28 September, 2012

To Old For Your Choo's?

presented by
Mystic Metals Body Jewelry

To Old For Your Choo's?

I'm tired, kids. I haven't been sleeping well for crazy memory dreams I've been having for the last couple months. If you talk to my therapist, which I do regularly, she'll tell you that the dreams are a sign of post traumatic stress. I'm not ready to concede to that quite yet. I'd rather wait until the overwhelming evidence I have for it goes from overwhelming to irrefutable. It's an important distinction.

I'm really sick and tired (mostly tired) of style 'journalists' providing commentary on body modification. Yes, outward and visible modification translates to most as a style choice. That 'most' is typically unmodified onlookers who levy opinions, often negative, about the behavior of those who modify. And then they write them down on some bullshit webpage no one reads (I guess kind of like this one), and call it style. They call it fashion. They call it some sort of social commentary on how people of certain flavors (race, sex, age...) should behave and handle their outward aesthetic style. I hate these people. I hope they rot in Hell, and I will very much never take the opinion of an unpierced fashion writer who has never had the experience of stretching a nipple piercing. Feel free to ask me how that feels.

Sorry. I'm a little fired up. My former drummer is sending emails filled with misinformation and inflammatory rhetoric which makes me want to do two things. One; Buy an easily concealed weapon. Two; Wait.

Back to the fashion writers. I read a little blurb today on some website with purple and pink graphics called Style Goes Strong. Reminds me of Bob Lamonta's dad. ("Grr! I'm strong! Like the Hulk!" Anyone get that joke?) Anyway, Cynthia Nellis wrote some thing on this site about how old is too old to be facially modified with piercings. That paraphrasing is much more well written than any of the sentences in the blurb Cynthia Nellis wrote. Sorry, sweetheart. She postulates that if you're old enough to have grandchildren, then are you too old to have facial mods. Specifically, she has a problem with 'nose rings.' Now, I'm not sure if she means nostrils, bridges, septums, or any variation thereof, but she says, "Of all the body modifications out there, body piercings — nose rings in particular — are my least favorite. But I don't like them at any age, too much." She admits to having a tattoo. A bold admission, my dear Cynthia. But I'm not sure if she's saying that she doesn't like piercing modification at any age, or if she doesn't like nose oriented modifications at any age. She has a dangling modifier there. Hey Cynthia; your modifier is dangling. And that's fine. Let me be clear (to steal the parrot like refrain of our president), she doesn't have to like piercing modifications in the nose, be it nostril or septum or anywhere. However, providing a reasoning for her dislike in a wise and researched way would help to quell any sort of perceptible judgement she may be providing. Cynthia Nellis does provide a slight inclanation of her distaste for proboscis mods. (Proboscis means nose, kids.) She says, "...the idea of multiple body piercings (besides ears) just seems a little coming-of-age rebellious to me. Like something Miley Cyrus would do (and she did — nose ring.)" Don't you love how ear lobes (I assume she means just lobes) always get a pass when talking about piercing modification, as if it doesn't even apply to the category? That is, of course, until you stretch them; then the stay that lobes get for not really being a body piercing is expired and unmodified people who hate mod start crying witch again.

As a quick side note, my favorite coffee girl Caley has returned to the bookstore after a semester at school and that makes me happy. OK, back to the hate.

Cynthia Nellis uses in her tiny article two celebrity examples. Since, you know, fashion people worship the golden calf of celebrities. They're one step away from bombing buildings in the name of the great god of Hollywood. The quick nod to Miley Cyrus notwithstanding (about her demon nose ring and not her weed smoking, by the way), Cynthia Nellis uses Tia Carrere and Dennis Rodman as her examples of those with visible modifications who have aged. First of all, anyone who has been in "Wayne's World" should have a dispensation from criticism because that movie is awesome, and I'll fight you if you disagree. That what it is, I believe the only mod Ms. Carrere has is a nostril ring, so she's hardly Rolf Buchholz, the most pierced man in the world. So I discredit Ms. Carrere as evidence. Also, I had a crush on her when I was younger. Full disclosure. Dennis Rodman, on the other hand, has very many facial piercing mods, and though I thought his celebrity had expired, he tends to continue to be the unmodified example of outward, heavier mods. That's fair. Everyone knows who he is, and he has mods we can see. However, using Dennis Rodman as an example of 'is there an age limit on piercing mods' is unjust because when most people perceive Mr. Rodman, they typically recognize his mods, tattoos and piercings, but also bear in mind his behavior which poisons the well. I think that when people think of him, they lean more toward his outlandish dress wearing, nudity, and elbow throwing in the paint before they even consider the fact that he has his nostrils pierced. What is conspicuously missing from the 'too old' theory of Cynthia Nellis is Kris Jenner's recent breast implant replacement surgery. Though Cynthia Nellis may see this as a different topic altogether, plastic surgery and implant surgery is, at its core, a heavy body modification. The fact that it costs much more and involves hospital stays and anesthesia seems to change the unmodified idea of it. Implant modification has long been a part of modification culture decades prior to nose and breast augmentation. (Yes, I know that in 1895 Vincenz Czerny performed the first breast implant surgery, but implanting subdermal objects has been done for thousands of years.) Kris Jenner's circumstance I believe fits much more neatly into the conversation than Tia 'she has one visible modification' Carerre. Kris Jenner is fifty-six years old and she is undergoing a major surgery for purely aesthetic reasons. We all know the dangers that age applies to anesthesia and invasive procedures. That seems to be a bigger danger and a more interesting story than if certain forgotten celebrities have nostril piercings at their age. For context, Ms. Tia Carrere is forty-five years old, and Dennis Rodman is fifty-one years old. Also, I fully support modification at any age, including Ms. Kris Jenner's tit thing.

So is there an age for modifications? That's the unanswered question of Ms. Cynthia Nellis, and the short answer of the culture of modification is a resounding no. (Or nay if you're into Continental Congress era shouting.) We in the modification community are a culture, not a style. The style of modification is a byproduct of its sense of society. Modification through the centuries of its existence has been used to express, and often times in a very serious vein including religious beliefs and class distinctions, as well as to beautify the self and manufacture a sense of individuality whilst sharing with others our personal perceptions of self. It's a wildly dense study of self perception through alteration of the flesh. Also, when have we as a society ever put age limits on that which an individual does to express himself and feel the most safe and beautiful as he can? Is there an age limit on your Jimmy Choo's, or whatever the hell they're called. (Should have taken those seven bills and bought an iPad anyway.) Is there an age limit on wearing jewelry on your fingers or across your neck? Why are these things different? Solely because they don't infiltrate the skin? That seems silly. Ask any one with heavy modifications, full sleeve or stretched lobes or anything else, if he would rather age with his mods or age with the label on his jacket and shoes. Which is more a part of his identity? And isn't that the idea of culture or style. A sense of identity. Aren't we all speaking to the same end? Stay beautiful, kids.

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