Suspending at a playground

I get the impression that Norway may be a more liberal culture than we have here in Christianized North America… Silje did this suspension with the help of Tobben in Oslo — the funny thing is that the family on the tire politely asked them if it was alright if they used the swing as well. Ah, to live in a free and friendly country (alright, Canada’s pretty nice, but I don’t think I could get away with this at the park down the street)…

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

69 thoughts on “Suspending at a playground

  1. It’s lovely that it’s accepted, and I see why it’s been posted.

    I really really hate to sound like an old woman here… but I don’t think that the park was the right place to do that.

    Suspension is beautiful when done in the right setting, but it’s pretty obvious children are going to be in the park… it’s their place. It may be frightening and confusing for them to see people hanging from hooks (plus the blood). Suspension isn’t for everyone, it’s not a traditional family thing. We don’t like it when the non modified force their opinions on us, so we shouldn’t go doing things in places which will more than likely get a negative reaction… which then might increase the alienation we can sometimes feel.

    As I said, it is wonderful that it is accepted there, but it’s generally not accepted by wider society. It’s a shame, but true.

  2. Yeah, I’m moving to Scandinavia as soon as humanly possible.

    Did you know that 2-year-old children prefer a food/toy when it’s recognizably branded to when it’s not? That suggests there are some more important things to protect young minds from than a bit of blood…

  3. #7 In parks, children can be any age. Yes, babies may not understand or relate to what exactly is going on… but 5, 6, 7 year olds and older will certainly be able to recognize that someone’s physically hanging from a hook.

    Plus, it’s a little bit more than just “a bit of blood”. My boyfriend’s five year old sister is very very curious about my 18mm lobes, which I think is a good thing… but I’m not too sure how she’d react to full on suspension.

  4. Well, in some cultures, children -have- to go experience things like this on thier own body. And it has been like that for centuries … It all depends on the culture and who’s looking at it.
    What’s normal to some may seem aweful to others.
    However, I see your point. Suspension is not widely accepted. But perhaps it ought to be.

  5. Even if they do ask questions, what would be the harm in explaining it to them? Its not like they are going to go home and try it them self.

  6. Lares, you’re completely right… some cultures expose their children to piercing and tattooing as part of everyday life. However, suspension (from what I recall) is not really status quo in Norway. Heh.

    Anyway, I do think it is a wonderful picture nonetheless, and wish society could find a way to be more accepting of this type of thing. Sadly, I don’t see the day in the near future.

  7. I´d like to hear what the other people in the picture thinks about the supsension. Other than that, nice picture showing that society maybe can be more acceptive towards the bodymod culture.

    But suspensions… I find them scary and will never attempt them.

  8. i think this is amazing. if people did that at my park i would be there everyday. (and maybe even join in!) the setting looks so beautiful. i can understand everyones thoughts about the kids being disturbed but it seems like kids now are exposed to a lot of things that they probably shouldn’t be at such a young age. i like lesperances comment. the kids don’t even seem to care. i think the adults were more interested than the children. XD

  9. #17 To be fair, I can see only one kid in the background of the photo… I don’t think they have to be visibly gawping with horror to show that they’re a little confused by it.

    I think there’s a time and place to explain things like this to kids [if their parents so wish to] without the shock of stumbling across it in the park one day :)

  10. Kids relate to suspensions out of their natural curiosity and there’s no harm in them seeing them. Kids are open to new impressions, it’s adults who have prejudice. Give them honest replies when they ask and there’s no harm to it. If we keep suspensions underground it will be an underground activity. I don’t think it should be. Seeing how many responds positively to suspensions I’m all for making it accessable to the general public by displayng suspensions in the open.

  11. True, but not all of them involve hooks and skin. You’ve been exposed to suspensions, as have I. I wouldn’t expect anyone who hasn’t been, to be immediately comfortable when confronted by one.

  12. It’s a awesome picture. I love it.
    Bodymodification like piercings or tattoos are accepted in scandinavian but scarefication,supsension and other unusual sub-culture ain’t so accepted. People just dislike it.
    But all the people doesn’t dislike it.
    Such as me, I love it.
    And again, the picture is damn hot.

  13. “True, but not all of them involve hooks and skin. You’ve been exposed to suspensions, as have I. I wouldn’t expect anyone who hasn’t been, to be immediately comfortable when confronted by one.”

    That’s very true, not all involve hooks and skin. Some things that kids see EVERY DAY at home is 10,000 times worse than a suspension. The kids would be confused, I’m sure. But if we avoided confusing kids, no one would learn anything. If they’re confused about it, or interested in it, then explain it to them, answer their questions openly and honestly. You’d be amazed how wonderfully unprejudiced and open-minded children can be. I have old scars from cutting, and the 6 year old child of one of my friends told me she was glad that I didn’t do that anymore, because it was a bad habit, and it was dangerous. She then told me that two of her friends cut themselves. Kids HER AGE. Believe me, suspension is a much more positive thing than most things that confuse or intrigue kids these days. And much less destructive.

    “We don’t like it when the non modified force their opinions on us, so we shouldn’t go doing things in places which will more than likely get a negative reaction… which then might increase the alienation we can sometimes feel.”

    A negative reaction is a lot less alienating than constantly hiding because it might make other people mad or upset. Again, if we avoided doing everything we thought might confuse people, or make them nervous, or even make them angry, NOTHING WOULD EVER GET DONE. And simply doing a suspension where people can see it is in no way trying to force anyone’s opinion on anyone else. They’re not going around the park asking parents if they’d like their kids to come suspend too, they’re not holding a protest saying that everyone should try it, they’re just enjoying themselves on a beautiful day in the way they see fit. We shouldn’t let other people’s prejudices and fears rule how we live our life, not even when we’re in a park.

  14. i believe that there are definitely more horrifying and BLOODY scenes on normal daytime tv, which people seem to have no problem with…

    sure there are parental locks & such, but i watched my first horror movie at 7(i didn’t want to, babysitter had it on.) & i have to say that that scarred me much more than seeing a suspension ever would.

  15. #25, I agree complete. We can’t go hiding everything that isn’t widely accepted. That said, I also think it’s important to have that dialogue very open so that any witnesses can gain some knowledge about it. What’s that quote; we fear what we don’t understand? I hope society will gradually dispell some of that fear.

  16. Call me crazy, but random strangers’ blood kind of, sort of… creeps me the fuck out. Especially in the park. On swingsets, where kids play. Is this socially responsible? I mean, I think Hep C has been shown to remain infectious for long periods of time (30 days) in certain environments.

    That’s not liberal. It’s irresponsible.

  17. Actually, it sort of looks ‘shopped. Blurry around the knees and hooks. But I’m no expert on spotting fakes.

  18. Yeah to me it wasn’t as much as the kids being scared but the hygienic part of it… kids already share enough germs without having to have someone else bleed where they play. I don’t see that as smart at all.

  19. i would love to live somewere like that!
    and you have to remember kids get cuts and scraps at play grounds all the time, it isnt like theres no germs and no blood at all at play grounds.

    meow =)

  20. Keep in mind, too, that the parents asked if they could use the swings too, instead of ushering their kids away in silent horror. They obviously weren’t afraid of their children seeing something like this, and possibly having to explain or clarify or comfort, which from what I’ve seen is just a normal part of raising kids. Good on them.

  21. I love this picture and the fact that the families, even with small children present, are not only tolerant but also polite. Don’t get that much where I live, that’s for certain!

  22. I think #12 gave a pretty naive answer:
    “Even if they do ask questions, what would be the harm in explaining it to them? Its not like they are going to go home and try it them self.”

    Sorry to break it to you but very much of what children learn and do is through observation and imitation. While I do think its a great photo in terms of the freedom of it, I will agree with #4 and say it might not be the best in tact to do in front of children. If someone makes the choice to suspend in front of their own children, thats their thing. But to basically..force it onto other small children I dont fully agree with.

  23. Sadly enough, Norway is very christianized. Perhaps not in the aspect shown above, but in normal day-to-day-life its very fundamental and almost sectarian in some ways.

    Sweden is better in that aspect, as swedes are the most non-religious people on earth, but at the same time Sweden has the most sects and cults in the world.

  24. I like those black All-stars….they are my favourite shoes..
    Nice suspending as well!!!! Childsplay… :)

  25. #44: How would you say Norway is very fundamental christian? I’ve lived here for all my life and people in general aren’t very christian at all. Most people never go to church or at most go to church once at christmas as tradition. We have a few people though, that are against things like gay marriage based on their religious beliefs, but luckily people like that get less and less support in the population.

  26. #44- uhm, what exactly are you talking about? You can’t go speak about christianity in Norway without dividing Norway into parts. I live in northern Norway and no way in hell would I describe the day to day life here as “fundamental and almost sectarian”, however I know that parts of Norway can might be a little more fundamental than other parts.

    Sadly enough people in Norway are born in to the Church of Norway cause Norway is a “christian country”, but thats all tradition and shit and doesn’t mean that we are “fundamental and almost sectarian”.

  27. I agree with #50 and #51. I’ve lived in 4 of the biggest cities in Norway and none of them are “fundamental and almost sectarian”. Not even the small town (pop. 900) I grew up in in northern Norway can be described that way. Judgmental and narrow-minded, yes, fundamental, no.

    More on topic: Awesome picture!

  28. I don’t think they’re saying it’s fundamentalist Christian a la the USA. I think they’re saying that it’s “Christianized” in that its native faiths have been stripped away.

  29. ‘…the family on the tire politely asked them if it was alright if they used the swing as well. Ah, to live in a free and friendly country (alright, Canada’s pretty nice, but I don’t think I could get away with this at the park down the street)’

    Aah, come on Shannon… i really don’t think that, if asked politely, the people in Canada wouldn’t let you use the swing ;)

  30. Hihi. I really like this one, because of the story behind. Thats why I posted it.
    And all those who hate, your just jealust cause someone took a nice photo like this before you had the chance. Haters ;)

  31. i completely disagree with #4, and her other comments on the matter. We don’t give kids too much credit. They are often so much less afraid and less closed-minded than adults. Having 2 little ones at home, i’d know. Mine wouldn’t be afraid of this. i’m sure they’d be extremely curious and ask questions, but to say that kids would be “horrified”…i doubt it.

  32. #53- Shannon, I would’ve used the term conservative rather than fundamental. Norway might be a little more conservative when it comes to certain matters, but in no way fundamental. Alcohol and tobacco commercials are not allowed for instance.

  33. I’ve done suspensions and flesh pulls in front of many children, and up to about the age of 7/8 they either think it’s really neat, or just don’t care about it one way or the other. I’ve really never seen a young child react negatively to it. Some older kids look confused, but a big part of me thinks that is because by that age they start to take on the same prejudices as their parents/society.

  34. Kids are open minded and you certainly do have to give them credit for being more accepting than adults. If it were a playground soley full of children then this might be a bit different. Parents can influence children’s opinions a lot. It has been said that mother is God in the eyes of a child.

  35. This is the funniest thing ever! And those people who were bbq-ing just behind us! Im still having lauging about that! good times!

  36. That’s cute.
    I did a suspension in the woods and we just had someone tell people with children not to come by… we let a group of asian tourists wander by.. they chattered in another language and asked a few questions in english, they seemed shocked and amused. They asked “is that your skin?” and I giggled and said yes.
    I’d prefer my suspensions to be child free, please.

  37. I think this picture is awesome.

    “I think kids need to be informed of all the possibilities in life.”
    That’s really the heart of the matter. How much can we tell children? Where does keeping information turn into over protection? The line can’t be clearly drawn, but I think that we should always be honest with children. If they are curious about something, they should be informed about everything relevant (meaning the good and the bad)…

    Scandinavia rules. I’m from Finland and happy/proud about it :>

  38. Some kids can’t go to their local park because of gangs and drug addicts. Some kids see people shooting up heroin on the corner on their way to school every day. I think I’d rather my child be exposed to suspensions than gang violence and drug addicts. The photo is beautiful. People need to start worrying about the real negatives that children are being faced with. Climb down off the high horse and join us in reality where kids have to face things like getting shot in the park by a stray bullet or picking up a dirty needle. I’m not just talking about inner cities either because I live in a very small, very clean, very nice city where kids have been known to come across dirty needles on playgrounds before. That’s far more alarming than a suspension.

  39. When I was a kid my neighbor hunted deer and would sometimes hang them gutted from a tree in the back yard. Awful and upsetting. I would rather have seen this scenario. I even knew about suspension from that movie ‘Man Called Horse’. As the mother of a 7 year old I can say I would rather exlpain suspension.

  40. ok, first of all, i work at a kindergarden and if its something i see alot of , it is BLOOD…they fall, and crash and scratch all the time, and blood isnt so bad…we all have it in us, and we all bleed…and second, #31 u werent there, u dont know how carefull with the “blood-safety” tobben was (and allways is)…and there is PLENTY of junkie-needles here in oslo thats MUCH more dangerous and irresponsible than this…so just SHUSSSSH ON U!…(silje didnt even bleed when she hang)…and third…the little girl even said “look, the lady is allso swinging, upside down”…so she didnt bother at all, and i dont even think kids realize that u r hangin from hooks…and i really agree that kids see much worse things on tv…fukk, even some of the food-comercials r more harmfull than suspesions…u can accually DIE by eatin some of the crap they sell…(in the long run :P )………so i dont think ppl should b so anti suspesions…if they dont like it, then look away;)….and oh, by the way: SILJE U RULE GYRL!!!LOVE YA!!!

  41. sorry about the wrong spelled words….and correction: not anti suspensions, but anti PUBLIC suspensions…:P…over and out xxx

  42. Let me clear up this a little…

    First of all the park we used is really close to my home and from walking my dogs there for years i expected it to be more or less empty. That was the reason we picked that spot. We could easily have picked a spot which would expose our activeties far more if that was what we wanted..
    The park is normaly used by dog owners and i have hardly ever seen children play there.. Its not an act in “infiltrating” the childrens world by suspending right in front of their faces that some people seem to think of this..

    We got there about 12:00 on a sunday and find some grown-ups playing some games and BBQing not far away from where we wanted to suspend (You can see them on the table far behind in the picture)
    We started piercing carfully with plastic covering on ground and where she would go up from.
    She suspended and was hanging there for about 10 min before the family (closer on the picture) came walking towards us.. their father asked us if it would be okay if they used the swings next to us? And as we said yes the rest of them came closer. They seemed totaly cool with our activeties and their children didnt even seem to understand that Hooks or Blood was even in the picture here.. All they sayed was “look, she is swinging up side down” which was so cute and funny.
    Silje got down and and we waited till they had walked away before we continued on taking out hooks etc..

    We carfully did her aftercare with ground covered and packed up and left..

    So, conserning children. I really belive this in all cases only was a funny “she is hanging upsidedown” experiance and even if they would see or understand the hooks i belive that would only make them a more understanding human beeing..
    And from what i read here some of you seem horrified by the idea that the kids actually did see a suspension and Live Real Blood. Come on guys.. What will you do with your kids if you will have to get something done at the doctor or get an i minor accident like falling off your bike in front of them..?

    When it comes to hygien. She didnt bleed anything than slightly around the wounds.. and as we unhooked her we covered the wounds directly and skiped usual massaging of air etc…As we were in a park and it was the knees which really dont need much attention. So as far as i can say no contamination was done to anything else then my plastic covering which was transporting home for disposual later at my studio. So as some of you indicate.. there was no blood covering the kids play ground as we left.

    And at last i would like to add that this is the 4th time i have done this at that spot and this was the first time there actually was people there. And yeah.. I dont really care if people get a chance to see a suspenion that others enjoy and having fun with. I have done many outdoor suspensions and never had any bad experinces with it.. Carefully done, the park is as much ours to play in as everyone else!

    And btw Silje, this is the second suspension picture of you here so grats :D

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