Sunday, August 26, 2007

An Interview With LizardMan

I have never been keen on the idea of tattooing or body piercing. Both Wosog and Gdog have their ears pierced, and I don't really have a problem with that. Two or three years ago Gdog got a tattoo. I still don't think this was a good idea, but clearly an 18 or 19 year-old is entitled to take their own decisions.

This interesting article shows pictures of folk that have altered their bodies in very extreme ways by means not only of piercing, and extensive examples of tattooing, but also subcutaneous inserts, etc. The leopard man, for example, has over 90% of his body surface tattooed and has altered his dentition quite drastically to make him look more like a big cat. If you watch the video about him, however, he seems a very pleasant well balanced individual! The LizardMan featured here again has extreme tattooing and altered teeth, but he also has a split tongue that, frankly, gives me the creeps. The video shows that he is quite an articulate and intelligent individual, however.

The question is "Why do they do it?" Do they alter their bodies simply to "dress themselves up" in a similar way to someone else donning a designer suit or carrying an expensive bag? It seems to me that there must be more to it than that! A Flickr contact from New Jersey with the Flickr name perhapsiam is a tattooist and body piercer. He says:

"I really don't view most types of body modification as anything more extreme than, say, a haircut. It's more about making what you were given into what you feel it should be than anything else. We all do this in some way or another. What these people have done is nothing more extreme than basic corrective or cosmetic surgeries, and with less potential risk in most cases."

You might argue that perhapsiam has a vested interest, but at least he practices what he preaches, having one or two body modifications himself. Perhaps he's right that these people are not really doing anything more abnormal than a woman having breast implants? Perhaps folk like myself, with a fairly conventional view of the World should be less judgemental about people like the LizardMan and celebrate his individuality and creativity?

I'll give this some thought---but I won't be getting any piercings or tattoos done any time soon!