12 4 / 2014

alanvedge:

So, while the body modification debates what I consider a pretty cut-and-dry case of white privilege (whether or not white dudes should be walking around wearing swastikas) can we now open the dialogue* on cultural appropriation in the body modification industry/subculture?

A few common things I see just off the top of my head that we might want to reconsider:

-Using culturally significant names for westernized piercings (ie. “Bindi” and “Sadhu” piercings)

-Wearing culturally significant jewelry with no regard to the culture it came from.

-Stealing the names of rituals, mimicking them, and/or taking elements from and using them outside of their cultural history. (“Kavadi” and “Sundance” rituals.

-Wearing cultural people as tattoos or on clothing, often a bastardized and racist stereotype of the culture. (“Indian girl” tattoos with headdresses and face paint, “Gypsy” tattoos, etc.)

-Stealing culturally significant tattoo imagery, jewelry designs, etc. (Especially when that jewelry is then produced by exploiting other people of color in developing nations)

-Wearing other cultures’ clothing as costumes for events

I’m not laying down a rulebook here. I’m not authority. I’m still on the fence about my thoughts and feelings about particular issues. I’m just saying that as a subculture the body modification community needs to look at our actions and ask ourselves whether we want to flex our privileges and continue the white settler status-quo or if we want an inclusive environment that doesn’t alienate those outside of it. Here are a few things to think about that might help, but as a white/cis/male I’m well aware of my own privilege and would love to hear others’ voices on this topic:

Listen instead of talking:

The next time a person of color questions your swastika tattoo, maybe ask them how they feel about it and whether it makes them uncomfortable rather than just asserting your “right” to wear it.

Consider how your actions affect others:

Rather than selfishly flexing your privilege ask yourself how your actions might affect others. Sure, a comic has the “right” to go on stage in black face, but do you want to be that guy or do you want to avoid looking like a jerk? How is your indian girl-head tattoo with her headdress and face paint any different than a black-face tattoo or a racist sports mascot? It’s not.

Similarly, how is a young Hindu woman going to feel when she sees you wearing a knock-off of her once-in-a-lifetime special wedding nostril jewelry through a pair of acrylic eyelets in your ears? Especially if you’re wearing a matching “Bali flower” threaded top on your “Bindi” piercing? Taking something with cultural significance and stealing it to use as a fashion statement is a pretty settler-ist thing to do. Is that what we want this industry/culture to represent?

Remember that inclusivity requires proactive measures.

Those of us with privileges should be using that to elevate the voices of others in our community and reaching out to those who may feel initially left out rather than asserting opinions and alienating them.

I know a lot of us got into this industry because of our interest in other cultures. We just need to be careful that our interest doesn’t bleed over into appropriation. By all means study, learn, and appreciate the diverse cultural history of body modification but let’s stop appropriating those ideas and stealing them for our own fashion uses.

*The dialogue is already open for the record… I just don’t see it very often brought up WITHIN the piercing community. Outside of the core group of professionals I tend to follow there is a vibrant and interesting discussion on what is, isn’t, and might be cultural appropriation.

YES ALL OF THIS.

All of those points are things I have brought up in discussions about this during the week.

Our entire industry has to think about this, because at this point almost every facet has been affected by cultural appropriation. And frankly some of the reactions have been less than ideal, and I can’t tell if its because they think white people have the right to take these symbols, or if they just hate JC. I can understand the latter, but don’t use it as an excuse to not zoom out and look at the bigger conversation and scrutinise our behaviours.

(Re-post as text not a link because mobile app is silly)

11 4 / 2014

lipstickandzombies:

All my pretties from Anatometal! Amethyst and tangerine cz set in copper titanium. Fucking gorgeous.

Whitney is so wonderful for ordering and installing these for me. And of course for doing the triangle and nipple piercings.

WOW This colour combination is fantastic!

(via safepiercing)

10 4 / 2014

legitbodyjewelry:

Put this in yo face! @braindropssf

legitbodyjewelry:

Put this in yo face! @braindropssf

(via alanvedge)

10 4 / 2014

5pointleo:

We just got back from a VERY exciting buy. We have a handful of brand new materials. All specimen grade pieces of outstanding quality. We will be posting about each of these over the next couple of weeks. Here’s the first!
Botswana Agate from… You guessed it.. Botswana in south central Africa. This material is famed for it’s TIGHT banding. The highest quality pieces exhibit an effect called “shadowing”. The banding seems to flow as it moves before your eye.
Intended sizes for each piece are listed in the bottom right of each photo. These specimens are one of a kind and will be claimed on a first come/first serve basis. Email leo@relicstoneworks.com to discuss price and claim your favorite!

5pointleo:

We just got back from a VERY exciting buy. We have a handful of brand new materials. All specimen grade pieces of outstanding quality. We will be posting about each of these over the next couple of weeks. Here’s the first!

Botswana Agate from… You guessed it.. Botswana in south central Africa. This material is famed for it’s TIGHT banding. The highest quality pieces exhibit an effect called “shadowing”. The banding seems to flow as it moves before your eye.

Intended sizes for each piece are listed in the bottom right of each photo. These specimens are one of a kind and will be claimed on a first come/first serve basis. Email leo@relicstoneworks.com to discuss price and claim your favorite!

10 4 / 2014

alanvedge:

pangeapiercing:

getting a little sick of activities by the body mod community that seriously hold us back in the public eye. Just like the few PhDs that have neck tattoos do not compensate for the mug shots with neck tattoos, a few hipster dumbasses wearing swastikas do not compensate for the extreme negative impressions most Westerners have for swastikas. Yes, I know, it’s an ancient symbol, used by a very unpopular regime- that doesn’t diminish the fact that it IS the de facto symbol for hate. The body mod community is just now starting to have a modicum of respectability…it diminishes our collective credibility wearing them, no matter how fancy they are.

I completely agree with this but for different reasons. My issue with the swastika trend is NOT how other people view it. I could care less how people judge me. My issue is and always has been this:

You don’t get to “reclaim” a symbol that wasn’t used to oppress you in the first place.

I can’t imagine a more clear-cut example of a bunch of white kids failing to recognize their own privilege and then playing the White Savior card when they get called out on it.

Feel free to disagree, but I’ll be focusing my anti-racist efforts on actually educating myself on institutional racism and working to dismantle it. NOT on selfishly flexing my “right” to wear a symbol that for many people represents and reinforces that system.

This is my concern with the swastika usage as well, as well as a selection of other things within the community, but swastika usage is the biggest one right now and of course is the one that this conversation is about right now.

The line of cultural appropriation, what is, what isn’t, can be a wiggly one particularly in the body modification community, and of course we’re all following our own moral compasses, and all have different ideas about what is or isn’t acceptable, or what is appropriative.

I think we SHOULD be having this conversation, as an industry, where we borrow so many things from other cultures - practices, jewellery designs, motifs. We love these things, I know we do, but it doesn’t hurt to be humbled and reminded of the fact that the things we do or love may have a very different meaning to other cultures, and that they might be upset by our usage of it.

10 4 / 2014

virtual-artifacts:

Mixtec or Aztec lip plugs, Mexico.

 ”In Mesoamerica the labret, or lip-plug, was a piece of jewelry worn only by noble males in Central Mexico. Inserted through a pierced hole in the lower lip, a labret qualified the wearer’s speech and breath as precious.”

sources: 123

(via mateoway)

10 4 / 2014

tubbymctubbs:

PSA we really will help you! #piercingstudioproblems (at enigma. professional piercing studio)

Everyone gets treated to my “Stahp touching your piercings!” talk at some point. I DO IT BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND I HATE BACTERIA, OKAY?

tubbymctubbs:

PSA we really will help you! #piercingstudioproblems (at enigma. professional piercing studio)

Everyone gets treated to my “Stahp touching your piercings!” talk at some point. I DO IT BECAUSE I LOVE YOU AND I HATE BACTERIA, OKAY?

(via safepiercing)

10 4 / 2014

I know sometimes it can be hard to balance the love of piercing with work or school commitments, so here is a great compromise - This young lady got pierced this week with a quartz glass retainer. Super discreet, and perfect for dress codes everywhere!

I know sometimes it can be hard to balance the love of piercing with work or school commitments, so here is a great compromise - This young lady got pierced this week with a quartz glass retainer. Super discreet, and perfect for dress codes everywhere!

(Source: persephonebodypiercing)

09 4 / 2014

A client custom ordered this fab piece of ANATOMETAL jewellery for her existing industrial piercing.

It is all implant-grade titanium with black and white CZ gemstones.

We’re able to custom order a variety of gemmed options for industrials, so feel free to get in touch for a quote! :)

(Source: persephonebodypiercing)

09 4 / 2014

Anonymous asked: Hi Dimmie! I was wondering if you do hand webbing piercings (a piercing in the webbing of your index finger and thumb)? And if so, how much? And is there an age restriction? Please and thank you!!!

Hi!

No, I don’t perform any piercings on the hands or arms, especially not web piercings.

They’re incredibly difficult to live with and heal, they often reject and are under constant pressure from movement of fingers and hands. Not to mention the fact they’re coming into contact with every dirty thing your hands touch. They will affect your ability to perform certain tasks with your hands, such as washing dishes, wiping after going to the toilet (!!!), handling pets and other animals, etc.

They’re just an all round bad idea, and I don’t perform them at Persephone because I don’t want to do anything that could cause harm to any of my clients!

Hope this has been informative, if not the answer you were after!

xx Dimmie