Interview with GC and Duff Posted

I’ve just posted another in my series of interviews on lip plates, a modification which I find absolutely fascinating because of how far it pushes facial aesthetics past our cultural norms. This time I talked to G.C. from the UK and Duff from Russia (both her and her husband have lip plates) for some additional viewpoints to the ones raised by Toph in the previous interview on the subject.

Click through to read the interview and then come on back here to comment!

152 thoughts on “Interview with GC and Duff Posted

  1. words fail me now, specially because I missed the oportunity to meet G.C. in person when I went to Bournemouth and he seems to be one of the most selfconscious, mature and interesting person I’ve been in touch with…

    and, well, Duff is just one awesome, beautiful girl, so is Pjevl, they make a gorgeous couple and one of my fav entertainment is to watch their videos on IAM (lol) I really think you guys should check them!

  2. I’d like to point out that evolution is generally oriented towards an organism’s ability to thrive in an environment long enough to procreate successfully. Body modification, no matter how extreme, is merely a cosmetic change.

  3. I think I’ll always remember the look on my friends faces when Chris took the plate out and put his tongue through his lip… absolutely brilliant.
    Really good interview, thoroughly enjoyed reading it.

  4. Ford MF – Actually, evolution very often involves “cosmetic” changes, because cosmetics/attractiveness absolutely affect an organism’s ability to procreate. There are a zillion examples of this in nature.

    That said, I think it should be obvious that this is not genetic evolution, but cultural evolution.

  5. i love these two. i think they made a brave decision about their lives and the interviews were awesome, every question was interesting.

    I’ve seen these two here for a while now and all of my questions has been answered.


  6. I’m not sure how deliberately restricting oneself could realistically be considered “evolution”. And championing a sixteen year old with a lip plate just seems voyeuristic and creepy to me.

    While people like to cheer from the sidelines, I imagine they are thinking “Rather them than me”.

  7. Paleblue – This is a major aesthetic change that makes all of them much happier. To me that’s an evolution, even if only a personal one. I’m not sure that I’d class it as “deliberately restricting”, and in any case, GC addresses his feelings on that subject quite clearly. He even did the experiment of taking them out and going for a high paying job, and decided it was not the life path he wanted. It’s not as if he’s someone flying blind on idealistic assumptions.

    I was quite surprised to find out Duff’s age by the way, and it didn’t make me feel voyeuristic or creepy. I think that this may be more a reflection on your own relationship with teenagers — plenty of people are able to have discussions that are not ageist.

    In any case, I hope this doesn’t devolve into another forum on whining about how wrong something is by people who can’t relate to the aesthetic. That was boring when it was “normal” people complaining about pierced and tattooed people, and it’s even more boring when it’s pierced and tattooed people complaining about even more pierced and tattooed people.

  8. the girl is only freaking 16 years old. what’s up there? how can she be married and how can she be pierced like that already? mind you, I don’t have a problem with the lip plates, in fact, they excite me and duff DOES look gorgeous, but when I was 16 I wanted an eyebrow piercing and a rose tattoed to my shoukderblade, which I would hate to have now. that girl might be very, very sorry about her decisions in only a couple of years.

  9. Before we get too deep into an age debate — which I’m not convinced is relevant personally — it may be worth waiting for Duff’s feedback as that could be a translation error (ie. she may have written “I started at age 16″ or something).

    But I know that at 16 I knew exactly who I was and who I wanted to be, and other than being fatter, grayer, and having a lot more life experience, I’m basically the same now as when I as 16.

  10. For the love of god, please stop labelling criticism as “whining”. Seriously, stop it. It makes you look even more unconcerned with people’s wellbeing than you already do.

    It has nothing to do with “ageism”. I like how you attempt to to deflect a genuine issue about the responsibility of young people and their ability to objectively judge the long term repercussions of a life-changing physical alteration by making reference to my relationship with teenagers. Stay classy, Shannon.

  11. The fact that she is only 16 really concerns me for some reason… I mean, I’m only 19, but when I was “her age”, I was doing some stuff I would NEVERRR do now and I couldn’t possibly have made good decisions about altering my body for the rest of my life. I have a few “extreme” modifications now [scarification, large lobes, etc] but I can easily hide them when I need to, and I thought about them for years until I went through with it. The fact is, if I let my mods show, I might never be able to do what I truly love.. and that is working in an animal hospital. Until I find an employer that is extremely open-minded, I hide my mods. This girl is so young, she doesn’t even have a job yet.. does anyone else feel alarmed by this? Why are we encouraging her to keep going to the extreme when she has no idea what she is truly getting herself into? Ok, I’m prepared to get attacked by everyone.. but come on :/ I love lip plates as much as the next person, but on a 16 year old?

  12. Paleblue – As far as I’m concerned, when GC has very clearly discussed the “life restrictive” issues, then you bringing it up is whining.

    And as to the age issue, you didn’t frame is as a worry about whether she was ready to make such a decision. You used the word “creepy” and “voyeuristic” which has a distinctly disturbing air about it.

  13. Shannon – I get tired of repeating this, but my issue is not with the people themselves. It’s with you and how you portray these things. As long is it’s interesting, who cares about their wellbeing, right?

    “You used the word “creepy” and “voyeuristic” which has a distinctly disturbing air about it.”

    Read into that what you will. Like I said, stay classy.

  14. Paleblue – Again, we discussed this issue in the interview. What do you want, a warning on BME that says “hey, not only will the mainstream take issue with you, but plenty of pierced and tattooed people like paleblue will also take issue with you, and their prejudices may work against you!”

    This complete obsession with protecting people with themselves is really tiresome. I’m not going to apologize for the fact that I enjoy celebrating people’s lives, rather than berating them because they live in a world full of aesthetic bigots and may suffer because of other people’s issues.

    So your issue is with “how I portray these things”… Hmm… I portray them POSITIVELY. Wow. You’re pissed that BME supports the things it covers. Sorry, but that’s not going to change.

  15. What part of “I have no problem with these people” don’t you understand?

    “but plenty of pierced and tattooed people like paleblue will also take issue with you, and their prejudices may work against you!”

    Fuck you, Shannon. If that’s the best you can come up with, you already failed.

  16. So you’re saying that you have no problem with these people, but you think their actions have a negative life impact, and you don’t think that they should be supported or held up as positive examples of lives, or that others should be told that it’s a valid way to live. Seems like a pretty shallow incarnation of “no problem”.

  17. Shannon, I admire your talent to read what you want in people’s posts, while completely missing what they really said. I wish I could do that.

    But yeah, I’m staying out of this one for now. Fail in the air and all that…

  18. RustY – Feel free to illuminate exactly what Paleblue’s problem with this interview is, or the rest of his consistent negativity about the way I present people in the interviews.

  19. duff is a very pretty girl…it doesn’t say on her page what her age is-so debating her age is something i wont bother with…

    i will ask this though…shannon, you said it was boring “when it was “normal” people complaining about pierced and tattooed people, and it’s even more boring when it’s pierced and tattooed people complaining about even more pierced and tattooed people.”
    -but tell the truth…these dabates that transpire under your entries that rise to over 400 comments at time-its not atleast a tiny bit exciting? to spark such a reaction? i mean, under most posts you get the ‘oh pretty’ or ‘that’s cool’…but under ones like these you get such heated debates-not by just the unmoddified, but modified adults as well-all wanting to discuss the various aspects of the modification (viability, asthetics, practical considerations)…

    its not just a little bit exciting? yes, the opinions are conflicting and sometimes critical-but these images have stirred a reaction-and those reactions seem interesting to me…i might now agree with half the opinions that come to fruitation under these posts, but conflicting view points tend to help you see past your own nose…if everyone saw things exactly the same way as you, and only rallied behind you, mimicing your words-instead of finding their own…wouldn’t the world be terribly boring?

    come on shannon, fess up-these debates are crass at times, even offensive to the thinned skin…but boring??? i don’t believe your bored-i wouldn’t be surprised if this all gave you a woody… 😉

  20. I would say that Scientology has a negative life impact. That doesn’t mean that I hate people who are Scientologists.

    Of course they should be supported. There is however a significant difference between supporting something and selling it to people. When you completely separate the aesthetic from the social or ethical implications, you are selling it to people.

  21. Laura – If it was a diverse group of people making insightful commentary, negative or positive, that would be interesting, but I think it’s extremely tiresome to hear the same two or three people make the same negative comments over and over and over.

  22. paleblue – We discussed the social implications in the interview. It’s ALWAYS addressed, and you can read their feelings about it for yourself.

    So unless you’re saying that I need to inject some kind of negative editorial spin on it, or post a lengthy introduction warning people of all sorts of obvious stuff like “this might make it harder to get a job”, I’m not sure exactly what your point is, other than the desperate need to write something negative.

    What exactly do you feel is missing from this interview, and what do you feel is irresponsible about it?

    Note: If the issue is Duff’s age, which I feel might be the only thing one could raise, I was unaware of her age until the interview, so I was left with the decision of either publishing it, or censoring it on the basis of her age, which I don’t feel is ethical.

  23. Yeah but Shannon, wouldn’t you agree that even though it might be tedious or frustrating to you, their freedom to speak is part of what makes this a community? The reason that they keep making the same comments means that there are some deep-seated differences in viewpoint. But the fact that they come back to write those comments does indicate that they identify themselves as members of this community. Therefore, perhaps your expression of your own annoyance with the comments is less than relevant (maybe even destructive) to your wish to build this into a strong community for modified people.

  24. Is it just me or are there an increasing number of people daring to make “negative” (aka not shannon’s opinion) comments? most which i find interesting, there is nothing more boring that scrolling through the comments and seeing “omg shes sooo hot” etc repeated again and again.

    by the way, i LOVE the photo of G.C. holding the fish, he looks so happy!

  25. Lip plates are something I find interesting bt are definately something I wouldn’t do to myself. Not because I think it’s “Disgusting” (I don’t), I just couldn’t go through with it.

    It was good to read some interviews with those ho have the plates and how affective it is to daily life.

  26. Bob – I’m not convinced that a community attacking itself from within is what makes it strong, let along what makes it a community.

    I’d suggest that them coming back to write these things over and over is more a reflection on issues that they have with their own life decisions that they are as of yet unable to address in themselves, so they address them in others.

  27. Firstly, anyone who looks to Shannon Larratt to tell them how to live their lives not only has bigger problems than being flamed on modblog, but also probably deserves whatever they get…heh heh.
    Does Shannon like stirring up shit? My guess is yes. And I can’t express how much I missed it, because at least he makes people think, and starts discussions about these issues. And of course some of his opinions are asinine…that’s true for just about anyone.
    That being said, I have to express my opinion that this interview with Duff and G.C was one of the much more unbaised ones, and just stands on its own as an interview about body modification. Concerns about social implications were mentioned, and I feel, addressed.
    I’m certainly not ‘sold’ on a lip plate. And I don’t think it’s Shannon’s job to protect the weak-minded. when was it ever?

  28. So what you’re saying is that it’s a community, as long as everyone thinks the same way and says the same things?

    paleblue: it sounds like you’rte starting to get it! (lol)

  29. paleblue – No, I’m saying that that people should have some fundamental level of respect and support for each other, and realize that the fact that we face serious criticism from outside is a cause to unite, not to warn each other not to do it.

  30. Even if I don’t often find myself agreeing with the traditional dissenters, it seems more than a little unfair to dismiss their comments as based in personal emotional problems.

    That is a strictly ad hominem answer, and therefore not very convincing. A sincere question, then: where do you draw the line between constructive and destructive critique?

  31. The subject of labret stretching is so interesting that, to me, age is a sidenote. It looks like all people with large stretched lips are at comparable sizes at the moment (and they all seem to stretch very easily).
    I’m very curious what the future will bring: will western people walk around with stretches the size of the famous african tribes?

  32. Sorry Shannon, I’ll leave my insights for some other time. Right now there are still 5 books waiting to be read, an essay to be written, and a girl to be taken out… No time for special olympics today.

  33. That’s a shame. I would quite like someone to “illuminate exactly what Paleblue’s problem with this interview is, or the rest of his consistent negativity about the way I present people in the interviews.” It would be kind of sexy.

  34. I am undecided about this one, not merely for the fact that you cannot eat,drink,talk or kiss with the lipplate out but i also question the mentality of someone who thinks “yeah, lip plate”

    duff is still a child, far too undeveloped mentally to be making such decisions, and they guy is an idiot for taking such risks with his body; did anyone even read the part where he stretched his lobe 5mm in a month and wrecked it?eugh. 2mm every other month in my mind is healthy. I bet his lipplate looks like a cats ass when he takes it out.

  35. 41: He said himself that his torn lobe came from stretching too fast. He realized his “mistake” and didn’t do it again stretching his lobes the second time. Just because your body heals the 2mm every other month, doesn’t mean everyone’s body heals that way.

  36. if duff really is 16, i totally admire her.
    and that one snake picture made me scream, but out of pure amusement? haha.

    & come on kids, play nice.

  37. I think it’s nice to see another woman (girl?) with a large lip plug. Gets lonely over here sometimes.
    I’ve never regretted anything I’ve done. She seems to be doing this on her own terms so i doubt she will either.
    I certainly would have done this at 16, if I’d had the choice available to me.

  38. wow she’s only 16, things change alot from when your 16. i wanted so many so many things when i was 16 that i’m super happy i never got them. i was admiring her for everything she was doing until i read she was only 16.. sorry but that is way too young, after reading she was sixteen admiration was gone and i just felt sorry for her because she’s rushing way too fast into all that heavy modification.

  39. I have always found lip plates fascinating. Not sure if I would ever stretch my lip though. Im quite happy with my 14g gold CBR in my lip and it doesnt rub against my gums thank god. Thats my biggest fear if I were to stretch my lip. Im scared of damaging my teeth or gums. Same reason why I wont stretch my tongue past an 8g. Im afraid I might be pushing it already with two tongue piercings and a lip ring. Im afraid that if I have any more oral piercings or stretch the ones I have then I will do some serious damage to my teeth and gums.

    BTW G.C and Duff have amazing looking lip plates. I think they look great and very unique.
    Yea some people can stretch things so fast that its unbelievable. My body has never been stretchy at all. I always had to do my stretchings way slower than anyone I know. With my ears I always had to wait 3 months between each 1mm or 1\2mm. My skin just isnt that stretchy.

  40. “if I’m going down on a girl I turn my head sideways and stick the plate right up there (oh no he ditant!!!).”


    how odd

  41. Regarding damage it really does depend on the shape of your mouth and who pierced you. I know a girl who got a labret piercing and within two months it made her gums receed a lot. But then I know people who have had labret piercings for many years with absolutely no problem.

  42. “No, I’m saying that that people should have some fundamental level of respect and support for each other…”

    “As far as I’m concerned, when GC has very clearly discussed the “life restrictive” issues, then you bringing it up is whining.”

    saying that people are whining seems incredibly disrespectful to me. is it just me or has shannon changed a whole lot ever since the whole being banned from iam, etc.

  43. has anyone stopped to think that the age thing might be cultural? she’s also married, so obviously has decided on a way of life.

    i also remember when i was 16, i knew what i wanted in life, and my thoughts on mods haven’t changed. i started stretching my lobes when i was 13. needless to say i also did a bunch of other risky self-piercings and even a prison-style tattoo, but i don’t regret any of it! they’re part of me.

    duff mentioned that she is getting them done professionally (at least the eyebrow, but i’ll assume she still is) which is much better than i can say for almost ANY of the younger kids i know.

    and for those of you flaming shannon, i don’t believe i’ve ever read an article that i felt didn’t address the possible downsides of more drastic modifications, and i don’t think the articles are prejudiced. i feel they’ve been greatly informative on things that people like me wouldn’t ever learn about since they’re not commonplace where i am. i’ve always wondered how eating/drinking and whatnot works with a lip plate.

  44. paleblue-
    the issue isn’t your opinion, it’s the fact that you are so constantly and blatantly disrespectful. you try to target and insult whomever you’re arguing with (in this case shannon) with these immature little “stay classy” and “fuck you” comments. once again, you are NOT just voicing an opinion. your first comment, that was fine. but whenever someone challenges you because they disagree, you spin out of control in this pathetic little attempt to make yourself seem bigger. just stop. it’s really, really annoying. discuss like an adult or leave. (now, bring on all the “fuck you”s and whatever else you need to call me to make yourself feel good.)

    Now for the reason I really came to comment: I loved the article. Really insightful and interesting for those of us with not so extreme mods. I feel like I have the same attitude (and many other people do as well) toward modification, but I wonder what creates “the line” in different places for different people?

  45. Why all of you swear? It in fact is wrong.
    Yes, me of 16 years, and anything terrible in it is not present, development of people is defined not by quantity of the lived days, and on reason

  46. Its amazing to see how even the body modification
    community has issues concerning lip plates? isnt
    self expression the reason BME was created? im sure
    as time goes on lip plates will lose their shock
    value such as ear plugs and nose rings did.
    GC and Duff are just stretching the horizon even
    further for others to follow.Who is to say whats to
    big or to extreme` for we all have our own conception
    of Beauty” so Beauty can not be the same to everyone.
    As a artist i find Lip Plates Beautiful): and im very
    happy to see Shannon bringing light to lip plates in
    greater depth on BME.

  47. I find it a bit odd that some people thought that Duff was cool and all that, until they found out that she was only 16. And then suddenly, her life choices and actions are labeled as stupid and irresponsible… I have to agree, that yes, most people aren’t their maturest at 16, but there are exceptions. And age or even experience doens’t always bring wisdom, because there are plenty of stupid adults out there who make bad choices.
    But in her case, I have to say I’m a bit worried that she’s studying, but not liking it, and not really thinking about her future (employment).

    I liked the interview though.

  48. brandenlouis – I’ve always had a problem with people who attack or want to see restriction in the rights of others to express themselves. To suggest that this is something new is shortsighted, and to suggest that this is something “disrespectful” is ridiculous. It’s like getting angry at blacks who speak out against racism.

    * * *

    It’s been my experience that people who push their lives to extremes rarely regret it. The people who regret it are those that “dabble in it” — play with the aesthetic, but don’t really want to live the life. There’s nothing wrong with that, if it weren’t for the fact that they all too often then feel the need to go after those who are actually happy in their decisions.

    If there’s a common thread in the personalities of the people I’ve interviewed on these subjects it’s that they’re by and large happy and love-filled people, independent and self-defined, and not those that need our pity or protection. I wish that our victim-obsessed society could wrap their head around the reality that people can be happy living very different lives, and I wish that THIS subculture could learn to support itself a bit more.

  49. fireship – It’s nice to see that you’ve been following me and what I’ve been saying. However, you should note that I very rarely use the kind of “immature comments” that you mention, unless I’m just amusing myself. I’m not sure how you equate “disagreeing with someone and telling them so” with “spinning out of control” etc. If you can’t handle a heated debate, I’d suggest that it’s you who should leave, not me.

  50. Ok, my opinion, if it’s worth much.

    I’m really not convinced with lip plates, lip stretching or nostril stretching. I just don’t like how they look at all to be honest.

    I happen to think Duff was far more attractive WITHOUT the lip plate, she had such a pretty smile. I hope when she is older she doesn’t regret making such a huge change to her appearance. Fuck, when I was 15 I got a shitty tattoo done which I thought was great at the time, years later I had it covered. You change so much the older you get!

    I’ve watched people with lip plates eating on video clips and it just looks horrible when they take the plates out and start drooling food and saliva down themselves. Surely, the novelty of making these ‘funny’ clips for people to see will wear off?

    I understand it’s their choices, but I wonder how many have actually thought these choices through properly, and how it will effect their lives in the future.

  51. Bob – Sorry missed your comment on my post — Well, to give an example of another poster who often is quite critical of the way I have presented material: Giles. Giles, however, I think is intelligent and thoughtful in his debates, and respectful of the people involved and the validity of their lifestyles, and I enjoy his comments and criticism even when I disagree.

  52. it takes a lot to actually decide on going through with a lip plate. a stretched labret is one thing, but when it starts flopping down then i consider it a plate and didnt consider mine one till id did that, i dont regret anything, and i dont think they do either. honestly you can make all the negatie comments to them you want, its not gonna stop any of us from doing it 🙂

  53. Cool Interview…both there lips plates look amazing & very healthy.I agree with G.C. fishing is very grounding & peaceful & one of my favorite things to do as well.I think this interview definetly shows people who are modified are not just into one thing,I hate that misconception about myself.People think just because you have alot of tattoos or piercings that thats your main focus &all your friends do as well, but thats not the case with me either.Anyways jsut wanted to make that point & also who cares what Duffs age is I’ve said this before & I will say it again… in many ways starting at a yong age will help them rather than hinder them.I’m saying this because the mind transforms with the body & if you begin modifying at a young age you can learn quicker how to deal & adapt with a society who disagrees or doesnt accept you for the life path you choose.I do honestly believe a postive attitude can carry you further than anything.Thanks for the interview!

  54. Actually shannon, the community isnt attacking itself from within, its attacking YOU.

    You should let this comment through, or I’ll tell everyone how you were completely fine with todd bertrang using the old BME chat system to lure children to his house to be genitally mutilated.

    The fact is, Shannon, your support of this sort of thing borders on the criminal, and you’re such a self-important fuck that you have not one consideration for the people who’s lives you’ve absolutely ruined–and continue to ruin.

    Just as I said to you in your hotel room, just up the street from the Carnegie deli (despite your claims that we’ve hardly ever talked and that you hardly know me), you are a GOD to a lot of these poor motherfuckers, and they’ll do anything that they think you approve of–specifically because they’re *children*.

    You have a grave responsibility that you’ve been shirking for years, that will, make no mistake, eventually come back around and bite you in the ass.


  55. Another rad interview, keep em coming! 🙂
    also I loooove the look of Duff’s plate, the oval sort of shape really suits her, looks fantastic…. I like that it allows some amount of “natural” shape of her lips to be retained even though it’s still huge! Very cool.

  56. Its nice to see chicks with large labrets, you don’t see that often (outside of tribal women).

    As for the age thing, 16 is pretty damn young to be modifying yourself in such a way not just because of maturity level, but also because of the challenges ahead of her that she may not fully understand. However, seeing as I do not know her personally I can’t really judge. I hope that she continues to love her large labret and that stretching it at such a young age doesn’t prove to be a mistake.

    Donna: I’d like to think that most people who actually take on stretching their lip, certainly to the point of it being a lip plate have definitely thought about how it will change not only the way they look, but how they are treated and perceived by the rest of the world. Its cool for you to not find them aesthetically pleasing, everyone has their own view of beauty. I hate beards, but plenty of chicks totally love them. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder my dear.

  57. I don’t know how you guys can get so heated over an interview being posted. The whole point of publishing an interview is to spread the word about a person’s thoughts. If you disagree with something Duff says, why is it shannon’s fault?

  58. Just chiming in with the few who seem to be maintaining an intelligent and considerate perspective here: being young does not make you mentally retarded or under-developed, or incapable of rational thinking. That is SUCH a common misconception in this community. People simply cannot speak for others, just because you may have been stupid at 16… that doesn’t translate to every 16 year old on the planet. How arrogant would you have to be? And for those who would argue that there is ‘science’ to prove this – just think about where that information came from. Read up on neuroplasticity/mental force and realise that we really don’t know enough about the brain to go making any statements like that atm. Furthermore, perhaps it might be nice to save the ‘I told you so’s until people regret their decisions. It’s not just this girl, recently people have felt like they have the right to adjudicate and dictate what is right or wrong for people that they have never even met. Opinion, yay. Blatant insults, nay.

    It’s really sad from a community that should by definition be predisposed to thinking freely. There is a distinct difference between giving an issue attention and endorsing it indiscriminately. To borrow a F. Scott Fitzgerald quote: “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in the mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”

  59. Blaming BME is a little silly when the person being interviewed says that they were already well on their way with these activities before discovering BME.

  60. Cobalt Chemistry – To borrow an Orwell quote:

    “The power of holding two contradictory beliefs in one’s mind simultaneously, and accepting both of them… To tell deliberate lies while genuinely believing in them, to forget any fact that has become inconvenient, and then, when it becomes necessary again, to draw it back from oblivion for just so long as it is needed, to deny the existence of objective reality and all the while to take account of the reality which one denies — all this is indispensably necessary.”

  61. Most of the comments seem to be fairly positive,…itaa just the same people who keep being negative over & over again & its tireseome..jsut 1 ? why are you on BME if you feel this way about the community & what it represents? jsut go away of you dont like it.You may think you look really smart or know better than everyone else but your really just being an asshole.Have a little respect for the people who take the time to do these interviews & stop thinking you know how everyone feels about Shannon.Sorry but most people dont consider him a God that I know,personally I consider him a friend & a nice guy whos openminded & provided a place for us to all interact & thats about it…all these negative comments just show how miserable you are.Its fine to disagree but I dont see the reason to talk shit about Shannon or ask him to take responsibility for anyones actions, thats just ridiculous.

  62. Essentially it’s all about how opinions or attitudes can change overtime. I think with bodymods you can often get caught up in the rush of the moment and do things you might as well regret later on. So I’m not sure that it’s a good idea to get serious modifications at a young age.

  63. Andy – I’ve seen adults make mistakes too, and I’ve seen many older people say “I only wish I’d had the courage to do this when I was younger.”

    I’d say that the key to these decisions, and life in general, is “know yourself”…

  64. I personally find lip-plates to be appealing on some but for the most part I think they take to much away from the persons natural appearance. I prefer them in a natural position not flipped down.

    I think that at 16 I was foolish in some aspects and intelligent in others. I COULD of gotten tattooed and all of that illegally. I chose not to on my own because I wasn’t sure I wanted it. Duff may regret her decisions later in life and in all honesty she most likely will. Alot of teen’s regret things. She also might live a happy life with her changed appearnce and husband. Is it likely in this world? No. Would it be a great thing? Yes. I personally am happy that she’s happy at the moment and I don’t even know her. She’s made a decision that makes her happy and being truly happy with the way you look is something so rare that I’m willing to ignore logic and just smile.

  65. Ok, so I didn’t read all the comments on this post because frankly all the petty squabbling gets mind numbingly boring. But I want to give my two cents on the issue of this girl (possibly) being 16 years old. When I was 16 I had a job, had been in college for a year, and didn’t think or act any differently from how I do now. Every mod I wanted at 16 I either now have or still plan to one day get. In fact, the only thing that has changed is that I want more mods then I did at that age. None of you know this girl, so how the hell would you know whether or not she is mature enough to understand the long term implications of what she is doing to HER body? Just because she’s young doesn’t mean she’s stupid.

  66. To both paleblue and Shannon:
    get each other’s phone numbers and bitch at each other there. This community, if it could be called that anymore, was once a place where people could come together, find like-minded people, see some great modifications, and, for many of us, get really turned on. Watching every moderately subversive post or comment turn into a pissing contest is one of the most ridiculous and sad things I’ve had to see in my short life. No one except the two or three of the ‘instigators’ seem to enjoy watching this shit.
    And no, I’m not whining or attacking anyone’s opinions.

  67. the answer to that is that SOME people who use modblog are very conservative in their thinking and its always the same people,everybodies entitled to their opinion but is there really such a need to be so negative about it…

  68. shekaste – IAWTC. The funny thing about it is, I’ve seen empty threats to ‘take the truth, the whole uncensored truth over to my webpage’ by these people. I wish they’d just do it. I can’t help thinking it’s just attention seeking more than anything else, because of course, nobody looks at their webpages. We’re here to see interesting mods. Presumably.

  69. “You know your modblog entry is truly extreme when THE DREADED YTTRX comes out!” -fuus

    It hard me laughing till tears.

  70. haha! stuff I forgot to say earlier!
    Paleblue: from what I’ve read over the past few weeks in your comments, it seems like your problem is that Shannon doesn’t spend enough time talking about potential ramifications of these modifications, ie, work, public opinion, possible health problems. I might be wrong on that, and please correct me if I am.

    I went through high school. In fact, I’m technically still in high school (I’m 16 and in independent study). I’ve never met a single person, “scene” or not, who would look at anything like a lip plate and think to themselves that they need/want that, regardless of the ramifications.
    Most “scene” kids, and most teenagers in general, seem to be more attracted to the ‘lightweight’ piercings because they’re considered temporary. Kinda like having a mullet — you can be as cool as you want on Friday night, but when you go to work or grow up, you can still look professional. Most people who aren’t already thinking ‘fuck, fuck I need a really big hole in my lip!’ aren’t going to look at this entry and think to themselves that they gotta get one of those. It’s not transient enough for anyone who isn’t in it for real.

    All of that, of course, is in my humble opinion.

  71. Did I read the words “sixteen year old girl” correctly? Um, I definately have a problem reading about sixteen year old girls that have stretched or cut themselves to a point that can’t be undone (the lip plate and a split tongue?!!), little lone a sixteen year old girl that is MARRIED.

    Do none of you have any kind of problem with this? It’s all well and good that she’s a mature thinking, liberated and informed young girl, but the fact remains, she is a YOUNG GIRL. I don’t even agree with sixteen year olds getting genital piercings, the fact that she has had her tongue split shocks and disgusts me. That is a full on procedure, changing the physiological form of your body, for life…. And it makes me fucking angry for the negative light that sheds on proffessionals that do these procedures and that have enough good sense to only perform this shit on the over 18. Not to mention the negative light this sheds on anyone with a split tongue or any involvment with modifications and/or the industry.

    Even more so, I’m disapointed that the so called informed and mature people of bme, including Shannon(who I respect and think is amazing obvisouly, for starting this positive, informative site) are not even slightly touching on the moral maybes of this child having such extreme things done to her DEVELOPING body.


  72. I respect GC for what he’s doing and pushing the boundaries, but it’s just not my thing but it totally suits him aesthetically and as a person.

    Why is it everyone can ‘ooh’ and ‘ahh’ when some one like LANE JENSON gets a fucking set of tits in his leg and when a 16 year old gets her lip scalpelled and stretched it ends up being an endless flame war?

    Just remember one thing – it’s their body and they can do as they please with it.

  73. #84 – I missed you’re post lucky, but are you even serious?

    As far as I know tongue splitting is reversable (to the point of joining the tongue back together) and even things such as full length subincisions can be repaired (impgrin article, anyone?)

    What are the moral maybes of these extreme things? At 16 you are in charge of your own body and it is when you cross territory into adulthood. It’s okay for a girl to get knocked up or married at 16 but not okay for her to change her appearence to what she feels is the right decision in her life?

    Get a grip.

  74. The 16 year old married all thing is disturbing me enough without even having to wonder about the lip plate and the maturity that has to come with heavy bodmod etc…

  75. Archetype- tongue splits and all these things are very extreme, even in bme land. anything that involves surgical reversal is pretty full on in my opinion, im all for loving knowing and doing what you want with your body, but in my opinion, you should allow yourself to physically and at least a little mentally grow into your skin, before you start really changing it. 16 is young. i definately do not think its ok for a 16yr old girl to fall pregnant or get married, not sure why you assume i do. let me repeat, 16 is fucking younh.

    moral maybes, ill start and finish with the practitioners of this work. every proffessional mod artist ive ever met, wouldnt dream of scalpelling a 16yr olds tongue. they just wouldnt. 18 for a tattoo, 18/21 to drink but 16 to slice n dice? come on.

    would you let your 16yr old daughter get het tongue split?

  76. I don’t usually agree with the run of the mill bitching that I read on most of these extreme posts… However..
    Today I can relate to the concerns about Duff being only 16 and having such heavy modifications done to her body.

    Lets face it at 16 you’re not fully matured physically and far from it mentally.. even though at 16 we all thought we knew everything.
    It does scare me to think that someone out there performed a tongue bisection on a girl under 18.
    I understand that the split as well as the lip can be surgically turned back. She is however a minor and that reflects poorly on the modification practitioners out there that are performing these types of procedures. What kind of nasty press stories would happen with this if it were in the United States?!? People would be fighting battles in court or in jail.
    I’m not saying anything bad about Duff as a person I’m only talking about the fact that 16 is WAY to young to be having heavy modifications done.
    I searched all over the web trying to find the legal age for piercing in Russia and couldn’t find it because I thought maybe it is myself that is wrong..
    This actually bothers me and I couldn’t help but post my two cents.

  77. Wow – all of this over a number. If Shannon would have left her age out of the interview – would it still matter?

    Okay – so she’s 16, she’s married and has started on the road of a BIG facial mod. Does that mean it right for everyone? Of course not! But she’d been there and done that – there is no amount of words/arguements/bad mouthing that can “turn back time” to make her the “normal” 16 year old.

    And this couple is already out in the open with their ages AND with their lives, even BEFORE the interview. Shannon didn’t force them to do the interview nor did he lure them into do something that was wrong. 16 is young for alot of things but that doesn’t mean that 16 year olds follow those rules/laws.

    I liked the interview – it’s not something that I would do but then again my life took me down a different path. Take the interview as an eye opener/information/interesting read and stop making it about Shannon – because that is not what he intended.

  78. Lucky – Everyone physically and mentally ‘grows into their skin’ at different times, just like how people tend to be ready for sex different than other people, some younger some older.

    I never assumed you thought it was okay for a 16 year old to fall pregnant or get married. You should at least think it’s okay for them to get married seeing as it’s the law that any over the age of 16 has the right to consent to marriage with another person.

    And yes, I would let my 16 year old daughter get her tongue split. I’d rather she got her tongue split, which is a modification which will NOT ruin her life and neither will the lip plate than to go out and get pregnant and then destroy the enjoyment of the rest of her young years by having to care for a baby.

    Would you rather your daughter ruined her life with a child at a young age or got a reversable procedure done on her body? If you choose pregnancy, again, get a grip.

  79. I read the article and I must say I agree with almost everything that everyone has said. The short form of what I think is this. I don’t like lip plates, I think they are unattractive, but I also think people should do what is best/right for them. She is 16 and this does bother me, but on the other hand it seems to me that she really knows who she is and what she wants in life. When I was 16 and wanted stupid tattoos that I would hate now, I didn’t really want them for me I wanted them to be ‘cool’ and I think that is what a lot of people want at 16. She however doesn’t seem to want to be cool, she wants to be as she thinks she should. The who point in all of this is do what makes you happy!! Maybe she will regret it later in life, oh well she can look back and remember how she enjoyed it and get reconstructive surgery or something along those lines. If there is one major lesson I have learned as a result of BME it is this: Live for yourself, not for others.

  80. would be interesting to see some of these big lip discs made of natural materials like wood or clay instead of the white plastic stuff. native folk in africa and guinea use many natural and organic substances they make themselves. wonder if any of our lip pierced friends have considered this aspect in their stretching process? just a thought.

  81. i just hope that duff isn’t offended reading everyone’s negative reactions here, she is an incredibly beautiful girl with or without the lip plate.

  82. Archetype – when did this become a discussion on having babies at 16 versus splitting your tongue? pregnancy as a youth was never apart of this topic. and let me just say, i garuantee you will feel differently about your 16yr olds tongue when you grow up a little and get to an age where you want to have children. double garuantee it when you actually do have a child.

    my whole problem with this is the reflection it has on practitioners, as someone else mentioned, that do procedures like this. shit like 16yr olds with surgically split tongues, gives the modified community and artists alike a bad name.

  83. “lucky” – Besides safety issues, I don’t see why any parent would care one way or the other if their kid splits their tongue…? Why does it matter? It’s pretty much the lowest regret mod out there, and it has no negative consequences that I can think of. Really, of all the things a 16 year old could do that a parent might object to, tongue splitting to me seems like one of the most non-issue things.

    I’d also suggest that 95% of minors with split tongues did the procedure themselves using the tie-off method, which is on the whole safe (definitely safer than, say, tongue piercing), so there’s no practitioner issue.

  84. if you all are going to shit a brick everytime shannon posts something, why do you even bother visiting this website? just don’t look at it if you don’t like it.

  85. Shannon, I don’t know how you can be bothered having this same argument over and over and over again, going round and round in the same old circles, year after year. It’s so repetitive. I bet you could write an AI to do this argument for you.

    Respect for staying strong.

  86. side note: being pregnant at 16 is probably a lot more common than a huge plate through one’s lip, but you do have options. Adoption and abortion immediately spring to mind. its not a death sentence. Neither is the lip disk, although it does mean if she ever changes her mind about having it(good or bad) it will require cosmetic surgery to bring the face back to what she may have looked like before the large jewelry. And that, like getting the mod in the first place, is her choice.

    What would be nice, and certainly balance out a lot of the valid points people have brought up is to start posting interviews with openly heavily modified people who are older than 25-30(there are a ton of us now), established in their(non-tattooing/piercing/bodymod/sideshow/entertainment)related fields-with lip plates, horns in their heads, implanted,etc. When there are as many of those as there are interviews with “revolutionary” people who all appear very young, non established in what appears to be ANY field-THEN you’ll have something approaching a real evolution. The occasional rocket scientist you’ve interviewed(which I greatly appreciated)or lawyer(love ya Marissa) doesn’t balance out the wave of people now getting their stretched lobes reversed-something once profiled here with some level of “wow” but now seemingly a footnote to other heavier/prettier/more awe inspiring modifications because(i’m guessing)its not considered ‘cutting edge’ anymore.

    I still have the first piercing I ever got at 19 and I’m 35 now. but I know that people’s personal body aesthetic can and DO change over time-I know my own ears have gone up and down in gauge sizes/jewelry types for years. If these folks still feel the same at 26, 36, 46 and beyond…hey great! lets do another round of interviews in 5 years with these same people to find out how they’ve “evolved” not just on the outside but on the inside.

    To close, it needs to be repeated but comments you perceive as bad have just as much validity as the congratulatory/adoration oriented ones. If you’re going to bitch all the time when people don’t agree in a public forum turn the fucking comments off all together or quit carping about it. I’d rather see the mixture of good and bad-even paleblue(kiss kiss)and yttrx-than stupid blind devotional circle jerks where everyone is just patting each other on the back. otherwise expect the beatings to continue until morale improves. 😉

  87. Ok firstly Shannon didnt know this girls age before he interviewed her, Shannon would you still have done it knowing that in most countries she is underage? Secondly Shannon didnt do this to her so cant be held responsible.
    Now for my two cents… I think she is way too young for this her body hasnt matured and she is a child imo. I also dont think she should be married either but thats not a mod so I will leave it there.
    In most countries you have to be 18 and for very good reason, I thought I knew everything at 16 as do most teenagers.Sadly I still dont know everything ,lol.
    Shannon not everyone who disagrees with blogs or you has an agenda against BME they just have opinions.

  88. Oh and as much as I dont like huge lip plates I think GC looks happy and thats what matters.( and he is an adult)and before anyone says Duff looks happy too ,that may be so but ask her again when shes the same age as GC I think that would be interesting,maybe it would prove me wrong 🙂

  89. Just to counter the “when I was 16 I was stoopid” tales –

    When I was almost 16 I got engaged. Now we’re married. It’s fantastic. Pretty major life choice there, no?

    Since 16, I… know degree-level academic content and am more sure of my career choice. That’s the only difference I can think of.

    I, for one, admire that girl – getting engaged is socially approved, she went with what she wanted despite it really not being so!

  90. Firstly #93 I wear wood in my 1″ labret, it’s comfy and my lip likes ebony…I had horrible problems wearing delrin…other people seem to do well with it, my lip got pissed off and if I knew where to get a clay lip plate from I WOULD 😀 so in answer to your question, there’s a few of us out there

    Now the interview, Informative, well written and non-biased to all sides as usual

    GT.c. from talking to him online is a great guy (even if he is filthy bournemouth scum…love you really chris) and his decision with his lip plate seems well thought out and I really like the look of it on him, even though |I wouldn’t stretch my lip that size myself (YET)

    With Duff…I’m going to partiually agree with the quote/unquote ‘haters’ n that her being 16 kinda tweaks me out however that is because of the person I was when I was 16

    Would I have done something like this when I was 16, no because I don’t think I would have been mentally ready to handle having some more extreme modifications

    Is it wrong for someone this young to get modifications of this tye? No because every single 2 armed 2 legged 1 brained human being is different in all but the most basic of genetic structure so why should I impose what was not right for me onto someone I don’t know

    I’ve had younger friends of a similar age who I’ve advised against getting certain piercings or tattoos because they are people I know and I know that with those people they are only getting it because it’s the ‘in’ thing

    I would not however advise all 16 year old that getting a certain modification is wrong for them because of their age because of the aforementioned differences in everyone

    From reading the interview Duff seems mature and has an intrinsically adult view of the world…this is from reading an interview with her, I do not know her personally so would not advise her on anything but she seems to know what she’s doing

    The only concern I have is that she was worked on by a practitioner as she said herself for her lip cutting when she was under the age of 18 and this could get both the practitioner and herself into trouble with the ‘powers that be’

  91. Er Id like to know the gender of all these people saying 16′s an age where you fully know your own mind and what you want in life. Speaking as a female, every 16 year old girl i have ever known, including myself, actually DOESNT. All those hormones flying about make you THINK you do, and watch out anyone that says otherwise, but the actual fact is you dont. Guys mature later, its a fact. At 16 i very much doubt she is fully prepared not only to have to live with the asthetics of her lip plate for the rest of her life, but also to deal with all the other crap that comes with it. For example finding a job and having to face predjudice from the general public.

  92. When I was 16 I split my tongue (am female) and had a large-ish list of planned modifications. Have made it through most of the list and don’t regret anything yet, don’t think I will. It is often a mistake to base your perceptions of other people on your personal experiences. Culture varies hugely in perception of children / adults country to country, this fight over age is a lot like what used to go on with males claiming women were overly emotional and couldn’t be trusted to make decisions for themselves, just accept that if people have the means they will do what they want.

  93. Anyone remember the BME interview with the 16 year old (I think?) who amputated one of his fingers?

  94. I am 16 and I have tattoos and piercings, including a microdermal, all of which I have thought about thoroughly. There are actually a decent number of young people with split tongues on IAM. I would have mine done if I had the money. Although I understand where people are coming from with their age comments, I really don’t think it’s valid. Everyone is different. I think it’s pretty dumb when people criticize people like her for modifications they love but have no problem when they see pictures of people getting tattoos removed.

  95. Timinglife: I don’t think many people are flat out criticizing her. I think the majority are just concerned for her well being and future.

  96. #106 starspring – Agreed.

    I do appreciate both of these interviews, I’ll note that the one with GC didn’t raise as many issues with me, simply because he does seem more settled in a career path before he fully went for it, has a specialized skill, had the experience of taking mods out for work, etc.

    I also think it would be interesting to hear back from people in a few years, how’s it going, etc. I’ve been appreciating some of the photos of more healed cuttings, too.

    As for stretched ears no longer being so cutting edge? I’ll agree with that. The SCARY side of that is the various webpages you find on Yahoo questions and the like with 13-15 year olds bragging on how they are “gauging” so fast, using random household materials to just jam through there and stretch to an inch in a month and yeah, it’s bleeding but hey, doesn’t last too long! (Occasionally in those long-ago closed threads there would be some voice of reason pop in, scream, and provide links to the advice on BME.)

    But, I do see more stretched ears (nice ones) on people working (even with the public) and that’s a good thing.

    And finally… the articles I’ve read about the Mursi say that they make their own clay plates. I’ve heard discussion that making polymer clay things directly for ears can be harmful (or is that only Sculpey in particular?) but I suppose natural clay would be different, and so, I also wonder if anyone’s tried that. The natural look of brown decorated (in the Mursi case) with white dots was interesting.

  97. Note: I was just informed that Duff’s birth year on IAM is listed as 1987, so it’s possible that age 16 is when the modifications started, not her current age.

  98. i have been coming to this site for several months now…and this has to be the funniest group of people…not because or in spite of the interest in body modification, but because of the war of the mods…we have the peace mods (please, everyone let’s just get along!)…the snob mods (we have very strong opinions about what should and should not be)…and the mod squad (body modding is fun and cool but a personal choice – note this group also includes those who arent modded out – this is the group that laughs at everyone else)…just my two cents…

    i do enjoy the spirited nature in which opinions are debated because what people may or may not realize it is in these very debates that the true intelligence of this community is displayed…i am being serious here…i can “hear” the voices of those presenting their own opinions and i find it incredible…other forums/communities would have locked down the comments…a “big brother” would be censoring EVERY single comment…but at least the debate still rages on…

    and that is what makes this place unique…not the fact that individuals who choose to alter their physical form are allowed to display themselves…because in reality, that is what they want…they want to show the world, hey, look i have done this to myself and i want to share it because it makes me feel good to do so…it isnt that that makes this site different…it is in the ability to continue to discuss in this manner…

    those of you involved may not agree with me…but you are still here arguing your point, arent you…


  99. i dont get how people on here can hate on other modified people. Level of maturity doesnt depend on ages its totally down to the individual person, and who cares if she decides in 5 years time she doesnt want it anymore? why is that anything to do with us?

    ps. i think duff is amazingly pretty.

  100. I don’t like to get into these debates because for the most part I find them utterly pointless. I would however love to know the current ages of everyone who is saying “when I was 16 I wanted all this stuff and now I have it” and how long you’ve actually had your modifications for. I don’t really find that argument valid until you are of a substantial adult age. Being 18 doesn’t really cut it for me. I for the most part haven’t changed who I am since I was 16 (I am now 20.5, 6 months til 21 almost exactly I’m excited haha) but I’m very glad I wasn’t getting modifications at that age. I wasn’t fully grown and I would have some tattoos now that I’d regret mostly based on positioning. I’m starting my back piece in a few weeks and I have to cover my first tattoo that I got when I was 18. I love the tattoo, but its just poorly placed for my over all modification goals. I don’t agree entirely that all 16 year olds are knuckle heads and don’t know what they want, BUT I’d have to say the vast majority of 16 year olds don’t know what they want, or it will change with time. And I’m not talking decades, I’m talking months to maybe a few years. If when Duff is 30 and she’s still rocking her lip plate and has an awesome career more power to her, but I worry that that will not be the case.

  101. i stopped reading comments after a certain point…my ADHD got the best of me…i see alot of people pondering duff’s age…in other cultures, 16 year olds are considered adult participants in society. in some contries girls, are married and with child by 14. while professionally i’d never stretch a 16 year old’s lip to that size, i live in a different part of the world and i’m shaped by my own cultural perceptions and restraints. also* some contries are a bit more accepting of mods than my own, so it would be hard to even understand how she’s actually even limited herself professionally-not knowing if her region is less judgemental…

    in the end, she’s a pretty girl and the interview was interesting. according to comment # 54, she’s happy and doesn’t understand what all the cursings about…what you do to yourself is your own choice, i think ethical debates should be reserved for when professionals start improperly stretching minors to this size, not when they elect to do it to themselves. sometimes i think people are forgetting that these are actual people. while i don’t always agree with shannon’s views, i think his statement that we should wait till they actually regret the decision has some weight. i will agree that when someone’s featured that has made some hasty stretch decisions that result in scarring-by all means address that shit! but telling a 16 year old she’ll have so many regrets is not only condecending, its counter productive…when we were kids and the adults told us we’d have ‘so many regrets’-did we listen? i know i didn’t…so why risk sounding like your mothers?

  102. I agree with those who have mentioned being modded since a young age and now don’t regret it… I’m not exactly old, but I’ve been getting pierced since I was 13 or 14 and tattooed since I was 17 and the only thing that’s changed is that I want more than I initially thought I would.
    I’m also not heavily modded, yet, but that has more to do with my lack of balls than my lack of wanting.

  103. Is it not less her age and more the fact that she is still just studying that is concerning people? That she doesn’t know what she’ll be doing in the future and whether her dream job has become impossible to obtain; many people don’t discover what they truely want to do untill later in life. For now though she is obviously happy and content with herself which I can’t see anyone thinking a bad thing.

    Also, it’s pointless to comment on things unwritten, inasked and unsaid. It’s equally likely for her to be the girl who changes a huge amount between 16 and 25 and make decisions she regrets as it is for her to be th girl who knows herself at 16 and stays the same for her whole life. Claiming one side or the other is definitely true and atacking people who disagree just seems pointless to me.

  104. re: Organics in labrets (stemming from comment #93… I didn’t read them all, just skimmed them and it caught my attention)

    Wood is great in labrets, but it does have to break in. Personally, I have olivewood in both my medusa and labret, and couldn’t be happier with it. I honestly can’t remember the last time (at 8 gauge maybe? 5-ish years ago?) I wore anything other than stone or wood in my labret.

    I was an education major (volunteered as a preschool teacher, private instructor, and did various other teaching/tutoring-related jobs) with a big labret. It’s not nearly as ‘debilitating’ as you’d think even in a conservative area. I was tentative about stretching very large (I set my limit at 2g) until I knew what I was doing with my life a little more concretely (whatever that means), but to be honest if I had gone to my current size (roughtly 1″) back then I’d have probably never regretted it for a second.

  105. Oh, and as far as the wood in labrets thing, I actually made GC a labret almost a year ago (around 1 1/2″ I believe), but due to issues getting it there (my studio was broken into and the first piece was part of the many things stolen), he was at a larger size than the jewelry I’d made for him by the time it arrived so I don’t think he ever really got to wear it in his lip.

  106. i remember her picture in stretched labrets gallery
    in which she was topless/nude
    does that mean that your liable for some sort of
    legal action against you shannon for posting them
    cos that’d sure blow?

  107. It’s nice to know there are so many budding social workers out there, caring for the young of the world and their future.

    Really, I think a lot of people should be asking themselves, why they give a fuck about what some Russian girl somewhere does with herself. Or why one young American guy chooses to do what he does, to himself. Why do you care?

    If they’re happy then big fucking deal what they do.

    And as for the promotion aspect, I bet most of you berating Shannon at the moment say little or nothing of the tobacco industry or alcohol lobby or junk food and soft drink companies that spend billions and billions of dollars/pounds/euros/yuan etc actively ruining the lives of millions of children the world over, year after year.
    Put things into perspective people. It’s a small handful of people and it’s a 50/50 gamble (their gamble): either they’ll love it and YOUR life will remain the same or they’ll hate it, and YOUR life will remain the same.

    Regarding the marriage age, there are countless countries around the world that being married at 16 years old is permitted, some with some without parental consent: Kenya, South Africa, Sudan, Tanzania, Canada, Chile, Mexico, UK, Venezuela, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Jordan, Singapore and nearly every country in Europe amongst others and let’s not even go there with the USA with 45 States allowing it AND Georgia, Hawaii, Michigan, Mississippi and Missouri all 15 years old, New Hampshire 14 for boys and 13 for girls, New York and Utah (never mind the polygamy) 14 years old.

    So you might want to get off your moral high horses about the young marriage part and do your homework first.

    Strangely enough I didn’t see anyone complain like this with the previous 2 interviews. Did no one want to tell the guy who tortures his cock and testicles how much of a douche they think he is? Or how much of his life he’s ruining? What about the
    Lizardman, do you all contact him regularly to let off some steam about how his job propects in the banking sector are now fucked because he tattooed himself the wrong shade of green? Or maybe you stalk The Enigma to let him into the big secret that he might never get a promotion to senior pen pusher in his local council administration office?

    Life would be so fucking dull if there were no risk takers, for without them 95% of the people on BME doing suspensions right now wouldn’t be photographing and promoting themselves on the site.
    Any new procedures or looks that we all buy into often came from risk takers, people willing to go against the grain and put themselves out on a limb. Instead of telling them all the things that they can’t do, why not try something radical and help them find things that they CAN do.

    We should be promoting diversity in all its incarnations not demonising it. Supporting it, not trying to bring it back down to the lowest, blandest, most common looking denominator.

  108. I’ve got to say that I’m slightly bemused by the fact that so many people have identified her age as being a source of interest here – all the more so, since it wasn’t raised as a possible issue in the interview – it was only mentioned casually in passing.

    I don’t have a crystal ball, so I don’t know whether she’s going to regret it when she’s older, but I have no real reason to assume that she might. I certainly wouldn’t base any assumptions I might make on the basis of what I did or didn’t do when I was sixteen.

    When I was interviewed for BME this time last year, I said in answer to one of the questions: “But to answer the question properly — Do what feels right for you, whatever age you are.” It’s your mod, your decision, and – ultimately – your verdict on whether the decision you took was the right one or not.

  109. 133 ‘So you might want to get off your moral high horses about the young marriage part and do your homework first. ‘

    LOL so should you the legal age for marraige in all of the uk except Scotland is 18.And anyway just because something is legal does not make it right ,once again jmo.

  110. #136 right so you have the same level of maturity now as you did when you were 13? if so i feel a little sorry for you. at 16 i very much doubt she has had enough life experience for her to be mature enough to make life changing decisions. its not like its a lip piercing or crappy tattoo, its a heavy modification.

  111. Why do people give a fuck? Because it’s an interesting picture posted to the public internet with a comments section, that’s why. So people passing through with the tiniest portion of their day decide to… “Leave a Comment,” as it suggests on the bottom of the page.

    Discussion is interesting. Boundaries are interesting.

    You’re right – life would be dull if there were no risk takers. But the flip side of that is, someone is always out there pushing that line, and crossing boundaries. Part of what makes something a heavy mod, or gives the “wow that takes balls” is because it’s coming up against social boundaries (boundaries which move, but you can certainly overtake them). So, humans that we are, people wonder, what’s that like? So they ask about it. How does it change you? Etc.

    As for Lizardman and The Enigma, they have careers already as sideshow performers, which is a world away in position from someone just starting out or even still in school. It’s a question of timing. GC in this post, too, has secure employment and some special skills now to take to any future places. So, it’s a more steady footing, compared to still being a student.

    I honestly don’t see so much of the supposed “hating” in here that people keep talking about. I think people ask honest questions, and yet occasionally if they are about boundaries get the canned “there is no line, it will change nothing!” response, which I’ll admit comes off to me as ignoring an elephant in the room. I’m not telling anyone not to push boundaries, or not to cross lines, but to pretend that the boundaries don’t exist seems to dodge the discussion entirely and is, dare I say it, boring, on the other side.

  112. Mexie, a simple Internet search would have shown you that you’re wrong:

    “Throughout the United Kingdom and the British Crown dependencies of Guernsey, Jersey and the Isle of Man, the minimum legal age for getting married is 16 years.

    In England, Wales, Northern Ireland, Guernsey and the Isle of Man, the written consent of your parents, or legal guardians, is required if you are under 18 years of age. In Jersey, your parents’ consent is required if you are under 20 years of age and if they live in the Island, they must give their consent in person. In Guernsey, if your parents live in the Island, they must also give their consent in person. In Scotland, no parental consent is required. Where written consent is required, it will normally have to be given on a consent form provided by the registrar.”

  113. Akibare, the reason they have those careers is because of their extreme modification choices. The Lizardman wasn’t ‘The Lizardman’ before he tattooed himself and got his implants and tongue split. It would be interesting to hear his take on this though, and Enigma’s. Who’s to say she won’t also develop a similar career along those same lines.

    I’m fully aware of societal boundaries and the narrow mindedness of people within those boundaries and as a consequence I’m still all for less ‘shoot them down’ and more ‘build them up’, much like I am for many other minority, disadvantaged groups of people.

  114. my whole gripe had less to do with how shes going to feel with her body in 5 years (she’ll feel however she wants to and as ferg said, this will NOT affect my life in anyway) what i was more questioning was the ‘professionals’ that performed a tongue split on someone so young and that the issue(or non issue?) of her age wasn’t even mentioned in the interview or in the comments until now. if she did the tongue split herself, fine. if some asshole posing as a professional artist did it, then i think thats bad news not to mention bad practise.

    thanks for posting this shannon, fuck i love a good healthy debate(although i wouldnt really call this a debate, rather an exchange of opinions) that was fun. and its cute how agressive everyone gets. humans love being right 🙂

  115. I get so annoyed with the arguments that teenagers are mature enough to make adult decisions. Teens have the mindset of “us vs. adults” because we just don’t understand them… as if we weren’t all teenagers at some point! And yet their argument is that things are somehow different with them — that teens are now better equipped to make reasoned choices than we were when we were teens making stupid decisions.

    NEWSFLASH! This is simply not true. To marginalize dissent by making the argument that this is an “ageist” position is ridiculous. This is SCIENCE! There are physical differences between the minds of teens and adults, and this difference manifests in how we process emotions. Compared to teenagers, we adults have greater activity in our frontal lobes and lower activity in our amygdala. As we transition from being teenagers into being adults, brain activity shifts from being focused in the amygdala to the frontal lobes!

    The frontal lobe is what controls behavioral inhibition, the ability to control emotions, and impulses. This is also where decisions about right and wrong and cause-effect relationships are processed. The amygdala, on the other hand, is involved in making instinctive, “gut” reactions (think “fight or flight”). With lower levels of frontal lobe activity, control over behavior and emotions is also lower. And with higher levels of amygdala activity, the odds of reactionary decision-making and increased emotional arousal is also higher! Basically, teenagers’ brains are WORSE at making good decisions and BETTER and making gut decisions without fully understanding cause-and-effect.

    Is that being ageist or being real? You tell me.

    So while you may feel like a more enlightened being to treat teenagers as peers and tiny adults, they are not. Age isn’t “just a number.” The simple fact of the matter is that their brains are not fully developed yet, and they are much more prone to impulsive decisions without having properly evaluated the repercussions.

    Get a grip, dude.

  116. You’re right, my mistake. ‘Adults’ don’t make wrong decisions. They never regret things, never do things impulsively, always evaluate the repercussions and act accordingly.
    With their increased maturity and controlled brain activity they marry with responsibility, never make mistakes and can control their emotions at/with will.
    They instinctively know what is ‘right’ and what is ‘wrong’.

    You could argue what ‘making a good decision’ is for years; that is certainly not ‘science’. Your opinion (and it is just that) of ‘right’, ‘wrong’ and ‘good decision’ will be different to others’ I’m sure. Thankfully I might add.

    Gut decisions: those evolved, instinctual ones are usually the ones that keep us alive – using your fight or flight term, (there is also a ‘freeze’ in there but that’s kind of irrelevant). Before we have a chance to study the cause and effect, out instincts often take over.
    I can just see you standing there with a fast approaching angry lion, maturely going through all the options while the 16 year old with the big lip plug who was standing next to you moments before has fled into the bush….she turns round just in time to see you get mauled while muttering “I’m glad being an adult enabled me to work all of this out and make the right decision.”

    Oh and I forgot, everyone is the same. There is no variation at all with humans of course. Everyone at 16 is identical in behaviour and thinking to everyone else at 16.
    I think you need to get a grip, dude.

    Maybe the repercussions to her are not as important? Maybe she doesn’t want a boring, normal life like the majority of other people. Maybe she’s happy standing out (some people love it and make a healthy living from it – and they’re adults too! Can you imagine!!!)

  117. i think 142 is begging the question in talking about whether “teenagers are mature enough to make adult decisions”. this seems to suggest that adulthood comes in with a jolt at midnight on our 20th birthday, which is an arbitrary number probably derived originally from our having 10 fingers. are we to imagine that at that moment the brain activity moves forward to the frontal lobes.
    the actual transition to adulthood is far vaguer than that , and in our own particular society seems to vary in legal terms from 18 to 21, although as someone has already pointed out, in the uk you can marry at 16. certainly the body of most people is mature at 18 and sometimes long before depending on their individuality and on their nutrition . conversely i know a number of people who have long ago passed 21 whose brain has not yet set into an adult pattern.
    i think it is a folly to define mental maturity entirely in terms of age , and an even greater one to assign a turnover date that fits all. some people in bme are definately making mature decisions in their teens, others perhaps who are past the teens may not have started

  118. LOL! Okay, argue that brain scans and neuroscience are opinions. Have fun with that.

    What’s your level of education, by the way?

    And nobody is claiming that the DAY you turn 18, you become better equipped for decision-making. What I’m claiming is that as you near your mid-20′s, there is a physiological change in your brain activity that affects how you make decisions and how you behave.

    Keep fighting the uneducated, unscientific fight — I’m sure you guys will win. *Pats your heads* Good job.

  119. 145-strange, i could have sworn it was you making statements about “adults” versus “teens” and “teenagers brains”. i hadnt realised you werent using thise terms with their normal dictionary meanings of before and after the 20th birthday.

    tho i apologise to other readers, this has really nothing to do with the quality of the interview or duff’s apparently completely successfull exercise in stretching.and until we have reason to think she is suffering adverse social effects from her mods (something of which there is no evidence) any comment on that issue is irrelevant, speculative and valueless

  120. i just love all the different, and sometimes clashing, views on modblog…and all the ‘evidence’ each side brings to the table…

    that’s a really interesting point you raised, sean, about brain activity and developement…is there a link you could provide that has more info on the subject? i’d love to read more about this. that’s something i haven’t ever seen raised in the ‘are they too young’ debate before…

  121. That’s because this community has evolved into something where we must encourage and glorify any and all modifications, as if there were no consequences, no difference in opinions, and no point at which another can raise concern: it is politically correct and enlightened to say that age is just a number; it’s the teenage mantra (now and in all previous generations) that they are more mature than their age and that adults don’t understand them. Reality has a habit of being a party pooper, so most would rather ignore the facts in favor of mob mentality and BME scene points.

    Some sources, just to start:

    “Another series of MRI studies is shedding light on how teens may process emotions differently than adults. Using functional MRI (fMRI), a team led by Dr. Deborah Yurgelun-Todd at Harvard’s McLean Hospital scanned subjects’ brain activity while they identified emotions on pictures of faces displayed on a computer screen.5 Young teens, who characteristically perform poorly on the task, activated the amygdala, a brain center that mediates fear and other “gut” reactions, more than the frontal lobe. As teens grow older, their brain activity during this task tends to shift to the frontal lobe, leading to more reasoned perceptions and improved performance. Similarly, the researchers saw a shift in activation from the temporal lobe to the frontal lobe during a language skills task, as teens got older. These functional changes paralleled structural changes in temporal lobe white matter.

    While these studies have shown remarkable changes that occur in the brain during the teen years, they also demonstrate what every parent can confirm: the teenage brain is a very complicated and dynamic arena, one that is not easily understood.”

    “Talk more about that in terms of the kind of risks that teenagers take. When they exhibit risky behavior, what is actually happening?

    One thing that happens in the brain when we’re going to get involved in any activity or initiate any activity is, we either have to decide what the consequences of that behavior are, or we’re just going to behave impulsively. And to appreciate what the consequences of a behavior are, you have to really think through what the potential outcomes of a behavior are. I think the frontal lobe, that part of the executive region that we studied, is not always functioning fully in teenagers; or least our data suggests that perhaps it’s not.

    That would suggest that therefore teenagers aren’t thinking through what the consequences of their behaviors are, which would lead us to believe that they’d be more impulsive, because they’re not going to be so worried about whether or not what they’re doing has a negative consequence. …

    Our findings suggest that what is coming into the brain, how it’s being organized, and then ultimately the response — all three of those may be different in our adolescents. So that attitude may be part of that, or may be related to that. But it’s not simply a matter of teenagers feeling like they don’t want to do something, or that they’re just going to give you a hard time. …”

  122. I don’t understand all the controversy over this girl starting her modifications at the age of sixteen.

    Is there really that much of a difference in mentality between the ages sixteen and eighteen? How much of it is the age of the person versus the maturity of the person? There is a lot of people making judgments about someone they have never met.

    I understand that some of the issues being raised are not meant to be personal, but instead with the publication of Duff’s experiences… that just seems like splitting hairs to me. It sounds a lot like “she shouldn’t have been allowed to do this to herself and we shouldn’t discuss it, in case others might decide to follow her lead.”

    If she lives to regret her decisions, she will not be the first person to ever find themselves in such a position. If she doesn’t… well, that will go a long way in showing people that they were wrong to judge.

    Just my two cents.

  123. we talked about her plate as she’s one of the few women in the Western world currently wearing one.

    Russia is in the west??

  124. I wish I had the guts of these people. Duff does look pretty incredible, in my opinion. I didn’t read enough of the posts to know whether she is (or was?) 16 after all, but either way, good karma to her.

    Likewise to G.C.: considering how long he should have to live, 5 or 10 years here or there won’t make much impression on what he’ll have to put up with, or what he’ll get out of his *ace* lipage.

    I wish I had the guts of these people. Or, rather, I wish I had the single-mindedness to be away with the need for ‘guts’. Ha. In hindsight, I sort of wish I’d cut into my lip when I was 16. (oh the irony)

    Keep up the good work Shannon.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *