3 Reasons I Want More Body Mods

New Year's res­o­lu­tions should be fun! The more high-​spirited you are about them, the more like­ly you are to keep them. Fortunately, mod­i­fy­ing one's appear­ance can be just as fun as show­ing off the results afterward.

Tattoo parlor with neon sign
Credit: Reda Rachdi

1. Setting aside a time and place for relaxation

Some peo­ple love reg­u­lar­ly sched­ul­ing the time to go to the spa or to get their nails done. For oth­ers, get­ting a tat­too or pierc­ing is an equiv­a­lent. It's a way of say­ing "yes" to your­self that's more exten­sive and less ephemer­al than putting on your favorite lipstick.

There's noth­ing wrong with par­tak­ing in these rit­u­als sole­ly because you like the phys­i­cal results. However, body mods can go beyond "just" surface-​level expression.

For what­ev­er amount of time you're in the tat­too par­lor, you've set aside time sole­ly for your­self to:

  • take a break from life
  • ignore social media noti­fi­ca­tions on your phone
  • leave your wor­ries at the door

For me, self-​care prac­tices feel espe­cial­ly pow­er­ful when there's a phys­i­cal place ded­i­cat­ed to them. It's like the dif­fer­ence between study­ing while curled up in my bed and men­tal­ly switch­ing gears to go to the library. My mind is lit­er­al­ly and fig­u­ra­tive­ly in a dif­fer­ent place.

When I'm in a tat­too par­lor or a nail salon, my sur­round­ings have none of the phys­i­cal cues asso­ci­at­ed with work, chores, study, or any of the oth­er "shoulds" in my life

Woman with leather chest harness bra, party makeup, and septum ring
Credit: Pablo Padilla

2. Trying out different styles and expressing what matters to you

The choic­es you make in your clothes, hair, shoes, and so on all say some­thing about you. Body mods are an exten­sion of that, giv­ing you even more options for show­ing off your aes­thet­ics and adorn­ing your temple.

Just like scrolling through Instagram videos of man­i­cures or find­ing the per­fect veg­an leather jack­et can be relax­ing, so can try­ing on jew­el­ry to suit dif­fer­ent moods. (Or find­ing a sig­na­ture style and stick­ing with it!)

Maybe you're super femme and wan­na feel pret­ty in pink with tita­ni­um and pur­ple Swarovski CZ in your navel. Or per­haps you'd instead get a bold indus­tri­al to show off your love of ten­ta­cles. Maybe you're an avid fan of the rose gold trend, or just wan­na to keep it sim­ple and ele­gant with a sim­ple yel­low gold sep­tum ring.

Of course, con­ven­tion­al ear­lobe pierc­ings, like rose gold with pink pearl or pen­ta­gram ear­rings, allow plen­ty of room for fun.

Shop body jewelry

Myself, I grew up resent­ing the idea that, as some­one assigned female at birth, I was "sup­posed to" wear jew­el­ry. Especially when I grew up with very tra­di­tion­al par­ents who had a nar­row scope of what was "accept­able".

Exploring the end­less com­bi­na­tions of:

  • body parts that could be pierced
  • mate­ri­als to wear
  • dif­fer­ent col­ored gems

…and so many oth­er fac­tors inspired me to buy jew­el­ry for myself and myself only. Most of all, it got me to cul­ti­vate my taste in what I love look­ing at, whether it's a dain­ty daith pierc­ing or four flashy navel pierc­ings arranged at 90 degrees to each other.

3. Reaffirming to yourself that your body is your own

It all comes down to exer­cis­ing your rights and tak­ing con­trol of your body in a last­ing way. If you're of age (which you should be if you're read­ing my blog) in the U.S., you can legal­ly get a pierc­ing. Once you have one, it's your own. And there's prac­ti­cal­ly noth­ing oth­er peo­ple can do to take that away from you. Likewise for tattoos.

There's still that sense of sat­is­fac­tion, even if the body mod­i­fi­ca­tion is in a place where few peo­ple can see it. Examples that come to mind are a navel or Christina/​pubic mound pierc­ing or a pair of heart-​shaped are­o­la tat­toos. I don't have one, but I'd feel espe­cial­ly sat­is­fied get­ting an inti­mate pierc­ing, know­ing that I'm the one per­son who will see it the most often.

Because, fuck yeah, my body is my ulti­mate home. I can't con­trol every­thing in my life, but I can con­trol how I adorn the phys­i­cal form I occu­py. Body pierc­ings are a con­stant, tan­gi­ble reminder to focus more on the things I can con­trol and less on the things I can't.

I know that tat­toos and pierc­ings are not everyone's cup of tea. But for many (includ­ing myself), they're far beyond skin-​deep. They're self-​care, self-​expression, and self-​assurance neat­ly con­verg­ing at one needlepoint.

3 Reasons I Want More Body Mods 1

This post was spon­sored by Urban Body Jewelry.

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3 Responses

  1. D. Dyer says:

    I real­ly love the pre­sen­ta­tion here of get­ting a pierc­ing as a form of self-​care. It is defin­i­tive­ly tak­ing time for your­self and I had not thought of it in that way before.

  2. Ellie Peaches says:

    Heart shape are­o­las HURT! I got mine done a bit over a year ago, absolute­ly love them, but des­per­ate­ly need to get them touched up and can't work up the courage lol.

  3. Zombay says:

    Is that your body with the heart shaped nip­ple tat­toos CY?

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