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Student Body Modifications Stand Out

Senior Dakota Alderson shows off his piercings. Alderman also has three tattoos. Photo by Hannah Zuloaga.

It can be something as simple as a haircut or painting your nails to something as extreme as skin implants or eyeball tattooing, but when it comes down to it, just about everyone has gotten some form of body modification.

Body modifications are the deliberate altering of the human anatomy for cultural beliefs, religious reasons, or just for the look of it. The two most common modifications, besides nail painting and hair cutting, are tattoos and piercings.

Tattoos are said to have originated more than 10,000 years ago. Drawings of animals and mythical creatures were first found tattooed on the mummified bodies of the ancient Egyptians. But the oldest documented tattoo belongs to Otzi the Iceman, whose body was found in 1991 but died in 3300 B.C. According to a study done in 2012 by Harris Polls, approximately 16% of Americans have at least one or more tattoos. Whereas tattoos were first recorded 10,000 years ago, the first piercings were only documented 4,000 years ago. Starting with nose piercings in the Middle East to tongue piercings done by the Aztecs in Central Mexico, body piercings are becoming more and more popular with modern culture.

Senior Dakota Alderson has three tattoos, snakebites, a septum piercing, ½ inch gauges, and two other ear piercings.

“Your body’s like a canvas, decorate it how you want to,” Alderson said. “I like body motifications because they make me stand out.”

Modifications are considered a form of self-expression. If not for religious or cultural meanings, they are a way people show who they are. They can also have sentimental value.

Junior Paige Dasalla has a tattoo on her hip that she got to match with her mother.

“The tattoo means that me and my mother will always be there for each other,” Dasalla said.

In addition, tattoos may be a way people can show respect to passed loved ones.  Sophomore Jasmine Sharp has a tattoo on her left forearm for her grandmother who has passed away. “My grandmother meant a lot to me and I wanted something permanent to show that.”

Tattoos, piercings, and other body modifications are a way a person can express his or herself, stand out, and look different. They have been around for 10,000 years and will likely gain more popularity in years to come.

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