The other day, I caught, in passing, a news story on a thief who stole a woman’s wallet – but was quickly apprehended after the victim was able to give a pretty good description on the perp. That pretty good description may or may not have mentioned the slight resemblance to Lee Harvey Oswald, but it did note the the thief had rather distinctive stretched earlobes. I guess Nicholai Dandurant wasn’t paying attention the day they warned ‘don’t do the crime if you can’t cover up a fairly rare physical feature that will enable you to be easily remembered and even more easily ID’d’.
This is not quite as rare as, say, a one-eyed, one-horned, flying purple people eater, but I’m betting that it was pretty darned easy for the cops to pick this guy out of the crowd.
On the roster of body modification options, turning your earlobe into something that looks like a boring pink fleshy hoop earring is relatively tame.
Still, boring, pedestrian, middle aged me does have to ask ‘why?’
Of course, members of the bod mod squad likely have little interest in being or becoming boring, pedestrian and middle aged. For them, the question’s not ‘why’, it’s ‘why not?’
And so plenty of people pierce nose and tongue, get full sleeve (often quite beautiful, I must say) tattoos, and hoop it up with their earlobes.
Nose piercing always makes me worry about whether it hurts to blow your nose, and whether the nose-ring gets bugger-y. Tongue piercing, well, why would someone want to talk with a lisp or introduce any foreign object that could interfere with eating. (Yikes.) And major tattoo action (no matter how beautiful) just scream “unemployable” to me.
But upfront confession: I’ve actually done body modification.
As have, I would wager, most women and plenty of men.
My ears are pierced. (And, the first time out, I even did it myself with an ice cube and a needle. But those holes eventually closed up, so I went professional on my next go-round.) My toenails are lacquered. (Okay, not permanently, but this isn’t really natural…) I have $8K worth of laminates on what had been my very badly chipped front teeth. And my hair, well, let’s just say it’s pretty much the same color it was 40 years ago. (Lucky me!)
Still, I was not prepared for a recent article in the Huffington Post talking about a National Geo special chronicling:
…three people who opt into the temporary forehead injections which have become a keen part of the Japanese "body modification" art scene.
To take part in peachy-keen keen part of the scene, saline solution is injected into your forehead to create a sub-dermal blob. The technician then sticks his or her thumb into the center of the blot, producing a look that’s also called bagel head.
My question ‘why’ still applies, but if you’re into something called modcon body art, “it’s about the innovation.” As far back as 2009 – remember way back then? – Keroppy, a Japanese artist, told Vice that:
"People who like extreme body modification want to find their own way of doing things, and they’re always looking for new ways to do that. The more progressive the scene gets, the more these people have to experiment and go their own way."
Well, if a lot of people end up doing the same thing, then at some point it’s got to stop qualifying as their “find[ing] their own way”. But that point has not yet been reached. As you can see from the shot of multiple bagel heads getting bagel headed at the same time. Gosh, who wouldn’t want to be part of this progressive scene? (Wasn’t there a Star Trek character who kind of looked like this?) If you want to get even more progressive, men can do a scrotum injection. (I don’t want to think about how that goes on display. Guess I’m not as progressive as I thought.)
Wondering just how long it lasts?
The saline is absorbed within about 16 hours, and – supposedly – no drooping sack of skin is left in its place, even if you do this multiple times. (Why am I thinking ‘I’ll just bet’?)
Personally, I think the idea of deliberately injecting anything into your forehead – near your brain, near your eyes – is a really, really terrible idea. I guess I’m the paranoid type, but I’m a-thinking, we ingest and are otherwise exposed to all sorts of carcinogen-ish matter, to such a degree that I pretty much believe that everyone born from 1940 on will end up with some type of cancer in their lifetime. Why take the chance that a completely unnecessary saline drip near the old brain pan will end up being a problem sometime down the line?
As with a lot of things – hot fudge sundaes, gay marriage – if you don’t want one, don’t have one. And when it comes to bagel-headiness, I will not be having one. And, once I hit the ‘publish’ button, I won’t be giving bagel heads another thought.
I will, however, be plagued by some serious Abbott and Costello flashbacks to their Bagel Street routine (which, like Abbott and Costello in general, I find ridiculously unfunny).
Bagel Head? Bagel Head!