As time goes by, the more I realize how much culture really affects oneâs view of the world. Especially in the US, the typical sentiment is that if something is foreign to me, well then it must just be weird and useless. Take genital modification for example. Posts containing pictures of various genital mods are made almost every day here on Modblog. Among the many comments that always accompany these posts, one may find a few by readers who are less than impressed. In fact, some people will outright claim that these modded individuals are âsickâ? or âwrong.â? But what do they know? For all anyone knows (except the modded themselves, of course), genital modification just might be the key to the most pleasurable sex life one could imagine!
I wanted to make this point before continuing on to the real topic of this post because I feel that my opinions may not sit well with some people. But if you take the time to remove your culture goggles for a moment, and perhaps question the validity of some cultural conventions, you will see that there are very few things in this world that are truly âweird,â? âsick,â? or âwrong.â?
Now, the minimum age one must be to attain a piercing or tattoo without parental consent around here is 18. Quite arbitrary, I always thought. This is not to say that I believe that we should all allow our children to get modded willy nilly. It is quite obvious to anyone who remembers their childhood that kids and many teens just arenât mentally equipped to make good choices. But on the other hand, we need to let kids make their own decisions sometimes in order to learn about life first-hand. If we protect kids from everything that may cause them unhappiness (not harm, mind you), they will never be able to handle the unjust real world once they hit that golden age of 18. A heavily modded woman recently told me that the only way she was able to put her parents at ease about her mods was by explaining to them that although things may be harder for her now (in terms of finding employment, and social persecution in general), she has grown stronger because of these obstacles. Yet another advantage to youth modification is that the task of caring for a mod can teach kids a great lesson in responsibility.
So what is the answer? Should we allow those under the age of 18 to acquire mods? Many already do, may it be in a less than reputable tattoo shop or someoneâs basement, both of which are invitations for infection. And what about the countless cultures that encourage body modification of their children? Then again, I look at the âTattoos and Piercingsâ? section of my local high schoolâs yearbook and see the same gaudy butterfly designs that Iâve seen on many a tattoo flash sheet. Will these designs be regretted, or remembered for the experiences that surround them? I believe that it depends on the wearer, much in the same way that oneâs ability to make a modification decision depends on the wearer. If the meaning is truly there, or the mod really gives the young wearer a feeling of confidence and pride in their body, whatâs the problem? After all, werenât we always told as kids that itâs the inside that counts?