Recently I have been seeing all kinds of body modification amongst teens. Here are some of the top trends explained:
1. Elf Ears
I began to see Elf Ears after the first Lord of the Rings, but only recently began to hear about it as a practice with teens. When we asked teenagers about this trend a few somewhat ridiculous reasons were given:
- Could be better for listening to music
- A way of extreme piercing
- Makes the face look more attractive
2. Non-Ear Piercings
Depending on what area of the country you are in, body piercings can be very popular. The most popular spots for teens:
- Belly button
Less popular, but still cool areas to pierce are nipples, genitals and chin.
3. Transdermal Implants
A transdermal implantation is when an object is placed below the dermis or skin, but still exits the skin at one or more points.
I have written about teen biting before. It is a way to show connection between two people, a homage to Twilight and other vampire movies and another form of self-harm.
5. Ear Gauges
Ear gauges are used to stretch out the skin on an ear lobe. These are quite popular in the music industry and many teenagers in urban areas have taken to wear small gauges in their ears. This is especially popular amongst males.
Tattoos have been around for a long time and are any kind of permanent ink dyed onto the skin.
So the big question is why are teens modifying their body in these ways? I think for many teens it is a form of self-expression and art. For others, they modify their body to test their independence and limits with freedom of expression. While others modify their bodies as a statement against society, parents and the ‘norm.’ Many teenagers I have spoken with get piercings or tattoos or the more extreme types of self-modification do it to stand out and wear what they believe distinguishes them as different. I believe anyone should express themselves however they want, but worry that teenagers who permanently modify their body will regret the decision later. The above physical ornaments can also greatly affect their ability to get jobs, apply to college and converse with other adults when they reach adulthood.
*Picture Source: http://www.sodahead.com/fun/elf-ears-cool-or-creepy/question-1254375/?page=4