At the age of thirteen I became very interested in piercings and tattoos but my parents didn't like the idea of body piercings and tattoos at such a young age. They told me to wait until I was eighteen to make up my mind about any tattoos and piercings. They allowed me to pierce my ears multiple times and told me that tattoos would have to wait until I was at least 18 years old.
I was very eager to get a tattoo and decided that the next best thing would be scarification. I didn't really know exactly what scarification was but I knew that scars occur when you get a bloody wound. I didn't know what instrument to use, if I could use pen on my skin to trace it or if I needed to numb the area. I sterilized a razor blade, put on a pair of plastic gloves and began to slice into my calf. My friend watched uncomfortably as blood dripped down my leg. She was considering carving something into her calf as well but I'm certain that after seeing mine that was why she changed her mind. I didn't know anything about the proper procedure except that it needed to be sterile. I didn't know how deep to cut, where not to cut and what to do in order to assure it stayed in the shape desired.
It hurt more than getting a root canal but I really wanted to finish the job I had started. I was bleeding profusely and the star I had intended carving was not even and looked terrible. I wiped the blood off and wrapped it with some gauze and medical tape. I left it on for about a day and took it off. The star was hideous and I didn't like it very much.
Luckily, the scar didn't last and in a few months it was completely gone. My parents however had seen it in the process of it healing and were very upset. In retrospect I think they handled it very well, they grounded me but they also explained that body modification decisions shouldn't be made at such a young age, that's why you need to be 18 to get pierced or tattooed.
My passion for body modification was not a phase, and at the age of 18 I am still very much interested in this art form. I understand that 17 is not much different from 18 but I respect the law and believe that if you are thinking about an extreme body modification, it's a good idea to wait until you have thought it through completely. I don't regret carving the star in my leg, as it has taught me a valuable lesson. I think a lot of thought must go into every single body modification from piercing your lobe to getting a lip plate.
Body modification has been around for centuries and should be taken seriously. At the age of thirteen not very many people are ready for a decision that will essentially change their life. Although there are many flaws in our legal system the age for piercings and tattoos is warranted. A lot of decisions we make in terms of our appearance at the age of 13 are not very clever. A decision to scar your skin for life should not be made at such a young age.
As I grew older I realized that scarification is a serious art form and when done correctly the results can be beautiful. My personal venture into the world of scarification at the age of 13 was not a clever one. I didn't think it through and I made a mess out of my calf. I do not regret it though, as it opened the door to other forms of body modification for me to research and explore.
This fascination has led me explore more and more into the origins of this art form and as I look deeper and deeper into body modification history I become more and more interested in it. The development of body modification over the years is fascinating and has led me consider a minor in ancient history in order to explore more and more into this exciting topic.
Body modification is great, and is never ending with creativity and new ideas. It is something with a history. It is something that should not be thought of as temporary, although mine faded. A decision to modify your body should be well thought and looked into. It is not to be taken light hearted and should be considered an addition to your body permanently.
I don't mean to sound like I am lecturing I just wanted to share my personal story and the lesson I learned about body modification. Hope you enjoyed it. :)
submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 Jan. 2006