Just like Nazareth sang….

….Love Hurts.

It hurts even more when it is proclaimed with cigarette  burns.


On Modblog we feature some of the most amazing artistic scarification in the world. Yet, we often overlook the rarely updated ritual cutting and ritual branding galleries when looking for pictures to feature. In these galleries the scarification is rarely about the finished result and usually about the process.

For a picture of the process of this scar, keep on keeping on.


135 thoughts on “Just like Nazareth sang….

  1. I’ve always felt weird about these “subsections” of bme… most probably ’cause it reminds me of my cutting days. It is a nice thing to overcome the urge to cut/burn. AT least it has been for me

  2. what a fuk’n idiot…..that looks horrible……if he wanted that shit on his arms……he should’ve been branded properly in a shop……..the stupidity of humans NEVER ceases to amaze me

  3. Wow is right. I would hate to be stuck with those scars. I find this to be hardly a ritual…
    Looks like he was just on a smoke break and decided to do that.

  4. [laughs] I imagine he smoked ‘em first?

    I caant wait to check post this tomorrow and read the comments this bad boy generates. Don’t disapoint me !

  5. …”but sometimes it’s a good hurt..and it feels like i’m alive..” not in this case ;)

  6. If it is anything like the self-done brand I did years ago, it will fade away and not be noticed. That will be long after he regrets it, but it will still occur.

  7. It’s not about the mods looking professional, it’s about the process of pain and having your own work on your body which is much more special and personal than having someone else do it.

  8. I say regret in a cpl yrs, once the person finds another relationship..
    other than that.. yeah sorry… But I think you have to press 9 for the outreach center

  9. Seems like thinly veiled, angsty self-mutilation to me. How about I go punch a mirror then claim it’s a scarification ritual, will that get me featured?

  10. Don’t mock people you don’t know for doing things you don’t understand!
    A ritual is not allways about drums and burning incent, it is about intention and purpose.
    Pain works on so many levels and is evidently a method for coping in many cases and for lots of people.
    The scars will be an issue in the future, whatever issues are going on right now is not being helped by ignorant and cruel behaviour.
    May the scars be worn with pride!

  11. kind of makes me sad but… i guess that’s life. love does hurt dude, word up. i wanna go harm myself now.

  12. maybe too cheap to have it done professionally? I mean, what he has seems to be about two packs of smokes. all together, 10 bucks. and I figured he would have done “love’ first, not “hurts”.

    meh, whatever.

  13. This is just another form of cutting.
    It’s a thing I witnessed friends in high school do for years. That and practically gouging their veins out.
    I love body modification, but this isn’t that. Usually you guys post really beautiful or astounding work, this is just boring self-mutilation.

  14. ModBlog comes out with another disappointment from left field again, how the hell does self harm qualify as “ritual” anything. Not going to bash the person that sent these pics in, I know its tough dealing with reality sometimes but fuck man, just be glad that in a few years these will fade and wont be as noticeable.

  15. This reminds me of when I carved “everyone that burns has to learn from the pain” into my leg with a safety pin in high school. lulz.

  16. I used to burn and cut myself, but it was self-mutilation, not art. I know for me this would be wrong, because the message clearly isn’t positive, but maybe for him its just something he wanted on his arms. I don’t know him so I can’t judge.

    But ignoring all of that… dude… it is really unattractive…

  17. I’m with Havve here. None of us have right to pass judgment on what this person views as ritual. Shame on all of you for not being more open minded.

    If he had had John Joyce cut LOVE HURTS on his forearms, y’all would be so stoked.. but this was a process for this person, and a big part of the spirit of this site is DIY modification and ritual.

  18. since when does a “ritual” need to be done by a “professional”? i dont believe in paying someone top dollar to do a “ritual”. helping out with any costs is one thing…

    what if he knew that the scars would only last a few years or so? is it still a dumb idea?

    some people dont feel the need to be “attractive”…

    i love “quotations” haha…

    i love how this is so boring, but you have to comment on it….

  19. i don’t think that just because a modification is motivated by a negative emotion like hate or fear or self-loathing, i don’t think that that makes it any less valid than if you get a butterfly on ur shit. recognize the real

  20. I figured there might be a little more respectable discourse from BME readers. The body modification culture notoriously blurs the line between acceptable modification and self harm. Some may question this person’s motives but as others have said, it’s not our place to judge. None of us know the person, the situation, the circumstances behind these pictures. Perhaps it’s supposed to like hacked and and unprofessional, who knows. I certainly hope this was done for a positive reason, but I won’t claim that it’s self harm when we can’t be sure.

    Also, I lol every time BME readers talk about someone regretting a mod. How many times do you get sick of other people telling you you’re going to regret your tattoos or piercings? Honestly.

  21. Only on Modblog will you ever find someone saying “boring self-mutilation,” re Kate #25.

  22. I think that the problem here is what is the difference between body modification and self-mutilation. The line is extremely thin, but its still there. I’m not sure how to explain it right now, but there’s a difference and its one that should be noticed.

  23. In many ways the line is intent more than anything. I know personally, I started as a bit of a self-mutliator. I branded, cut, and play pierced as a release for how I felt. I have since come to terms with shit and now I modify my body in “healthier” ways.

    I look at this and it just reminds me of myself years ago. Kids sitting around watching makes me feel like everyone was saying “man he is so hardcore” the whole time. Does that take away from the “ritual” aspect of it? To me it does. But to each their own. We will never know what really is the story here unless this person chimes in.

    I am willing to pre-judge and say it I don’t like it, that is my choice. Accept my choice or don’t, I could care less.

  24. I’m incredibly saddened by some of these comments. Self-injury is a serious issue.. it doesn’t mean you’re “emo” (though I am annoyed with these kids that cut themselves solely FOR attention.. but hey, they’re getting what they want).. self injury isn’t about wanting to die, or being *angsty*.. it’s about wanting to find a different pain than you’re already feeling.. or even that *high* you get from the endorphin rush. It may not be as pretty as some other body mods.. but when you’re in that state of mind.. you don’t care what it looks like 10 years down the road, the only thing you care about is trading one kind of pain for another. (Speaking of course, AS a former cutter..)
    And really.. we don’t know the real reason the person in the picture is doing this for anyway.. so who are we to judge? Everybody has their own personal reasons for whatever it is they do.. whether its “professional cuttings” or DIY cutting/branding/etc.. (along with tats, suspensions.. hell, cutting off your dick or sticking poles through your body…) This is MODBLOG. Since when do we judge someone just because it’s something you don’t do, or personally understand? (*jumps off my soapbox now*)

  25. i’m not going to pass judgment on the validity of this as a ritual, but the method of its execution leaves me slightly concerned. and rather than just submit the obvious “to each his own,” i feel like a ritual should absolutely achieve some form of mental clarity, but i believe the methods ought not be needlessly detrimental to the body. at the end of the day though, i hope he got what he needed to out of this, and even if it wasn’t about the result, i hope he’s okay with it.

  26. you know Im not going to make a point about mutilation or trading one pain for another or the validity of this ritual.. all Im going to say is
    Damn gingers!

  27. I think it’s pretty cheeky for you guy’s to pass judgement on this person saying they’re stupid for doing this. They’re modifying their body. BME to me is documenting these incidences not saying it’s ok for people to do these things. I don’t understand when people come onto this website and critisize people for doing things, even if it’s dangerous to themselves. Every piercing is possibly dangerous to the person having so I find it kind of hypocritical when people come here complaining about “self harm” when theirselves have piercings as they risk their health by doing so.

  28. So because the burns are self done, somehow his message of “love hurts” turns into something angsty/whiny? I’ve seen a lot of people with the same words “love hurts” tattooed.

  29. yeah, like four of the past five posts with clickthroughs have said “keep on keepin’ on”. way to seriously wear out a saying, guy.

  30. Havve & MissMeg have hit the nail on the head…
    Regardless of whether or not one of you would use the same methods to acquire these scars, it is not for you to judge! So, burning yourself with a couple packs of cigarettes isn’t for you, then shut your trap and move on…
    The cathartic nature of self-inflicted pain is often what many are looking for in the release of these activities, not attention, as many would have it (although, sadly it has come more and more to this). I used to cut and burn and pierce myself for the sensation, not the attention, and the scars are long since faded, but never forgotten!

  31. It couldntve been very clean and cant heal very well, oh sad times when tshirt weather comes along or he has kids who want to know why daddy was such a redneck, I’ve self branded, didn’t turn out well, but my methods were better in their own way using metal and stoves and gloves and it was still a mess

  32. jesus, people can remove parts of their bodies and tattoo retarded stuff all over them and all sorts of craziness and you’re gonna jump on this guy because he’s not going to a shop and letting someone else put something that’s obviously very personal and strongly felt into his skin all nice and pretty. i want to know how the hell he’s less respectable and legit just because he did what he felt needed to be done, and he did it himself.

    sad fucking day when a community that’s supposed to being about self-expression and open-mindedness can be so shallow and judgemental about something like this.

  33. i don’t care how or why he did it it just looks horrible.
    of course this is just my opinion and if he likes it then more power to him.

  34. As some others have said, the only reason some people are calling this “self-mutilation” instead of “modification” is because he did it himself with cigarettes. If he’d gotten it professionally branded, cut, or tattooed, no one would even think to call it “self-mutilation.”

    So is that how we define “modification” now? That it only counts if people pay a professional? I guess if I cut a design into my leg, I’m an angsty emo with a self-injury problem, but if I pay someone else to do it, I’m a body mod practitioner with a piece of art on my leg. Interesting.

  35. This is one of those things that is featured on MB that I feel is just straight mutilation and not a modification. This kind of thing screams (to me, an untrained observer) of a mental imbalance. I feel this way because:

    1. it’s UNSANITARY in every way.
    2. it’s poorly executed.
    3. It is the kind of thing that will bring all kinds of attention to the person, and not in a good way.

    The first two reasons are what make me feel the most strongly about this being a mutilation piece, I usually could care less about the third…but boy is it ugly.

  36. You shouldn’t uphold self-harm to the status of body art.

    Obviously we don’t know the intentions behind this person’s actions, but it is very likely it is self harm because of the content (“Love Hurts”) and the method which is typical self harm. I don’t care if someone gets branded professionally or unprofessionally, I think the real problem here is that this is very likely self harm. I’d rather see an infected diy nipple than self-harm.

    Just my 2 cents.

  37. We don’t know what’s going on inside this person’s head, but there’s a 90% chance this is really glorified self-mutilation, not body art. Don’t promote this crap, BME. It’s a disease and if you promote it some people will never get help. IMO ritual cutting and branding should be closed off. It provides a forum for people who have mental issues to compete with each other and 1-up each other’s cuts/brands. Rewarding it by posting it on mod blog is even worse. Just my 2 cents.

  38. I just don’t see it as aesthetically pleasing.. maybe courtney love will use it as an album cover

  39. i think it’s true there is a difference between the intentions of somebody who is doing “mods” and somebody doing self harm, but this also doesn’t invalidate diy cigarette branding as a body modification medium, it just depends on what your motivation is. anything can b eself harm

  40. Not to take any credit away from the “Mighty Throat Goat”, but there we have someone who consciously tattooed a large piece of (albeit arguable) satanic art in plain view, on his neck for the world to see ALL to the praise of the ModBlog community. Although I personally might not agree with this certain scarification, I think it is in bad taste to give this person shit and praise others outright for their ‘questionable’ modifications.

  41. I’m sorry this is really stupid, and what’s even stupider is the amount of attention it’s generating. We shouldn’t be glorifying this type of stupidity.

  42. In the end it’s their body and they’re free to do what they want with it. What’s with all the pre-concieved notions about the person.? I doubt any of you know this person personally so why do you feel the need to be so negative? Stating your opinion is one thing but being abbrasive towards them is another. Is this community? You’re emulating the same ugly behavior people were hoping to escape when joining this site.

    Hope it heals well.

  43. To me this also looks very much like self harm.
    Having a few friends who used to self harm, I feel very strongly that this should ABSOLUTELY NOT be featured and glorified on modblog!!!
    It’s not art, it’s not ritual, it’s a symptom of mental issues that need to be dealt with in COMPLETELY different ways.
    Glorifying it, saying it is badass, saying “to each their own” is not going to help this person, but only make them feel that what they are doing is OK and doesn’t need treatment.
    I do not want to disrespect the featured person, on the contrary, I feel for him and hope he gets the treatment he needs soon.

    And if it’s not self harm – please find a way for your ritual that doesn’t look like self harm, next time.

  44. First off, modblog/bme isn’t glorifying this type of body modification, just documenting and showing it.

    Defining body modification is a tough thing. People disagree. Some people think silicone boobs don’t belong in the same category as piercings and tattoos, and some of you don’t accept ritual modifications.
    The problem is that body modification is not a science. It is something humane, and largely operates on the mental level; the reasons behind people’s choices and actions are infinite, and no one has the right to try to restrict another person’s life in the sense of their individual freedom and right over their own body. Isn’t that what we are fighting for, the whole community as a whole, against the eeeevil mainstream society?
    This is where we come to the cross roads. Where is the line between self-harm and (ritual) body modification? And also I’d like to draw attention to the difference between self-mutilation and self-harm; I myself atleast regard mutilation as something more connected to the physical damage, as in some people think mere piercings (not to even mention something like amputations and subincisions) constitute as physical mutilation, and self-harm as something driven by negative feelings, affecting the body and the mind.

    I can’t comment on every comment posted so far, but I’m on the same lines with Skitles5000, Håvve, MissMeg, De and analise.

    Using just one of many similar comments as an example, Linda says that “it’s not art, it’s not ritual, it’s a symptom of mental issues that need to be dealt with in completely different ways”. How can we say that this isn’t a ritual? We don’t know the reasons behind this, we only know that this person decided to burn “LOVE HURTS” in his arms with cigarettes, and he sent the pictures to the bme ritual cutting/ritual branding galleries (or he just sent them, and the people working for bme filed them there, where I think they belong). And also, if this is self-harm in it’s nature, who are we to say that he should deal with his pain in a different way? Individual freedom’s other side is individual responsibility. We can only offer people other choices, try to perhaps convince them that the other way (f.e. professional help, therapy, drugs) is safer and more accepted by the rest of the society, but we should never ever try to take the choice away from an individual.

    Noemi says “IMO ritual cutting and branding should be closed off. It provides a forum for people who have mental issues to compete with each other and 1-up each other’s cuts/brands.”
    It may be true, that there are some people there who are competing, whi suffer from “mental issues”. I don’t really want my whole post to be a whine about our limited ability of defining many things, but here I am again. I’ve always felt that in many western countries mental issues are a taboo, and everyone who differs even slightly from the commonly accepted and revered model of “happy, hardworking, kind blablabla good citizen” should not talk about their “problems” in public but seek help from therapy or pills (the latter very common in the usa). Negative and positive emotions (not to mention the other stuff that just can’t be divided into those two categories) are equal parts of the human mind. In my personal opinion, everyone should strife to find a balance in life with what ways they find appropriate (and on a side note, no that does not allow peopel to hurt others, as that violates their personal freedom to live).
    I myself used a small kitchen knife, cleaned with boiling water, to cut a small line around my lower thigh a few years ago. The actual scar isn’t that even, and is a bit wonky depending on the position of my leg. During my teenage years I used to cut to replace the mental agony with physical pain, but this wasn’t like it. I cut to test myself. I’ve never had high pain tolerance, but the pain seemed more manageable with my controlling it, with me in control of my body. I tested my resolve, as I knew the scar would not go away for a long time. And I just did it because I needed to. The scar has healed, but never really faded, and though I don’t voluntarily talk about it to other people, as it is something quite personal, I’ve tried to explain even a little bit of my reasons to people who have seen it and asked about it. Though I think I failed here again, since it isn’t something that can be easily put into words. I have thought about writing about it in the experience category, so there’s a chance that even one person might have gained some more knowledge about me, himself or us in general, after reading it.
    I don’t know, do I suffer from some mental issues? I don’t know, but I do know that it is my right to do what I want to my own body, whatever my reasons are.
    I also hope that this community progresses, and becomes the cradle of open-mindedness and self-expression that it has so many times claimed to be.

  45. I find it interesting that many of the comments declaring this as self-harm and not ritual anything are from people who have a history with that issue. It makes perfect sense, when you’ve dealt with depression expressing in self-harm, you understand what to spot. To others, who have never done that, never felt the same feelings as those in the midst of cutting, bruising, burning, it’s easier to call this out as something artistic and proclaim that we’re being narrow minded.

    It’s not a matter of being narrow minded, it’s a matter of setting a good example. To claim self-harm as anything more than a problem is itself closed-minded, your ignoring all the people who could come onto this website, see this as something that’s celebrated, and not get the help they may desperately need. There is definitely a difference between this and actual rituals done to achieve a higher sense of learning or nirvana. There is a difference between this and professional tattooing or scarification.

    Of course, I have struggled with depression most of my life, and I have been cutting for something like16 years, I don’t wish this sort of expression on anybody. Part of the reason people are calling this shallow is because it is on such a visible part of his body, and he appears to be doing it with at least one friend around. When you’re depressed, when you’re sick, you don’t document it. You try to hide it, not brag.

    Modblog should be about promoting creative, beautiful and fascinating body modification. If you want to highlight rituals, do so when you can explain the background behind it. Otherwise, you’re not educating, you’re pandering and triggering.

  46. Hey, hey, hey.

    Let’s all calm down, and think about stuff.

    1) It’s not your body. If it’s not what you’d choose for yourself, let it go. Different strokes and all.
    2) It doesn’t look sanitary, that’s true! But saying that…How about all the DIY cock ‘n ball torture that gets on here? Do you think they sterilize the nails and the wood ALL the time? How about DIY piercings? DIY tattoos? It gets lauded for either being poorly executed, and should be shown as an example as why not to get your first tattoo in some slumkid’s bathroom.
    3) Someone here thinks that the Ritual Branding/Cutting section should be taken off BME because it could be self-harm. This is bad for several reasons.
    First – People who do these things as self-harm, some do need severe mental help. Some can cope fine. But all, and yes, I do mean ALL, like to know that they aren’t the only person in the world who does it. Yeah, you hear that someone’s friend did it once, but knowing that people actually did it and they’re showing the world makes it so much easier to understand. And easier not to hate yourself for doing it.

    Second – By the same logic, Modblog could post nothing! How to the posters know that that beautiful memorial tattoo isn’t just that, but that it might have been done as a ‘pain transfer’ to help with grieving? How about that gorgeous suspension in Brazil? Maybe that’s how he deals with his 9 til 5 stress, and maybe it’s not the ‘zen’ feeling of flying he likes. Maybe that perfectly placed piercing was done to remind the wearer of a specific moment in life, and they ritualise it – but don’t get off on the pain. I’ve known it happen!

    Now, to take a recent post.
    The performer a couple of articles back, who had two fingers inside a deep wound in her belly.
    Alot of people were shocked at how extreme it was. For her, I’m guessing it’s normal. For a psychiatrist, she probably needs to be committed. For a self-harmer, it was maybe a trigger, maybe a horrific wake up.

    It’s all a matter of perspective.
    My parent’s think I need mental help because I have microdermals in my temples.
    Many on here would claim I’m a poser, that I’m not committed enough to body modification.
    I think they’re pretty.

    (And yes – I used to self-harm.)

  47. i had a gigggle at all the peoiple calling him stupid

    oh the irony……

    its the small minded fucks that call just about any self modification “self harm” that really piss me off, stick to the BAF forums if thats your mind set.

    everybody deals with any issue differently to the next person, theres NO right or wrong, maybe this guy has had his heart broken, fuck knows, but for what ever reason, going to a modification artist to have a branding probly wouldnt have had the same affect on his feelings

  48. “You shouldn’t uphold self-harm to the status of body art.”

    Yes..try to hide it….loooool.

    Welcome to reality…

  49. umm i cant believe your happy to promote cigarette burning on here 0_0
    this i do not feel comfortable with along with that stupid section where poeple have pierced and tattooed their fucking animals!!!

  50. it has the right to be posted, but why not make it a learning example of what could possibly happen if youre an idiot|


  51. My boyfriend still has scars on his arms from when he used to burn himself. He’s so embarrassed of them and quite frankly I can empathize because of my irreparably scarred legs from self-mutilation in my teen years. Nothing to be proud of, that’s for sure.

    I agree with Jonno:

    “Seems like thinly veiled, angsty self-mutilation to me.”

    If Jonno had managed to squeeze the word “emo” in there, those would have been my sentiments exactly.

    There was no forethought here (except maybe two seconds of his grabbing the camera). Typically when someone decides to mod, us mature adults put some thought into it. If every passing fancy were to be branded on us, what the hell makes them special at all?

    This is nothing but a moment of weakness with a bit of attention-whoring thrown in there. There’s no art in that.

  52. Seriously? Some people would consider my studio-done tattoos to be “self mutilation”. I’m sure you can imagine what I’ve heard about my split tongue, ear pointing attempts and scarification. Of course, some of the people who read ModBlog would be fine with those and freak out at subincisions.

    Has calling the owner of these scars nasty names made you feel better about yourselves? Nice and big? Congratulations on being an internet bully in an area that should be set aside for understanding and consideration.

    If you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say anything at all. Your Mum was right. Now go comment on some youtube videos – it’s about the same intellectual standard.

  53. thumbs up for Pink Pig! you’re right on all of your points.
    one more fart on Gizmo’s face for wishing death upon another. you are dead inside you fucking Gremlin

  54. First of all, I am thoroughly amused by people using this entry as another instance of modblog going down the shitter because the content is self-injury. Why does this amuse me? Because Shannon posted self-injury all the fucking time and modblog apparently wasn’t going down the shitter back then. How gloriously hilarious!

    Next up: “If he’d gotten it professionally branded, cut, or tattooed, no one would even think to call it “self-mutilation.” Why would it not be self-injury if he’d had it done by a professional? Because self-injury/harm/mutilation is done by yourself to yourself. Thus the “self” in “self-injury”.

    I think that the body modification community needs to realise that just because an act may be similar (self-injurious cutting vs scarification cutting, self-injurious burning vs branding) does not mean that it is the same act or should be treated as the same act. Self-injury is a psychological problem that shows that the individual lacks appropriate coping mechanisms to deal with an aspect of their lives (trauma, psychosis, dissociation, etc). It is not body modification in the sense that a person cuts themselves up like a ham because they like the aesthetic or they derive some deeper and spiritual meaning from it. It is not the same, and will never be the same. A self-injurer is rarely, if ever, wanting to scar their body, they just want to deal with whatever shit they’re going through and often don’t think about the long-term ramification of their chosen coping mechanism (scars). Self-injury is not body modification and it shouldn’t be perceived that way.

    The motivations and intentions behind self-injury are incredibly different to body modification. I guarantee nearly every photo in the “ritual cutting” section of BME is self-injury, not a form of body modification.

    And need I bring up this old fucking argument about triggering photos on modblog being under click-throughs? Seriously, guys…


  55. What the hell happened to this post.
    No matter what anyone has to say, he’s obviously already done it. Damage (or beauty) done. Who cares which one it is?

  56. I don’t imagine intentionally burning yourself with a cigarette is particularly hygienic, bro.
    There’s a really deep looking hole on the top left of the ‘s’ that looks pretty unpleasant too.

  57. reminds of cutting days. . . .when I needed to distract my emotions by focusing on physical pain. . .. like when my parents said, “do you want me to give you something to cry about?!”

    @ #10 chokehold makes me rofl!

  58. Thank you, Dimruthien.

    I get very very fed up at the people who don’t agree with someone else’s point and then start calling them stupid, youtube-level, narrow minded, and such.
    Excuse me, I am both intelligent and open minded, and that is exactly the reason why I don’t agree with this post – because I can see the difference between body art and self harm, and I understand the implications of both.

    There is a history of mental illness in my family and I would be the very last to say they should pop some pills so they’re all happy-go-lucky. I fully understand that negative feelings are both unavoidable and necessary. But burning yourself over and over again with a cigarette because you’ve been hurt in love, that’s crossing a line, that’s not healthy. A person needs to learn to deal with the negative things happening in life. A person will be hurt a few times in life, what are you going to do, burn yourself up every time because you can’t cope? Wouldn’t it be better to learn to deal with these things in a different way?

    So far, all the self harmers I’ve met have also tried to commit suicide. What then, are you going to say “well, if that’s what they want to do to themselves, to each their own”??? And then post it on modblog??

  59. I second ghostinthewood, this makes me sad. and that looks really, really unhappy.
    i have a few cigarette burns on my arms..and they NEVER looked that nasty.
    keep it clean, brah.

  60. i would love the guy whos arms these are to actually comment on this :)
    & clearly bme has posted it because they know what mixed responses they’ll get.
    & im bored of reading long comments over 4 lines! haha stop taking it to heart

  61. I think by the fact that he did the lettering inwards, towards himself so that he can read it, shows that he probably didn’t care whether the letters looked perfect. He wasn’t looking to win any “best scar” awards. It also doesn’t say “fuck life” or something of that nature. I don’t see this as self harm, it seems to be a scarification using an interesting instrument.

  62. It never ceases to amaze me how much people judge each other. There isn’t a soul on this planet that knows the “one right way” to get modified. And as far as it looking like crap, I’m pretty sure nobody here is the fashion police. The irony in this situation is profound….

  63. A few points. (Let’s see if I can get all of them straight.) First, I see an awful lot of people here jumping to conclusions. Whether or not your conclusions are factually correct, there IS NO EVIDENCE either way. It’s entirely possible that yes, this was precisely the aesthetic that the individual was going for. (From the standpoint about the slogan being on-message in form as in content, working it as a self-done scarification piece make a whooooole lotta sense.)

    Secondly, I’ve burned myself with cigarettes a few times. (Turns out that it’s a good way to get free beer in a bar when you’re really poor.) For the few people that seem to be squicked out about it, they don’t heal up differently than any other burn, once you’ve removed the debris (i.e., cigarette ash) from the burn site.

    Third, the “HURTS” might be very new; it almost looks like fresh 2nd degree burns where the blister hasn’t even burst yet.

    Fourth, I dealt with a painful personal issue by going to someone else and paying them to brand me. Aside from the fact that I didn’t do it myself, what is the functional difference? The end result is much the same; I now have a permanent, physical reminder of a particularly shitty time in my life, and yeah, people can see it and occasionally ask questions.

    …Which leads to Fifth, why can something be both ritualistic and self-harming at the same time? Why is pain-transference only “OK” when someone else is doing it for you?

    Sixth: [sermon]For the people who say they have “friends” that used to self harm and that therefore this is wrong to put in modblog: please go fuck yourself. With a big rusty pole or splintery post. Most of the people who are self-harming at a younger age are not at risk for suicide, and we will turn out just fine on our own, fuck you very much. I invite you too look pray to God Wikipedia (and, if you can work through it, the cited references), with special attention paid to the chart towards the bottom that lists “autocastration, self-enucleation, amputation” as psychotic forms of self-harm. …And yet those are cool here! [/sermon]

    The essential problem that I see is that, while the vast majority or people that are/have been on iam.bmezine can either understand or accept what the person in the photos is doing/has done. Unfortunately, modblog is pretty open, so something like this gets the attention of trolls from all over tuh interwebs.

  64. Man, this is just getting way to out of hand. People actually typed paragraphs arguing over this stuff???

    I could give a care less, those aren’t my arms.

  65. Must have hurt a lot, don’t really know why, the “finished” look is no good
    And the 2nd picture is not of the process, he should have taken a shot of the other arm, would have looked more like it was the process

  66. The 2nd shot is not the process, that arm’s already healed
    Don’t like this, why bother on the whole process (must have hurt like a bitch) for such a poor looking thing?
    This would go more for a cancer ad or something than for a love statement

  67. “Love Hurts” must be one of the shittiest thing one can ever tattoo or brand, not to mention the slight shittiness that comes with it if you brand it with cigarettes. That’s what I think personally.

    Yes, I have a grudge against those “These-words-means-nothing-but-are-cool-phrases”; love hate, love hurts and all those similar retardments :]]]]

  68. self-mutilation, shitty modifications…whatever you want to call it, why is bme glorifying or even simply showcasing something that isn’t extraordinary in any way? of what use is this post to anyone? it isn’t especially beautiful, it doesn’t display technical savvy…i just really don’t understand why this post exists, or why the ritual cutting/branding sections exist at all. that shit is boring, mindless, graphic, disturbing and really depressing all at once.

  69. i dont know who alot of you are to say that this isnt beautiful since beauty is in the eye of the beholder. i keep seeing why didnt he go to a studio, and why didnt he have a pro do it. maybe he didnt want a pro to do it. Not everybody runs to a studio and shells out pockets of money for mods. this could have been the look he was going for and the way he wanted to do it. and by what is said, diy mods are self mutilation while having someone else mutilate you is okay? double standards much? its his fucking body and his fucking choice. just cuz its not something you would want gives you no right to insult him and his choices. its really unfortunate that we as a subculture, who need to stick together, have discrimination within our group. alot of you should be ashamed. snotty, high horsed, petty people alot of you are.

    and i see alot of you complain about what is being posted on modblog and that its lame and whatnot. you bitch, moan and complain, yet you keep coming back so stop whining.

  70. This post exists because it’s a mod, lauren.

    There is a FINE line between modification and “self-mutilation”. Who’s to say this is self-mutilation? Would it be different if it was a professional scarification? It would certainly have cleaner lines, but it’s not the same as doing something yourself. Not everybody wants clean lines, some people like to do things themselves. Also, lots of people have gotten “Love Hurts” tattooed on themselves, and there was no uproar about that. This may be a “shitty” looking mod to some of you, but it’s unusual to see someone with a design (or in this case, words) made out of cigarette burns.

    I know friends who used to cut too, but I don’t relate that to this. Just because you know someone who does something/did something similar, doesn’t mean that’s what this is. Maybe those people that cut did it for self-mutilation or because they were upset. You don’t KNOW that this is why this person did it. Really, if you argued it correctly, ANY modification could be viewed as mutilation.

  71. Man, I knew I shouldn’t have clicked on the “ritual cuttings” link…….I think I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. Those cuts are *intense*, a million times worse than this. It’s strange and pure speculation, but whatever motivated this burning, thank god it took on an aesthetic form/pattern/wording and not just single deep gashes into the skin like other photos in the ritual cutting section.

    And although I can’t agree with everything Dimruthien has said, mad props to them for so clearly articulating the difference between self harm and body modification. I haven’t cut in 10 years but wow, I have never been able to make that distinction!

  72. Jw…What kind of fucking euphemism is “ritual cutting”? Self-injury is a ritual. There is no way the person who nearly hacked off their arm on the Ritual Cutting page found it spiritual. Those pictures are really disturbing. That person needs a psychological evaluation. Immediately. I completely agree with Noemi, those pages shouldn’t exist. Like most of the people who commented I used to self-injure and it takes one to know one. I highly doubt this guy was doing it to be spiritual or for the aesthetic value (because it looks like shit). His arms are just a canvas for his mental distress. I used to cut hearts and Xs and all that ridiculous shit into my skin and when I look back now, it was just done to cope. I hate my scars. It just seems so obvious that he’s blatantly self-injuring. I don’t think he wants to modify himself, he just wants to ease the pain. Yeah I know blah blah blah I can’t judge and neither can I be 100% sure about his motives. It’s just as that being a former self-injurer…this seems like a cry for help.

    Sorry I felt I needed to say my piece.

  73. while this entry certainly looks like an example of self-mutilation, i would like to point out that because we don’t know the exigence of this person’s decision to burn their arms like this, it’s irrational to jump to the conclusion that the subject of this post is “emo” or suffers from some sort of destructive psychosis.

    when i was younger, i used a branding tool to burn even circles into the knuckle of each of my fingers. at the time, i was incredibly happy and working on coming to terms with sexual abuse that happened to me in early childhood. because i did it myself, and because it caused me harm, i’m sure you could technically label my knuckle brands as evidence of self-mutilation, but for me it was and has always been about reclaiming my body after traumatic loss of control over it.

    just my thoughts, and i’m thinking of submitting healed pictures of my brands to modblog and seeing the reaction. they are, even if i say so myself, much more aesthetically pleasing than the photos in the original post.

  74. #98 – They’re intense aren’t they? It continually blows my mind that someone could do that to themselves, and I can’t help but wonder at their motivation.

    Thanks. :) I used to self-injure and when I became interested in scarification I had to take a good, long, hard look at the difference between the two, not just for me but for others as well. I spend a lot of time researching and supporting others who are self-injuring or quitting it (and I say quitting because it is as much of an addiction as smoking or drugs and really does need to be “quit”). I guess you could say that it is one of my passions in life, helping others in that situation. :)

  75. I’m with Haave, Meg and Jasn and pretty much the lot of people who thought positively on this one.

    If you want to argue sterility see ritual cutting and branding in every other part of the world that remains true to their cultures and indigenous tribes.

    We watch intently and curiously when we see a group of people whipping each other with sticks as a coming of age ritual, and nod approvingly of indigenous tribes who cut their young children to make them a part of their society, we give props to each other when we’re featured for an amazingly beautiful suspension just because it “looks good.”

    Modification is something that holds true to the wearer, not the viewer. Ritual is the same way. I give kudos to anyone who is willing to leave their body and look beyond aesthetics, whether guided by a professional or doing it by themselves.

    Open up, regardless of the reasons this person made the choice to modify with a cigarette, they were proud enough and brave enough to show an entire online community of people who deal with being “different.”

  76. #102:
    “when i was younger, i used a branding tool to burn even circles into the knuckle of each of my fingers. at the time, i was incredibly happy and working on coming to terms with sexual abuse that happened to me in early childhood. because i did it myself, and because it caused me harm, i’m sure you could technically label my knuckle brands as evidence of self-mutilation, but for me it was and has always been about reclaiming my body after traumatic loss of control over it.”

    Coming to terms with a traumatic experience and reclaiming control. That, my dear, is the very essence of self-injury.

  77. “It is not body modification in the sense that a person cuts themselves up like a ham because they like the aesthetic or they derive some deeper and spiritual meaning from it. It is not the same, and will never be the same. A self-injurer is rarely, if ever, wanting to scar their body, they just want to deal with whatever shit they’re going through and often don’t think about the long-term ramification of their chosen coping mechanism (scars). Self-injury is not body modification and it shouldn’t be perceived that way.”

    He chose content and layout beyond the act of burning himself. Doesn’t that suggest aesthetic and meaningful considerations?

    “Coming to terms with a traumatic experience and reclaiming control. That, my dear, is the very essence of self-injury”

    From my experience lurking on this blog, it seems to be the essence of a shit load of body modification as well.

  78. Im bummed out by all the stupid idiots that post on here everytime there is something controversial in the slightest. I think its also funny how most of them dont even post with a link to their page. cowardly with no accountability.

    Mad props to this guy, its his body and he is taking control. isn’t that what bme is about really? We all here are not necessarily part of main stream culture and this guy is simply just in a different stream of our culture is all.

    I only skimmed through most of these since I was late, but Meg is right on.

    and kudos to sean philips for not holing back

  79. While I agree with many of the above posts, stating that what one does to one’s own body is their choice, at the same time many people (especially those that are younger, though there are always acceptions to the rule) cause scars like this when working though a young angst issues – and wind up seriously regretting the scars later. I know more than a handful of people that this is true for – causing scars in their teens and regretting them in their 20′s and 30′s.

    I’m all for freedom of choice, and do what you will to your own body. But please, make sure you think it through first!

  80. what i see as the problem here is the lack of sanitation, im a to each his own person but as a piercer and body mod artist i cant condone the use of a chemical filled cigarette as a tool for branding or any other “ritual” that involes a high risk of infection

  81. If you’re young and you cause scars to yourself, having to deal with them later can present itself as a major cleansing or closure process. You dug the whole now get yourself out of it. “Makes you stronger when you deal with your fuck-ups” sort of thing as my dad would so boldly announce whenever I’d get a new tattoo. Showed him, I guess. Sucka.

  82. I’m glad the post has created this discussion, there are many valid points made and I will try not to repeat to much of the obvious that has been said already. But I’m afraid I just have to reply to multiple of the responses here, and clarify a bit more about the encounter of selfinjusry and bodymodification. I have studied this topic and do lecture and selfharm and alternative teraphy.

    Here’s my random rants based on the various posts made to this discussion:

    Selfmutilation/injury does modify the body, so it’s a body modification and it belongs here, as it always has been a cathegory on BME. Maybe the ritual tag is misleading to some and you don’t get what you’d expect? Well, just leave it. You don’t have to say anything, in fact your negativity is not wanted, nor needed!

    To be seen, or not to be seen? That is a question? Seen by whom? When even this community is judgemental, who would want to show themselves?

    It’s not about rewarding or incouraging anything, as eyelid piercings are not, it is documenting, the very essence of this page.

    Yes, maybe they need help? Maybe WE should help? Traditional psychiatry and medication doesn’t always do it. I would have thought that was common knowledge!

    If not featured on ModBlog, then where? Where can you share what you have done to yourself, even when you’re at your weakest, or craziest? Again, I must repeat, you don’t have to get involved, please don’t if you can’t help. Just fuck off with the cool kids and be too cool to be cool.

    The healthier side of this discussion is what’s interresting! All the people with own experience responding, now that is valuable! Imagine if you could read other peoples experinces in retrospective when you were cutting and burning? Even if we disagree, at least the topics are relevant and the arguments valid.

    “I had a friend…yadi, yadi, yah” we all know someone who was a relative, fuck that. You weren’t much of a friend if you didn’t help, and you’re not helping now.

    I’m seriously into researching how the bodymodifications in their various forms, and especcially suspensions, can be the answer for many people struggeling to quit selfharming. I can understand the need for physical pain and guide a young person through positive pain experiences (call it what you want) in a safe environment. I have no reason to try to treat whatever psychiatric illness that causes the need to selfinjure, that is not my field of expertise. To handle both sides to find mental balance I co-operate with proffesionals in psychiatry. There’s a long way still to go before this studies are completed, but I do believe strongly our practices has a lot to offer not to all, but to some of those who selfharm. Many seek naturally towards suspensions and modification, that alone is pretty strong indicator.

    And lastly;
    Define Ritual.
    Define Art.

    Just because it says “love hurts” doesn’t mean this person is sufferring inside necessarily. The statement is true for most of us, is it not? They’re just being honest. And shame on the rest of you for jumping to your RIDICULOUS conclusions.
    Everyone does this every damn time. Something relatively controversial or questionable comes up, and everyone starts injecting their own rationale which usually includes a lot of assumptions based on very little fact. GREAT. I have tons of scarification on my body, DIY and professional, and nobody even thinks twice to ask if my work is part of some coping mechanism that manifests due to my troublesome past. ALL of my modifications are ritual of some kind. ALL of them have helped me in some way mentally.
    If this person is “fucked up”, then I am too.

  84. The only thing this makes me think of is having your cake and eating it to.

    you can’t have life both ways. As seen by the mass comments people are going to bitch and then people are going to appreciate the DIY. But you can’t have it both ways.

  85. Dear photo subject: Nobody gets to really “know” what’s up here, but if you weren’t ok when you did this, I hope you’re ok now. I hope you take away as much of whatever you needed to get out of this process (ritual?) as you can. I also hope that all of the talking the this thread doesn’t prevent you from getting other cool mods you can enjoy in the future.

  86. this reminds me of when me and my friends were in our more younger days and would get wasted and do stupid shit. while theyre all burning there selfs with cigarettes and cigars whos the only one smart enough not to do such… me haha the one with all the piercings… go figure.

  87. I see body modification as something done to enhance the body.
    I see self mutilation as a form of destruction.
    It can be interpreted in many ways. Some people see a tattoo and think “self mutilation”. (I had someone say, wow, self mutilation, when he saw my pony sleeve) So, really, self mutilation is in the eye of the beholder.
    As for this, I, myself, see it as mutilation a bit, modification a bit..

  88. Oh sweet!! Its looks like his herpes sores is spelling out ” love hurts’! Aint that nifty?!?! :D

  89. Nobody can say that this is or isn’t self mutilation. To me, the only way to say for sure is the intent of the person whilst they were doing it.

    I don’t think that by posting it on modblog it is being glorified or promoted. It is just there, being put up for people to see, like all posts. Obviously some posts are meant to be promotions – like information about upcoming events. Some are meant to be promoting good work, such as interesting and difficult piercings executed well. Some are meant to be informative – such as photos of badly healed scars. Others are works of art, beautiful tattoos or pretty portraits. And then some just ARE.

    Each of us judge each image we see with our own preconceptions and values affecting how we see it and what category we place it in.

    This person has modified his own body in his own way. He’s not flashing it around in your face on MTV asking you to judge him. He’s not screaming and crying on livejournal asking you to save his broken heart. We can’t assume anything about him because we only have this one tiny piece of information, these few images.

    For me personally, my self harm was a form of body modification. I can’t really say it was self mutilation because my intent was not to disfigure, but just to feel pain. But it was still modifying my body. It was entirely about the process, and not about the end result. I have a lot of highly visible scars that people comment on daily, but I don’t regret them. It was a way to deal with things, but not the only way. It may not have been the best way. But that’s irrelevant. I don’t do it anymore, but I do choose to pursue more professional forms of body mod, but they are about the end result and not the process.

    And really, how can any person comment on the mental health, well being, thoughts, etc of any other person, other than the person going through it at that time. Everyone deals with things their own way, some ways work and some don’t, but that isn’t important. This is a very personal thing, and how dare anyone else judge this person. On bme of all places.

  90. i stopped reading after the 50th comment, so forgive me if this has already been theorized…
    what if its some sort of BDSM ritual…? maybe his lover did it…? granted, the second picture appears that hes about to start buring himself, but…maybe…? and if so, is THAT acceptable? ive seen and heard of a lot worse thru BDSM…

  91. Fantasien, I could agree with you more.

    I find it very disturbing lately to read so many negative and judgemental comments not only on ModBlog but on IAM’s Forums.

    It makes me worry about BME.

  92. I don’t know, this impresses me. One could argue that other forms of body modification are stupid (and ugly maybe) as well. The ugliness of this is what appeals to me.

  93. I used to cut myself when I was younger. Because I was a fucking idiot.

    You would think being a former cutter that I would have sympathy and understanding for people that do this to themselves, but I dont, whatsoever. To me it shows a lot about your personality. Weak, pathetic, wasting life. Because thats what I was. I figured it out, and I changed, by myself.

    All these cutters and burners have there little cutter friends that they bond with, that keeps giving them the motivation to keep doing it, when it should be the opposite.

    I truly dislike stuff like this being posted on BME because it encourages these people to continue doing it, and it makes them feel like “they are not alone” and gives them assurance that its okay to do. You’ll never get better or feel better by continuing this crap.

    These people need help. Im not trying to bash them, but I think they need some guidance and understanding, not a razor or a cigarette.

    Obviously someone else took these photos for this person, which disgusts me. Instead of seeing this and knowing of these and trying to help this person, they chose to pick up a camera and fucking glamorize it?!

    Fucking assholes.

  94. Well, it is interesting, it will leave nasty scares (got a sig burn on my arm wich is like a year old, but it doesn’t look that nice..).

    But well, it is just a way of cooping, some people choose for getting a tattoo when, like a person died.. When his love (note: not lover but “love” as a feeling) he choose for this. And as long as he didn’t do it without thinking about it, I can’t and will not judge it :) I bet he’s a cool guy to chill with.

  95. I’m going to throw my hat into the confused, why-is-this-here ring. I’m going to agree with Lauren on this one. I think this is a mundane action taken to extremes, which could theoretically make it extraordinary. Extraordinary doesn’t mean good. As evidenced by several posts and half the drunks at the local bar, a large portion of normal, non-modified society has cigarette burns. That, in and of itself, is nothing special or unique. Just because someone took it to an extreme, doesn’t make it better. It’s like breast implants. Hundred of thousands of women, and men too, have them. You don’t see ModBlog posts about the biggest, most outrageous breast implants. Just because something is done in excess doesn’t make it any less butt-ugly.

  96. Oh wow… I have a very small cluster of cigarette burns on my right forearm from my “younger days” that I regret. It’s hard to look at something this crude when you see so much good work on BME.

  97. I think it’s gritty. And different. And sometimes I like to see that all the whiny, self loathing MFers in the world will actually break or burn or cut something, instead of just… well, whining. If it’s their body that takes the brunt, so be it.

    I self mutilated as a child (not a teen or a preteen, mind you), and this does not offend me. It reminds me of the intensity of my emotion back then- something I definately lack now that I have gotten my feet firmly on the ground.

    I dunno, guys. I just really like it.

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