What is “Body Modification”?

I watched an interesting documentary last night about “Body Modification”.

According to Dictionary Reference:

Body Modification: any method of permanently adorning the body, including tattooing and piercing

On the other hand, according to Wiki:

Body modification (or body alteration) is the deliberate altering of the human body for aesthetic or non-medical purpose, such as sexual enhancement, a rite of passage, denoting affiliation, trust and loyalty, religious reasons, shock value, and self-expression.  It can range from the socially acceptable decoration (e.g., pierced ears in many societies) to the religiously mandated (e.g., circumcision in a number of cultures), and everywhere in between.  Body art is the modification of any part of the human body for spiritual, religious, artistic or aesthetic reasons.

So, here’s my question.  Look at all of these images.  Are there any that you consider to be body mutilation?  Are there any that you consider to be body modification?  What do you think is the difference between the two?

How much time do you think it takes in a gym to get these… sculpted muscles?

Do you think this tan is a good color? Do you think that SHE thinks it’s a good color?

If these people think that they are making themselves better/more attractive, is it mutilation?

How long do you think this hair takes to style?




 Can these tattoos be removed? Is it as easy to remove a tattoo as to remove a botox treatment?

Is this a good way to cover a scar?

Do you think the women above look better than the women below? Do you think the women below haven’t had modifications?

Take the poll. Watch the vid. Share this link. Comment below. Tell me what you think!


3 thoughts on “Body Modification vs Body Mutilation – What is “Body Modification”?

  1. Hair styles/coloring, makeup, tans, and minor piercings all require maintenance or they revert back to normal with no lasting effects. These I’d say are no more than body decoration, similar to jewelry. Body toning would also fall into the temporary category, as it requires maintenance or the body reverts to normal. With toning, there’s little muscle build-up, so there’s typically no lasting effects after reversion. Examples of toning would include yoga, pilates, cardio, and light weight workouts.

    Anything permanent, I’d call body modification. Tattoos, major piercings, studs, bars, tongue forking and the likes would fall into the ‘permanent’ category. Even when reversed, these procedures will likely leave scars or other long-term evidence of the modification, thus my reason for categorizing them as permanent. I’d also include body building in the permanent category. Without maintenance, reversion also happens, and happens much faster than the skin can regain its elasticity. Stretch marks and sagging skin are likely long-term, if not permanent. Other lasting effects may be present, such as sexual dysfunction, hormonal imbalances, or damage to organs, skin, and hair, depending on the supplements used during the build-up of muscle. Body sculpting (surgical/medical changes) would also be considered permanent, because of the likelihood of lasting evidence of changes, or in the case of plastic surgery, the promise of lasting changes.

    My $0.02


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