Pseudo-Intellectual musings by a pseudo-intellectual person.
Transcending the physical
Published on March 2, 2004 By PoetPhilosopher In Personal Relationships
What is the appeal of body modification? Piercing, Tattoos, Scarification, or even Extreme Weird Stuff (CAUTION!!) ?

Some people like the way a tattoo or piercing looks. Some people like the shock value, or it is the "in thing" to do in their social group. Many people regret it later - opting for laser tattoo removal, or let their piercings close up.

For me it goes deeper.

It's my experience that life is a slippery thing - your circumstances change, your relationships change - "shit happens". It is very difficult to control, and often, the appearance of control is an illusion (*) . This can be very distressing for some people. Humans in general need to have a feeling of control ... over SOMETHING. The one thing I have COMPLETE control over is my body. So... it brings internal peace.

This is quite difficult to explain to people, and typically the reaction is something along the lines of "yeah right, you freak".

People will talk about a tattoo design calling to them. A particular location yearing to be marked. Often there is deliberation and then a sudden decision. The pain is a kind of right of passage which marks the event. It's very cathartic, and fun, and addictive. (**)

Another aspect I see that is appealing is the fascination over molding a living piece of flesh into an artistic creation. There are physical limitations, but not many. The presumption that the body we are born with should be left alone is ludicrous. Every day you get older, your body changes - take control of it. Make it what you want. It is the nobelest cause to take what is yours and remake it. It is... God's Will. (***)

The daily reminder is one of the best feelings. Looking down and thinking - "I did that. It wasn't there before, and now it is (grin)" Very cool (****).

So what do you think ? Where do YOU draw the line ? At some point do we just become freaks ? What are your personal experiences ? What is the first thought that pops into your head when you see something out-of-the-ordinary ?

And kids - be careful with that needle / knife / hot-poker / glue-gun


(*) I once made the statement (paraphrase) - "You think you are free? - walk away from everything right now and see how free you are." Think about it.

(**) Interesting ironic note that the addiction is a loss of control. I'll leave it at that

(***) In my opininion, cosmetic surgery, including breast enhancement, liposuction, etc, if done for the "right reason" can fall into this category. But there is an understandable suspicion that "mainstream modification" (my terms) are simply pandering to society's unrealistic standards of beauty. External vs Internal.

(****) The question "Won't you get tired of it,? Won't you regret it ?" completely misses the point. Do I get tired of my nose? Sometimes yes. Do I get tired of my feet ? Heck yea. If I had a third arm would I regret it ? Of course not. Why should the fact that you were born with something be any different than "adding" something.

on Mar 02, 2004
dude, I have my lip pierced, and it has nothing to do with any of this. I mostly disagree with all you said. Tatoos, I think, are ludacris, and I hate it when people automatically relate the two.

We don't have control over our bodies, God does. we can exercise and eat right to keep them in good shape, but that's the extent of the matter.

I got my lip pierced for reasons you really wouldn't understand, so I'll leave it at that.


on Mar 02, 2004
I mostly disagree with all you said.

Conciously you might, but unconciously - who knows ? I'm assuming you didn't accidentally add "dis"

Tatoos, I think, are ludacris, and I hate it when people automatically relate the two.

People automatically relate the two because they are degrees of the same thing. It's generally accepted and backed up by your experience, right ? That you "hate" people relating them probably says more about a) your negative impression of people with "tattoos" and your disgust with being associated with those type of people. My unsolicited advice - Deal With It - cuz it's reality. At the very least piercing is probably closer to transdermal implants, which in my opinion is more extreme. (ahem... FREAKY!!!)

We don't have control over our bodies, God does. we can exercise and eat right to keep them in good shape, but that's the extent of the matter.

Our Bodies ? That is the Extent of the Matter ? Come on - your piercing experience tells me otherwise. You obviously didn't stop at food and exercise. In any case - as I pointed out it is God's Will since He gave us the desire and He gave us the means. And since it is personal, for some it is the utmost spiritual experience.

I got my lip pierced for reasons you really wouldn't understand

Ahh, my capacity to understand is infinite given enough time. Weird huh ? Truely, I think you are more comfortable keeping it personal, and that is totally cool.

Anyway, like I said - people have a myriad of reasons. Fashion is one of them. I respect all the reasons.

thanks for the feedback

- dude.
on Mar 02, 2004
Why doesn't quoting work. Bloody computator.
on Mar 02, 2004
You see? This is why people such as yourself irk me. ASSUMPTION!!! I simply cant handle it. I think I'll steer clear of your blogs from now on. Sorry bro.

on Mar 03, 2004
So I was cruising along, listening to 2 girls banter about their "body mods", on another blog_all friendly and nice-like_then Poet adds, "heres my reply, over here"...
I read it and cool, yeah_thats probably why I got a tattoo_for that control of how I want my body to look and to mark a moment in time. It's two feathers pinned to my shoulder. My design and done in NC, there_

I am really amazed at the transgression up there_I think nomad has missed the point and It's really more a reflection of her character than anything you said. I mean_who doesn't lump tattoos and body piercings into the same category? It doesn't mean you have to like them both_ I think facial piercings are ugly_but thats me. To each his own.
anyways_I love the name of your place here_hahahah_you bloody Psuedo Intellect.
on Mar 03, 2004
as much as i love ya trin, i have to agree with E. Macy. i mean, your opinion is valid, but so is poet's. for me.....its not really about "control" persay... maybe more the control of my own ability to express myself rather than control of my body....i think everyone has their reasons... but w/e they may be they are extremely personal...
on Mar 09, 2004
I think what's done to the body nowadays is pretty gross. Years ago tatoos were usually the result for a drunken sailor on shore leave. Why not simply wear graphic T' shirts and let it go at that? 
on Mar 09, 2004
To the freaks - thanks for your comments.

To everyone else - thanks for keeping an open mind.

Wouldn't life be boring if we were all the same?!?
on Mar 10, 2004
I am not sure if this is "real" but I have wandered across it on several convention listing pages.

April 30th - May 2nd, 2004
The 2nd Annual Charlotte Tattoo Expo,