West students share thoughts on body modification


In modern society, body modification is much more accepted than in the past. Yet, there are still large groups of people who are against modifying the body. Body modification is very self explanatory- it’s modifying your body from its original form. Most people who talk of body modification now, however, are referring to the tattoo and body piercing culture.

 Emilia Schempp, a senior at West, discussed her views on body piercing and tattoos: “Some people do things that are different choices than I would make, but I don’t think it’s bad,” she stated.

Not all people recognize the true meaning of body modification, though. When people think of the word ‘modification’, they think of the extreme in the piercing/tattoo industry such as scarification, branding, and implants. Although body modification does refer to things like this, it doesn’t have to be this extreme.

The independent documentary Modify explains that somebody could say they are against body modification, when really that involves the simplest routines like cutting and dying hair, painting nails, or even wearing earrings or makeup.

Seniors Julia Hany and Nicole Toft discussed their personal reasons behind getting their tattoos. Julia, who has multiple tattoos, says she got her first tattoo when she was fifteen. It was an anchor on her foot symbolizing stead-fastness, hope, and the departure of her friend to the navy. “People can get tattoos for expression or visual reminders of something,” she stated. “I think they can be controversial because there are still some conservative-or I guess religious people- who see their body as a temple that shouldn’t be tampered with.” She continued by saying that some people tend to “stereotype people with tattoos as bad.” IMG_6552

 Nicole, however, stated that her tattoos are actually a reminder of her religious beliefs. I  wouldn’t do some of the things that other people do,” she said, “but it’s their body so they can do whatever they want with it. It makes people different; nobody wants to be the same (as everyone else).”

Body modification has now become part of our community, no matter how little or how drastic it is, and people have to just accept it.  Congratulations to the people who aren’t afraid to show who they are. Keep it up.