Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, but some people today are taking body modifications to a whole new level. Here’s a peek at some of the most unusual modifications available today.
Tired of having ordinary eyewhites? Then modify your looks with an eyeball tattoo. Corneal tattoos aren’t new; in fact, they’ve been done for more than 2,000 years. Normally, a corneal tattoo is used to disguise disfiguration or scarring that may occur as the result of disease or injury, and when done by medical professionals, tattoos are usually applied to blind eyes. The tattooing is done by hand and uses drawing ink rather than standard tattoo ink. About 9 out of 10 patients report that drawing ink retains its color over time.
Some body artists perform the procedure for strictly cosmetic reasons, and MSNBC reported in 2010 that eyeball tattoos have become popular at some prisons. Most medical professionals won’t attempt the procedure on a healthy eye to avoid the risk of infections and other serious complications.
The term “bagel head” doesn’t describe a fan of the old delicatessen standard. Instead, it’s a form of body modification that leaves the “altered” individual with a subdermal lump that looks like, well, a bagel. Many “bagel heads” have the modification done to their foreheads, hence a full explanation of the name. The procedure is actually called a “saline inflation.” Saline inflations aren’t permanent. The solution is harmless and eventually, the body absorbs the extra fluid.
Saline inflation isn’t limited to foreheads. Some women use saline inflation to increase the size of their breasts temporarily. Normally, the effect lasts just two to three days. The procedure isn’t quick, however. A breast augmentation can take about three hours to finish one side. The saline is injected through a drip, so the inflation procedure can take some time.
If you’re really into delivering shock value, try tongue bifurcation. Tongue bifurcation involves splitting the tongue from its tip. The split can go as far back as as the base, where the tongue attaches to the floor of the mouth. Tongue-splitting can be performed in a medical setting, by an oral surgeon or a plastic surgeon. Alternately, some body modification aficionados prefer to perform the procedure themselves.
In most cases, the tongue is split using a laser or a surgical cauterizing tool to discourage the tongue from rejoining through natural healing. Tongue splitting can be reversed, but both the splitting and the reversal procedures are painful. Normal healing takes place in about 1-2 weeks. Performing the procedure is explicitly banned or restricted in Illinois, New York, Delaware, and Texas. Some branches of the US military also explicitly prohibit tongue-splitting.
Body piercing has been around for a long time, but one of the newer takes on the procedure is called “corset piercing.” In corset piercing, an individual gets a set of symmetrical surface piercings along the back. Loops, surface bars or rings are used to hold the piercings, and a string or ribbon is laced between the loops, giving the appearance of a corset. A corset piercing can have as few as four loops or as many as a dozen.
Corset piercings are usually temporary because they are difficult to maintain. Permanent corset piercings have been done, but require a significant amount of maintenance to prevent healing and incidental injuries. Permanent corset piercings usually must be fully healed before they are laced.
Rejection, permanent scarring from infections or the piercings themselves, poor healing, and the development of metal allergies are all possible complications from permanent corset piercings.
Amy Follows is a recent beauty school graduate that loves to freelance on the side. She also enjoys the strange world of body piercings and tattoos as she works part time at a tattoo shop.