A slice of life

ModBlog is the part of BME that is meant to showcase all aspects of the community, by highlighting exceptional modifications, significant moments, or sometimes just a little fun.  Sometimes this also means ModBlog will cover topics that can be controversial, but most of the time, things are pretty mundane as most of the community has been around long enough not to get shocked by certain things.  The reason I’m mentioning all this is because when I found the image for this post, I did a bit of reading, and it seems that images of ritual cutting can evoke some strong emotions from people.

One of the main points that is brought up is that an image of a cutting can trigger the behavior in others.  Let me assure that is not the purpose of this post at all.  I want to take a quick moment to look back on something Shannon said a number of years ago.

Now, I understand that I tend to take a somewhat no-compromises or radical stance on these matters rather than seeking out the safe or mainstream stance that most people feel is “reasonable” (and I appreciate how one could come to the opposite conclusion), but I really do think it’s important to be honest about this being much more about politics and cultural bias than anything else. Ignoring the fact that it’s very difficult to make a compelling objective case that differentiates cutting from play piercing, suspension, pulling, and other ritual that’s rarely decried, the truth of the matter is that when it comes to triggering, the whole site is a giant trigger for those who are prone to being influenced by peer pressure.

One of the reasons I know this is that if I post a particularly nice serious of photos of a modification, I’ll almost always receive an influx of that particular modification over the next little while, as people see the pictures and decide that it’s something they want to do as well. How many times have I seen comments along the lines of “this makes me really want to suspend” or “this makes me really want to get another tattoo” and so on? Even in a culture that’s steeped in the concept of individualism, the truth is that a significant percentage of people are deeply influenced and “triggered” by the actions of others.

Again, I’d strongly urge people who are not able to take responsibility for their own actions (let alone control their own actions) not read BME (or at least the sections of BME that they’re not comfortable around) or other “triggering” media and get the help they need so they can be happy and self-empowered individuals. I’m sorry if some people feel that makes light of their mental illness, but I’d like to keep BME focused on people for whom body modification and ritual is a positive force, not those who see it as a mental illness.

Now, with all that said, let’s take a look at the image.

This particular shot was sent in by Sarah_B. who you may remember from her knee suspension a couple of weeks ago.

The reason I selected this image is because it shows a side of her that you didn’t see in her previous photos.  When someone is featured on ModBlog we normally only get to see a small slice of their life, a moment in time that was significant to them at that time.  Which brings us back to my opening remarks.  ModBlog is here to open the window into this wonderful community.  We’re open and sharing about moments that can be extremely personal and revealing.  This community, as wide ranging as it is, covers so many aspects of modification, even those that to some may be controversial.  ModBlog isn’t here to pass judgement, it is here to share with you, the readers, the stories and images from all corners of the community.

Now obviously this isn’t the most graphic cutting image that’s been shown on ModBlog, but sometimes simplicity can be just as important as shocking.

21 thoughts on “A slice of life

  1. I love the look of this shot. It’s simplistic and beautiful. Although some things we do to ourselves may not be understood or accepted by others, it is part of the human consciousness and it defines each one of us. I’m sure that there are many that would look at this and automatically assume the worst, but the wonderful thing about this is, she was comfortable enough to submit this part of her life that I assume (obviously I cannot know for sure), that she has struggled with. Bravo.

  2. I used to find the images of ‘ritual cutting’ on here as rather triggering, but I’ve since gotten over that… (I couldn’t really blame anyone for it… If I felt like I was in danger by looking at the images, I would have just stayed away.) This shot is really beautiful. I’m really not sure what it is that makes it so, but I saw this in the gallery yesterday and I love it. I think the negative connotations of cutting change the definition of a ‘trigger’ somehow, but I do agree with Shannon (for the most part, anyway).

    Valentine, you’re not alone. I was confused at first as well. :)

  3. I’m someone who does have a mental illness and used to partake in cutting in the self harming sense, but I have never felt a trigger image “trigger” me. Occasionally I’d look at an image like this and think “hey, she cuts in the same pattern I do” or “he must be left handed too” but it would never make me feel like cutting. Yet when I look at the scarification, piercing or suspension galleries it always makes me want to go do those things. I suppose some people draw the line when images go from triggering something seen as constructive to something seen as destructive. But like I said, I’m both a cutter and body modder and I’ve only ever been “triggered” to the body modding side.

    Shannon’s right when he said the other galleries cause much more triggering, but we don’t hear about it because it is seen as a positive response as opposed to a negative one. No news is good news and all that.

    Also good job Rob, covering your ass before posting the pic. I don’t think anyone was going to accuse you of intentionally trying to get cutters to start cutting again :P

  4. I can absolutely relate to this post. Having been a cutter for six years, and in recovery (sober if you will) for 2 years, I know what I have to avoid on this site, and it is a matter of responsibility on my own part. These images can certainly be a trigger, and it is a necessity to know your own limits.

  5. Definitely a section I avoid. It doesn’t trigger anything, just reminds me of unhappy times. Hopefully not everyone who posts photos in that section does it for negative reasons.

  6. It doesn’t trigger me it almost makes me jealous. I know that the reasons I was cutting were wrong and the cutting didn’t solve my problems but I miss it. I miss the simplicity of the action. I miss the raised scars ( I keloid like crazy), I miss the texture they gave my skin and running my fingers over it. Most of my scars are flat now.

    I would like to do some scarification some day.

  7. That’s what my legs look like. I wish that I could share that aspect of my being with the other people in my life. I wish that a picture like this, of me, wouldn’t scream to my family that I was mentally ill.
    Because I’m NOT.

    Thank you for posting her picture. Not just for her but for my well being also.

  8. This was something I have been embarrassed of for most of my life……at times I thought it screamed weakness.
    However, lately, I have been coming to terms with the fact that altho my actions may often be irrational, they are a part of how I (and I suspect many others) cope with their lives. We are all flawed and act out in our own ways, but I believe that makes us interesting, complex and unique. My friend Todd, a wonderful and non-judgemental person took these photos for me and the result reminded me almost of map scapes. And in a way they are. Marking my insecurities, my rage, hurt and fears. Things everyone experiences as part of the human condition, but manifests in distinctly personal ways. I felt they conveyed a sort of reverence that said “so, you made another mistake. but you are here. and altho you cant undo what youve done, you eventually have to accept the decisions youve made.” My posting these photos was in no way intended to trigger any SI!!! I understand the controversies behind the gallery and respect the many opinions people have, and truly hope these images do not promote a negative response!!!
    Thank you for the post, and the comments……

  9. First off, I love the honesty of the picture and enjoyed your perspective on the matter.

    Though, I was surprised to see you quote Shannon here.. not to ‘cut’ into the subject too deeply, but it’s fair to say bme/modblog has openly stated and made very clear not being a fan anymore to say the least. Thus this being quite the bold move. I really wonder what your, Rob, thoughts are on this? Again, I’m not looking to stir anything up again, but I think given some of the past developments it’s only fair to ask.

  10. Sarah B, i don’t really understand the self cutting thing but i understand that it is a way of coping with your life. I go through stages where i need a release and piercings is the way i cope with things. Self piercing gives me the most release so i can relate to that aspect of things.
    Don’t be embarassed anymore because this photo shows beauty and strength and self-esteem to be able to post something so personal for everyone to view.
    Thank you for sharing Sarah.

  11. I’m so split when it comes to this. In a way I want the issue of cutting to stop being something you have to be embarrassed about, and I think writing and showing off yourself is one way to do that. The more people see it, the less of a stigma it will be. It should be talked about a lot more than it is today.

    However, it’s intensely triggering for me. I see these pictures and I go “Pft, I can do so much worse”, as if it’s a competition, as if it’s good to go deeper and deeper. I may be weak as fuck, but seeing pictures like these were my motivation to going deeper, to cutting to the bone. It’s like an anorexic girl browsing through pro-ana sites with thinspiration.
    I haven’t cut in nearly a year, but my body is destroyed. But seeing this on modblog shocked me, it shocks me more than anything else I see on here. Two testicles being cut out of a sack is nothing compared to this.
    To each their own, but I really don’t appreciate this on modblog. Just like a recovering addict doesn’t want to have alcohol shoved near their face, I don’t want to see this. It’s okay to keep it in the galleries though, don’t get me wrong.

  12. i don’t care why she cuts her self

    if it was a personal thing it wouldn’t have been made public

    it isn’t creative, original, edgy… its really just sad… and ugly… sure this is highly subjective

    using the word ritual to make this seem less pathetic is silly

    in the end.. it looks like someone wants some attention.. or fucking NEEDs some

  13. if it was so ugly and sad, then you’re just the same for having to point that out. in the end, it looks like you posted it to get some attention yourself. man, maybe you should join a support group Tsarik, I heard that eating house paint helps you die faster.

  14. Yet again we have an image of self harm introduced with an attempt at justification that totally lacks any real examination of why such images should be posted here or how they qualify as “body modification.” How is it that cutting and amputations somehow qualify yet BME has never featured hair pulling, self-poisoning, or anorexia? By the constantly attempted rationale of “exceptional modifications, significant moments, or sometimes just a little fun,” photos of those activities should also be posted for critiquing and celebration.

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