Being Othered | General Discussion | Forum
I have been modifying myself for basically all of my adult life, starting with my first tattoos at 19 up until present day at almost 28. Little by little I have gradually starting stretching the limits of what's considered conventionally acceptable. A few mostly hidden tattoos and conventional facial piercings, followed by some larger stretched piercings and dermal punches followed by subdermal implants finally followed by facial tattoos. With each step along the way I've noticed I receive a little more attention from the people around me than I did the step before. In truth, the attention doesn't often bother me and if anything I embrace it. Recently, however, I've noticed something of a change.
For a long time the people I most admired in terms of their modifications were some of the most modified out there. People like Cat Man, The Lizardman, The Enigma, Pauly Unstoppable, ect. While I didn't immediately realize how far I wanted to go in my own journey, I gradually came to the realization that I wanted to be counted, in some ways, among their number. My goal was nothing more than complete self transformation and each thing I did has brought me slowly closer to that goal. In a way, I had such profound admiration for those individuals who had the courage and individuality to do exactly what they wanted with their own bodies and expectations of everyone around them be damned. That's the type of person that I wanted to be.
Until very recently, I felt myself apart from that level of modification. It was, always, something that I was striving towards and while I knew I would eventually get there, it still seemed to be a distant goal. I think that has begun to change.
As mentioned previously, I have always gotten a certain amount of attention due to my modifications, especially when out in public. Usually, however, after a few minutes of curious questioning that's it. Recently I've gotten my labret scalpelled to around 16 mm and facial tattoos and, I think, between these two very visible mods perceptions of myself have shifted in others. I still don't feel heavily modified in a lot of ways because what I do to myself feels so natural and right. The way I see others react to me, however, tells a different story. I went to a gathering the other day. A casual friend invited me but I didn't know anyone else there. Throughout the entire night I felt a little like an exotic creature. The quality of the attention I was receiving is a little bit difficult to put into words except to say that it made me feel like I was on display, almost as if the people there were studying and learning about some exotic specimen they had never encountered before. Suffice to say it was an interesting if rather surreal experience.
I am wondering if anyone has experienced anything similar to this?
I know just what you mean!
You ARE an exotic specimen! People are going to be curious and intrigued by you. It might not be what you were aiming for, but it's human nature so embrace it.
February 27, 2012
Since I've moved to South Korea, I know exactly what you mean. I think you deal with the attention much better than I do. Most of the time I'm fine with being stared at, taken pictures of, talked about since they think I can't understand, but occasionally I have my bad days. On the bad days you can find me cursing at people in the street when they stare.
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