Body modification

deliberate altering of the human anatomy or human physical appearance
Tattoos and piercings are common forms of body modification.

Body modification (or body alteration) is when a person changes their body in a way that lasts forever or for a long time. There are many different kinds of body modification, like piercing, circumcision, or tattoos. Almost all cultures do some kind of body modification.

Early body mortification in 1885


People who do not like body modification sometimes call it "disfigurement" or "mutilation." They believe that if someone changes their body, it is wrong and they are doing something dangerous or unethical.

Why people do body modificationEdit

Body modification is done for different reasons. Religions might tell people that they should change their bodies to look a certain way. Other people with body modifications might just like the way the body modifications look, or how they feel good during sex.

Kinds of body modificationEdit

Common body modificationEdit

Woman with nose piercing (Septum-Piercing
Scarification: removal of skin for decoration
  • Body piercing is when a hole is made through the skin, and a piece of jewelry is put into the hole. Some piercings can be stretched so they fit larger, thicker kinds of jewelry.
  • Tattooing is when ink is put under the skin to make a picture. Whole body tatooing and tattooing of the lips and eyes would be thought extreme by some.
  • Scarification is when part of the skin is removed to create a scar.
  • Branding is when the skin is burned to create a scar.

"Extreme" body modificationEdit

  • Tongue splitting is when a person's tongue is split in two like a snake's.
  • Subdermal implant is when a small object is placed right underneath a person's skin.
  • Transdermal implant is when a small object is placed underneath a person's skin, but part of it pokes out of the skin and is visible.
  • Extra ocular implant (eye jewellery) is when a tiny chip of metal is placed in someone's eye.

Other body modificationEdit

  • Amputation is when a body part is cut off.

Plastic surgeryEdit

  • Breast augmentation is when a woman's breasts are made larger with surgical implants.