All Women's Talk

7 Ethnic Body Modifications from around the World ...

By Talynn

Changing one's body from it's original state is something that we all do - in some way or another. Simply piercing your ears or nose (or other body parts) of getting a tattoo is considered body modifications, yet we don't blink twice at it. However, here a few body modifications that here in the states would be considered crazy - and yet they're everyday life for others! Read on!

1 Neck Rings

Neck RingsPhoto Credit: Eric Lafforgue

Even though it looks as if these women's necks are super long, in reality, these rings have changed the way their shoulders are shaped. The women of Thailand begin to wear these heavy neckrings at about five years old. Over the years, it changes their normal shoulder growth, creating the look of a long neck. Sadly, the women that are like this today are used more as a tourism trap than anything else. They live their lives being gauked at and getting thier picture taken by people touring their village.

2 Lip Plates

Lip PlatesPhoto Credit: Eric Lafforgue

Though many tribes in Africa have practiced this lip streaching thing over the years, only a couple continue to practice it today - the Mursi people and the Suri people of Ethiopia. The original reasons for creating this massive lip plate was to prevent men from taking the tribal women as slaves. Now, it is considered a thing of beauty. Six months to a year before a girl is old enough to marry, she goes through the stretching process, starting with a hole large enough for a stick, and eventually a plate. The larger the plate, the more the girl is worth in dowry. For the unlucky few who experience the lip breaking, they lose any chance of marrying, unless they find an old man or a someone who is sick.

3 San Yak Tattoos

San Yak TattoosPhoto

This is extreme tattoos! For men in the Buddism or Hindu religion, religious words and prayers are tattooed all over the body to remind them of what they believe. For women, as a sign of beauty, their bodies are covered with elaborate designs - swirls and delicate flowers. Many hours worth of work - and pain!

4 Nose Plugs

Nose PlugsPhoto Credit: Rudi Roels

Nose plugs are an art of the Apatani tribe in India. It is said that the plugs are placed in the nose holes of the tribal women at a young age to make the women ugly to other tribes and prevent them from stealing their beautiful women. These days, this practice is losing popularity. Very few born in the 1980's or after have received nose plugs, so eventually, this tradition will die out.

5 Scarifications

ScarificationsPhoto Credit: Eric Lafforgue

Another practice of many tribal people is that of scaring the body in ornate designs. They take sharp instruments and cut themselves in a design, then rub acid in it to make the scar permanent. Again, this is considered a thing of beauty and is practiced by both men and women.

6 Sharpened Teeth

Sharpened TeethPhoto Credit: adritzz

This modification originated with the Bali people. They considered it a sign of anger to have a mouth full of gleaming white teeth, so they would lessen the appearance of the teeth and stain them dark. Since then, it has evolved to be something of beauty to have filed teeth. For many tribes, it's a right of passage into adulthood. For some tribes, they went opposite the beliefs of the Bali people, and instead file their teeth to resemble the frightening teetch of a shark. How would you like your teeth to look like shark's teeth?

7 Plastic Surgery

Plastic SurgeryPhoto Credit: Gregory Cinque

With all this talk about body modifications, I can't help but to mention a big body modification problem around us - plastic surgery. The desire to modify the breasts, nose, butt, and many other body parts is taking over more than 50% of the United States population! Many of the tribes mentioned in the above points would look as us as crazy for doing what we do to our bodies around here - after all, doesn't it seem a bit silly to you that we stuff silicone in our breasts to make them bigger - only to fix the droop that the extra heavy breasts caused in a few years?

Body sizes, shapes, and figures come is different packages. If you are not happy with the way yours looks, there are things you can do to change the way you look. But do you really want to go the extreme route, like in these article points? Let me know what you think.

Top Photo Credit: martianmermaid

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