body modification

Interview with Elayne Angel on Body Modification

I was recently interviewed about body modification (for a school project) and I will share with you what I had to say on the subject:

Q: In your experience, how has body modification changed over the years since you started compared to now? Is it more complex and safe or is it going downhill for lack of better words?

 

A: Body piercing has undergone a truly explosive revolution since I became involved. After a long history among tribal peoples followed by years of obscurity at the fringes of Western society, body piercing has now achieved massive worldwide popularity in contemporary culture. For an amazing education about the development of the modern body piercing industry, read my former employer/mentor Jim Ward's revealing book, Running the Gauntlet. 

 

A Clit Hood (VCH) Piercing to Reclaim Her Body

I recently received a wonderful email from a reader who got a VCH piercing for her 18th birthday. She explains that it was instrumental in reclaiming her body after abuse. Read her touching story about how a piercing was so positive and empowering:


Hello Elayne,
I got my VCH piercing for my 18th birthday and it's really a thanks to you, this blog, the Piercing Bible and others who have the VCH piercing and shared their experiences.

I was sexually abused for five years when i was a kid so my body never did feel like it was completely mine until my birthday (the 17th). I feel so liberated, new, fresh and like i finally have a choice with my body-- i never knew a piercing could make someone feel this way or could help me out much more than any therapist could. Whenever i have flashbacks, or memories of the abuse, i can just smile it off now because my body finally feels like it's MINE and no one will ever be able to take it away and abuse it again.

Body modification has helped me out so much these past two years with finding myself again and gaining a strong sense of self and i feel like i owe a big thank you to you. You've enlightened me a lot on piercing (I want to be a piercer one day in the future) and have helped me realize how liberating and renewing a piercing can be-- thank you so much for being there for everyone, for writing the Piercing Bible and for being so passionate about body modification (you're a true inspiration)!


More Great Feedback

I received a very touching message from a reader whose life was obviously impacted in a positive way from reading my book:

Elayne,

I would like to say that you are truly an inspiration. After buying your book 2 years ago, I realized that I have always felt my body was lacking something... To put it simply, ownership. But also, decoration (because thats always fun)!

Body modification has helped me reclaim my body after sexual assault and depression. I spent most of my childhood and teenage years suffering from anxiety and low self-esteem, and after years of thinking I was less than beautiful, I discovered your book.

I had always fawned over body modification and piercings, but I never thought it was right for me. Then, I read your book. Your book opened up a world that would change me for the better; spiritually, physically, sexually and mentally. Ive slowly begun my journey of changing my body to match my soul. And thanks to the knowledge and expertise of your book, I can do it safely and properly. I dont know where I'd be without it- certainly not as strong and self-confident as I am now! Haha.

 

And this message from a piercer who found my book useful, in other ways:

Subject: Piercing Bible


Hi Elayne,

I've been piercing for 12 years and I recently received a copy of your book as a present and I must thank YOU!

Despite being in the industry for a good few years I still learned a lot and a lot of what I knew has been confirmed.

What a great resource, especially for anxious clients.

Thanks again.

The Body as a Work of Art

I received this wonderful message as a posting on the Piercing Bible guestbook:

I really can't describe how good it feels to have found your website. I've
been interested in body modification for a few years now and though I have
only a few piercings, it's people like you who inspire me to treat my body as
a work of art. It makes me proud to have such a strong woman like yourself
representing the body mod community in such positive light.

Thank you so much for giving me such a positive role model. You give me
strength to remember who I am and not let society tell me what is and isn't
acceptable and normal. Perhaps one day you'll come to New Zealand and I'll
get the opportunity to be pierced by you.

Stay gorgeous, gorgeous.

Maybe some day I will come to New Zealand. I have some friends/colleagues at Streetwise Body Piercing and Tattooing in Auckland. I hope to visit and maybe do some piercings! If you want to stay up to date with my travels, sign up for my free newsletter (in the box in the left lower corner of this page).

Amazing Artwork

This post is about something a little bit different from what I usually write about, but I ran into a blog for an artist and was so impressed with what he had to say and the artwork that he did. It is, in fact, piercing-related artwork in pen and ceramic. Check it out here. Read what he has to say. He seems like a really cool dude! He's from South Africa and is a very talented artist. EUGENE HŐN : CERAMIC ARTIST (who is also wicked-good drawing with a ballpoint pen) says:

"Piercing evokes all sorts of emotions within us and society still frowns upon it and deplores the practice thereof. Personal expressions of this kind is a cultural phenomena associated with the individual’s need to expressive him or herself in a cultural diverse and hybrid society (globalisation) – the coming together of cultures and groupings (collisions) and their social behaviour patterns and beliefs – the creolization of cultures."

"Required Reading"

I ran into this post in which The Piercing Bible was described as "Required Reading" on the topic of body modification:

This entry is more geared towards apprentices and those into the “past” surrounding our body modification industry/community,etc. However this is also very much available, immensely encouraged, for those out there who are clients/consumers or just general people interested in Body Modification. I believe these to be required reading (regardless if you agree or disagree with whats written), specifically for the typical apprentice that is starting out. They should read them and then approach their instructor/teacher/mentor and spark up discussions and healthy debates regarding this stuff.

Two books were listed in the post, (one other in addition to my own). I'm honored by the company, as the other book was Shannon Larratt's Opening Up Body Modification Interviews 1995-2008.

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