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Does the media give modified people a bad name?
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January 23, 2014
4:59 pm
rhigorehound
swansea, wales
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I'm not sure if it's just me but there's always stuff on tv or the net about mods…but nothing in a positive light always negative. Channel 4 started it with "my tattoo addiction" some of the work was nice (nothing i'd have) but still good work. Then you'd have people who didn't think about there work and now the don't like it.

Well channel 4 have done it again with a documentary starting Monday on mod's people have that they regret. I'm desperate to get my ear lobes sorted but I don't complain, I did it and after 10 years I feel like a massive change of getting rid of them. Drives me insane where people don't research the mods and then go public about there dislike for them.

I feel it's the wrong attention on people who truly have accepted who they are. What are your views?

January 24, 2014
7:36 am
Oakbear
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Modification is not widely appreciated in Western culture, and may seem unusual or alien. That is exactly the kind of thing which sells in the media. Psychologically people seem top think that something outside their understanding should be viewed with suspicion, hence all the 'you'll regret that when you're 80' nonsense.

Unfortunately a documentary about positive benefits of modification is going to achieve far less immediate impact than the 'someone did something crazy!' take. People like the comfort of seeing the unusual, safe in the knowledge that their happy normal lives, buying the same things as everyone else, are all there is, and anything else is to be disdained.

This means the money encourages the media to engineer a limited of downright false view, to gain viewers and appease the money men.

This is why i avoid the media, or at least draw strong criteria to take part (which no company had yet to meet), and I have know friends be seriously misrepresented that have taken part.

 

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
January 24, 2014
7:38 am
Oakbear
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If you are thinking about getting your lobes reconstructed i would be happy to advise and point you to suitable people. Not too cheap though i'm afraid, but not worth risking with an inexperienced artist imho.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
January 25, 2014
3:49 pm
rhigorehound
swansea, wales
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Thanks Oakbear, Do you know mac ( Dr evil) I've got it priced up with him at the moment, Just need to research how it's done. Who else do you know who does it??

January 26, 2014
5:57 am
Tiffany
Phoenix, AZ
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Well if the media felt so inclined, it'd be just as interesting a topic to counterbalance those who regret their mods with those who don't. They just choose not to. The only time they ever show people who enjoy their mods are when they want to display people with very extreme mods and try to depict them, as was mentioned at the beginning of the post, as someone with a problem or addiction. And in some instances they may not be wrong, not every person who seeks out to modify their body is doing so from a necessarily healthy state of mind, so they showcase people who likely have multiple issues going on in their lives, their modifications are meant solely for shock value, or as a means to drive others away, or a misguided means to attract others (maybe by altering their bodies to their own view of perfection), and really those are about the only people who would do a piece entitled "My Strange Addiction", or somesuch. Not every person is dedicated to body art and modification for the purposes of spiritual fulfillment, and however much I often stand up for those people who are dedicated to nothing but vanity and shock value, because what they do with their bodies is their choice, I still kinda want to shake them. Heh
Addiction is generally classified as compulsively engaging in a behavior that puts the person at risk of bodily harm, ostracization from loved ones (particularly spouse or children), and/or at risk of losing means of viable income. Basically, if it interferes with your ability to go about your day to day activities, it's likely unhealthy and likely can be classified as an addiction. So, for an example, let's take the much debated gaming addiction. There are gamers who won't sleep, rarely eat, rarely shower, call in sick to work often to continue playing, get in trouble at work or fired for continuing to play online games from work or otherwise engaging in gaming activity from work (strategizing with fellow gamers and such), become estranged from their significant other and/or don't attend to their children because they're too busy gaming. These are all classic signs of a person who is engaged in an addictive behavior. So, in order for mods to be addictive, people would have to be skipping work to get them, paying for them instead of rent or food, putting themselves in imminent harm (maybe by having unclean or unsafe equipment? I dunno…), there would have to be quite a few variables in play before one can say that mods are addictive, yet I hear it thrown around in the media often that they are. The only time I've come across anything like that is with plastic surgery. People who have sunk their life's fortune into plastic surgeries and are having to go overseas to get more because no American Dr is willing to continue operating on them. Then again, there is actually such a thing as being addicted to surgery, strangely enough (although the gods only know why anyone would be addicted to that! I've had two and would like to have zero more, thanks. Surgeries…not PLASTIC surgeries. Heh) But anyway, it offends me on so many levels, as a person with many mods AND as a former addiction counselor that people throw the word addiction around to describe anything they believe to be in excess, which is just way off they mark.
I propose that we hire an enterprising young film student to make a documentary about what we're REALLY all about. :D A girl can dream, anyway.
Or! Call up that news station and complain. Maybe they'll do a story about the brighter side of mods. Only problem with that is you run the risk of them saying whatever stupid uninformed crap they want to say. :/

When I'm good, I'm good. When I'm bad, I'm even better. :D
January 26, 2014
8:32 pm
kaytemew
Buffalo, NY
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In my area, there is a radio station called KISS 98.5 and one of their DJ's who calls himself "Shyguy Shawn" posted a photo of a couple gentlemen who stretched their labret piercings and wear a clear or empty tunnel in them, which obviously exposes the bottom teeth and gums. You may have seen similar photos labeled as "a new trend in Portland". Anyway, he posted it to the Facebook page and asked if other people thought it was "nasty" (that might not be the exact word he used, but it was something to the same effect). And there was just a flood of negative comments about how they're disgusting and worse. 

A friend of mine and her friend jumped onto the page and defended the mod and eventually Shyguy Shawn removed the post. 

I was so angry when I saw what people were saying. I feel like the media absolutely puts an intentional negative light on modifications for the most part, and it just drives me up a wall. People are so willing to jump on the band wagon of bashing something everyone else hates instead of learning about it. I find that type of public shaming behavior to be on the same page as racism, making fun of overweight people. etc. It's just so sad. 

And while people may not be doing modifications for the "right" reasons, or for spiritual fulfillment, I don't think anyone has the right to bash them or to make them into an example of what modifying is all about.

These things have hardened in our soft pink bellies.
January 27, 2014
5:09 am
Tiffany
Phoenix, AZ
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Exactly. As I stated, I defend every person's right to do with their body as they please. I never said there was a "right" way to modify one's body, but that the media tends to latch on to those people specifically whose choice in modification is strictly for attention or shock, and they portray them in a very negative light, giving other modified people a bad name. My anger with them is that they would allow themselves to be showcased in such a way, doing harm to the community at large, not in their motive or choice of modification.
And I've stated time and again that people with mods are discriminated against. Most especially in the workplace, where dress codes can dictate that piercings must be removed and tattoos covered, as if the mere sight of them is too much for "normal" people to bear. As a hiring manager at some of my jobs, and a person with visible facial piercings, I often would have to defend qualified candidates whose only "flaw" was that they had too many tattoos. I've turned down many promising positions when asked to remove my piercings for the position. I KNOW that people with mods are discriminated against in the media (bad guys always have tats), in the workplace, and in interpersonal settings. I've suggested that we make efforts to dispel these policies of discrimination. I would love to see broader acceptance in my lifetime. It's happening, but very slowly, and we have no protection as a group to refuse to remove our jewelry or cover our tats. I could always refuse to remove it on religious grounds…but I wouldn't get the job.

When I'm good, I'm good. When I'm bad, I'm even better. :D
January 31, 2014
9:14 pm
kaytemew
Buffalo, NY
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I'm in that position at work where I have to my tattoos covered (even in the summer time, I will be required to wear high neck long sleeve shirts) and my facial piercings out, and my ear lobes covered. I wish it wasn't like that!

These things have hardened in our soft pink bellies.
February 12, 2014
7:38 am
Tiffany
Phoenix, AZ
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Sorry, it's been a busy couple of weeks and I just now checked back. It saddens and angers me that you're in such a position at work! It's so frustrating that we really have no protections against ourselves to be able to tell them to shove their dress code up their… You know in Montreal recently there was a big to do because legislation was being passed to disallow any significant displays of religious clothing or jewelry in govt run workplaces like hospitals and universities. Something easily hidden, like a small cross, was allowed, but Muslims and Sikhs could not wear religiously based hair coverings, Jewish people could not wear yarmulkes. They tried to say it was to prevent discrimination, to "equalize" everyone and create a secular environment, but to any person it affected it was a very discriminatory act, and only creates an atmosphere of privilege to those people who are in the religious majority. There's a very good article about it here: http://america.aljazeera.com/a…..vince.html When your religion dictates that you don't go out in public without covering your hair and suddenly your job is telling you that you can't work without breaking the tenets of your religion and basically defying the word of your god, that is an unjust and cruel way to single out any person who doesn't adhere to a "normal" Christian religion. Our faith/spirituality is found through modifying our bodies, and we're told to hide that every day. Christianity is constantly shoved in everyone's face whether they follow it or not (like having Christmas parties at work), but any other religious display is somehow considered inappropriate, even here in the states. I was told to take down a "Happy Solstice!" sign that I posted at my cubicle when I worked for the state of AZ. I told them I would if they told everyone else to take down their Xmas cards and decorations. They didn't bug me about it again. I support every person's right to follow whichever faith they choose, but I don't support anyone's right to encroach on others' faiths or their expression of their own spirituality because they believe their faith to be the only one that matters. Everyone has a right to free expression.
A funny story about dress codes, I was at a bank in Los Angeles and the teller had two piercings in each ear, a tragus and a rook. I complimented her on her piercings and said I was surprised the bank dress code let her get away with it. She chuckled and said when she started she had piercings all up her ear from the lobe to the cartilage at the top, and I could see the holes, but the dress code said "no more than two ear piercings per ear for women", so she chose the two she most didn't want to close up. Since then they had changed the dress code for new employees specifying that the piercings must be located in the earlobes. She said that she got away with it because they'd modified their dress code after she'd chosen her piercings (quite wisely, I'd say, Hehe). I thought that was pretty hilarious. I wonder how they'd feel about the two piercings I'd wear in my earlobes, which are gauged to 4 and 6. Not large gauges, I know, but for a stuffy bank hell bent on making everyone look as "normal" as possible, I could see another dress code change.

How do you cover your earlobes at work? What line of work are you in, if you don't mind me asking?
I've been very fortunate in my choice of line of work, in mental health. For the most part piercings and tattoos are pretty widely accepted. I've worked with people with all manner of tattoos all over their bodies, even their necks, and multiple facial piercings. The only time I've ever run into problems is when I've switched over from the adult side, where I mainly have worked, to the children's side. I once interviewed at a high school for teenagers with behavioral issues, and they told me that no visible tattoos or facial piercings were allowed because they were trying to teach the children that no one gets anywhere in life with tattoos and piercings. I told the woman that I was educated, successful in my career, and sitting there in front of her with tattoos and piercings so she wasn't exactly making a good case for her argument. I did not accept the position. :p There were so many kids at the school who already had multiple, large tattoos. How about instead of shaming them for their choices, teach them to be proud of who they are, to be confident in the skillsets they learn and to make extra efforts to excel in school so that they can continue to follow their passion of body art AND join the work force, as so many other modified people have obviously managed to do. People are so backward in their thinking. There's such a push to fit in, to be mainstream, to not rock the boat, when diversity and novel thinking and ideas should be valued in the workplace. Whenever I was looking to hire someone I was more apt to hire someone with mods, and not because of my predisposition toward them, but because I admired their drive to be unique, to express themselves even if it meant they might not be hired, to come to the interview, piercings and tats in full view, confident in their abilities and tell me what they had to offer. I don't just want a warm body working for me, I want a unique individual with their own set of talents and strengths. I don't understand why that's such a scary thing for others to comprehend.

When I'm good, I'm good. When I'm bad, I'm even better. :D
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