ModBlog News of the Week: June 10th, 2011

I’m going to start this week’s news with a story that I’m sure you’ve all heard of by now.  The reason I know most of you have read it?  I received more e-mails about this story than any other one to date.  Heck even Rachel e-mailed me about it.  Then I got an even larger number of e-mails when it was revealed that the entire story was faked.

A video of a woman having her 152 Facebook friends tattooed on her arm has been unmasked as a hoax after it became a viral hit around the world.  A woman in the Netherlands claimed to have created a permanent reminder of all her Facebook friends and posted a video YouTube that got over 1.5 million views.  But the bizarre stunt was revealed to be a fake after the supposed tattoo artist admitted it was just a temporary tattoo.

Lots of news this week, including a couple of follow-ups to previous stories, and the return of the celebrity news (well, maybe just one or two stories).

As I mentioned, today has a number of follow-up stories, and this first one is pretty big.  Over the past year I’ve linked to articles discussing Ariana Iocono.  If you recall, Ariana was the student in North Carolina who was suspended for refusing to remove a small stud from her nose on the grounds that she’s a member of the Church of Body Modification.  This week the school board finally backed off Ariana and allowed her to return to school, piercing and all.  The Washington Post summed up the full series of events, and even talked to one IAM: TrickyDick, about the church and Ariana.

The state chapter of the American Civil Liberties Union, which represented Iacono and her mother in the case, said the settlement was a vindication of the family’s right to determine its own religious practice.  “We’ve believed from the beginning that the Constitution protects a parent’s right to direct his or her child’s religious upbringing,” said ACLU Legal Director Katy Parker. “We’re very happy with the settlement.”

Under the terms of the resolution, Iacono can wear the nose stud as long as she remains a member of the Church of Body Modification, a little-known religious group that claims about 3,500 adherents nationwide and considers practices like tattooing and body piercing to be elements of spiritual practice.

The Iaconos and their Raleigh-based minister, Richard Ivey, said part of the problem last fall was that school officials dismissed the Church of Body Modification faith as not a real religion.  “Obviously we’d like them to apologize, but we’ve been tied up in court with this for months now, so quite honestly, we’ll take what we can get,” Ivey said. “This was always about Ariana’s right to go to school and practice her religion, and she’s got both those things now.”

I think it’s great that the ACLU not only got on board with this, but they were able to get a resolution.  Although I’m still puzzled as to how a nostril stud somehow makes it impossible for all the students to learn something.

Last week I linked to a story from Thailand about the government’s plan to ban tourists from getting religious symbols tattooed.  This week a group of tattoo artists went before the cultural ministry and pleaded their case.

The meeting came after Culture Minister Nipit Intarasombat said he would seek to ban Thai tattoo artists from using images sacred to Buddhism or any other religion in their patterns.  The tattoo artists at the meeting said they understood the problem, but urged the government to use persuasion rather than new laws to tackle the problem.  They pointed out that it is not only in Thailand that people can get tattoos featuring religious symbols, so bringing in a law in Thailand to ban such tattoos would not solve the problem of people being offended at seeing the face of the Buddha or Ghanesh tattooed on someone’s body.  They advocated cooperation between tattoo artists and the government as preferable to the imposition of controls.

The assembled tattoo artists agreed to make no religious tattoos lower than the recipient’s waist, and to make sure the customer understands the image’s significance before starting work.  Ministry man Mr Somchai agreed that legislation might not be the answer – though he did not rule it out – but said that the ministry felt it had to discuss the matter with the tattoo artists so that everyone was on the same page.  “A law might be ineffective in stopping this practice, but the artists must be ethical. They must educate their customers and not [tattoo religious images on] improper areas [of the body],” he said.  The tattoo artists also asked that the government provide them with some sort of professional licence to distinguish them from the amateurs. Mr Somchai said, “I accept your proposal and I will discuss it with the relevant authorities in the Ministry of Commerce, Public Health and Culture.”

While these artists are looking to get licensed, artists in Toronto are possibly facing the possibility of being licensed as well.  Normally I only link to one article, but because I know some of the people involved I’ve got a couple of different links for you to check out.  The first link is from the CBC, discussing the potential legislation.

Toronto Health wants to license the city’s spas and tattoo parlours.  Health Canada provides what’s called infection control guidelines and cities have to inspect all spas and tattoo parlours once a year. But outside of these annual inspections, it’s a self-regulating industry and Toronto Public Health has decided that’s not good enough.

Under the proposed licensing rule, studios and parlours would have to be registered before they can open.  Owners would also be required to post the results of their inspections inside the store, as restaurants have to do now.  Proposed licensing rules are welcome news to Ian Nicolae, owner of Black Line studio, a tattoo parlour on King Street West.  “We’ve seen a lot of fly-by-night shops that open up for the busy season such as the summertime,” he told CBC News. “There should be some sort of regulation to filtrate the bad shops from the good.”

Greg Taylor of Lucky 13 tattoos and piercings on Bloor Street said he’s hopeful the new rules are not simply intended to fill the city’s coffers.  “Are they doing it for a money grab? I hope not,” said Greg Taylor. “I hope they care that they want to do this because I think most reputable shops want to do it.”

Now the way the city handles tattoo studios presently is that they’re mandated by Health Canada to meet certain health and safety guidelines.  Each studio that is registered with Health Canada is supposed to receive an annual inspection.  What the proposed legislation does is require studios to pay an annual licensing fee.  That’s it.  Licensed studios won’t receive any further inspections beyond the Health Canada inspections.  Jesse Kline at the National Post summed up a lot of the concerns in this commentary.

Indeed, licensing schemes usually produce negative health and safety outcomes. This is because licensing standards are often arbitrary and give people a false sense of security. They also make it more costly for people to enter the industry legitimately, something we should be trying to make easier while recovering from a recession. The result is that more people end up performing services on the black market to avoid the licensing fees.

Because tattooing equipment can be obtained fairly easily and with relatively little cost, many tattoo artists already perform their craft in basements and garages. But there is a real risk of transmitting infectious diseases if tattooing is performed with unsterilized equipment. It is, therefore, far better to have them done in reputable facilities, rather than driving the industry underground by imposing new fees and standards.

In fact, the only groups that generally benefit from professional licensing are the industries that are being licensed and the governments that are collecting the revenues. Most new licensing programs grandfather existing practitioners and serve to prevent new entrants from competing against them. It is also a nice way to get around the city’s inability to levy taxes on goods and services. “Why, it’s not a tax. It’s a license. And we’re doing it for you.”

Finally an artist I know well, George Brown from Seven Crowns Tattoo, went on CBC radio to discuss the legislation, where he talks about the incident that may have led to this sudden push for licensing, the impact it will have on clean established shots, whether this is just a cash grab by the city, and how this won’t prevent people who are already dodging inspections from being caught.  Personally I agree completely with George in his belief that this may just be a cash grab for the city.  While licensing sounds good on paper, when it comes to implementing it, what will be the conditions to receive a license?  Will artists have to provide portfolios of the quality of their work, or do they simply need to show up and state “I’m a tattoo artist”?  Will the new law increase the number of inspections (something most studios have no problem with), or will it simply be a piece of paper stating they agree to have the already mandated health inspection take place? The thing to take from this is that reputable studios are all for making things safer, they just don’t like the idea of having to pay money when there is no benefit given.

Moving on, a new Guinness record was possibly set earlier in the week.  The record Staysha Randall was aiming to break was the most number of piercings done in one sitting.  With Bill Robinson and SwingShift SideShow’s Jenn O. Cide performing the piercings, they were aiming for 3600 needles, but stopped at 3200 when Staysha finally tapped out.

For this was not the finishing touches of a tattoo for Las Vegas performer Staysha Randall but a bid to break the record for the most body piercings in a single sitting.  Staysha, 22, who performs in shows across the strip, was attempting to have 3 600 piercings in her back, arms and legs but decided enough was enough after 3 200 had been put in at Inktoxicated Tattoos in the Nevada city.  Helping in her bid was body piercer Bill “Danger” Robinson and his piercing assistant “Jenn O Cide”. The record attempt is still awaiting confirmation by the Guinness Book of Records before it becomes official.

Coincidentally (well probably not) this week was also the annual APP convention.  I’m sure the stories of debauchery are already making the rounds, as are photos of the convention making their way to the BME Galleries, but for today we look at things through the lens of the mainstream with this article from the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

But for many of the exhibitors at the annual Association of Professional Piercers conference at Bally’s, terms such as “upscale,” “mainstream” and even “organic” punctuated the sales pitches more often than “extreme.” The conference, with about 900 attendees, focuses many of its seminars on health issues, but also covers business issues.  The market for body jewelry has now matured to the point where vendors find a significant demand for $150 hand-carved wooden gauges — large discs used to stretch holes in the ear lobes — instead of just plain metal rings that go for $30. Other types of body jewelry have followed the trend.

Although the show focused on body piercings rather than tattoos, the two are almost synonymous to many consumers, an exhibitor said.  The sector has also started to follow the classic path of pushing up a product’s price by added aesthetics instead of just remaining plain and functional, said Sim.  Further, some of the people who started decorating themselves when they were young are now sprouting gray hair.  “The whole business has changed in the last 10 years,” said Scott Collins, who started Body Gems in Feasterville, Penn., in 1994 and has turned the business over to son, Josh.

While Vegas was a party city this week, over in the UK things were definitely not in a celebratory mood for Mike Prentice, owner of Andy Jay Tattoo Studio in Rochester.  Understandably so, as an online rumor is threatening his entire business.

A tattooist fears his business could be ruined by a smear campaign wrongly accusing his studio of infecting more than 100 people with HIV.  Worried customers of Rochester’s Andy Jay Tattoo Studios have been rushing for emergency tests at Medway Maritime Hospital as malicious rumours spread like wildfire across the Towns.  Owner Mike Prentice said trade has already begun to suffer, with people boycotting his High Street business all week.

It is not clear who started the rumours, but they appear to have begun on social networking site Facebook with claims someone working at the studio had been jailed for 10 years for infecting 102 people with HIV.  Frantic customers have prompted environmental health officers at Medway Council to issue a reassurance the rumours are false.

A Medway Council spokesman refused to comment to the Messenger, but customer service staff were freely issuing the denial to customers.  One told a Messenger reporter posing as a customer: “The rumours are competely untrue.  “We are investigating how they started, but it is safe to go to this tattooist.”

In tech news, a recent invention could change the way people see tongue studs permanently.

Researchers have tested a tongue piercing that’ll allow paralyzed people to steer their wheelchairs in any direction. All they have to do is move their tongue a specific direction and the wheelchair will follow.  The tongue piercing initiative is being run by the Northwestern University School of Medicine and they pierced the tongue of Martin Mireles, a former church youth leader who got shot in the neck. He was able to navigate his wheelchair through an obstacle course with his mouth closed (and his tongue waggling around, of course).

Basically Mireles was pierced with a magnetic stud through his tongue. In order to make the wheelchair move, he had to wear a headset with sensors that could pick up the magnetic waves from the tongue ring. To go forward, he would move his tongue to the upper left corner of his mouth. Easy enough.  Why a tongue ring? Because researcher says the tongue doesn’t tire easily and is usually not affected by a spinal cord injury because its connected to the brain through the cranial nerve. And the tongue ring is more effective than when they glued a magnet to a test subject’s tongue (which would eventually fall off). In the future, they imagine this technology could be implemented to differentiate each task by touch of a tooth. One tooth could mean opening a door, other could mean flipping on the TV.

It makes one wonder what other body modifications could be adapted in a similar manner.  Now raise your hand if you instantly thought of something genital related.

Over in China, suspensions are making headlines after an artist named Nutter held an outdoor suspension and published a video online.

A controversial body-modification process that appeared in Chengdu’s Sansheng Xiang on 14 May shocked onlookers, who described it as ‘offensive’, ‘disgusting’, ‘sick’ and ‘perverted’.  The process, called “body-piercing suspension,” involves suspending participants in mid-air with metal hooks pierced through their skin. Chengdu Economic Daily got up close with the operator and participants to find out more about their personal lives and inner thoughts.

He had been invited to Chongqing and Chengdu by local tattoo parlors which arranged the event and the venues. Then he posted the call for participants and onlookers online. Those who are willing to be hanged do not have to fork out a single cent for the service. But audience members paid RMB40 each. He said there were about 50 people watching in both cities respectively.  However, the piercer does not see body suspension as a commercial venture, because he did not make any monetary gain after deducting expenses for medical equipment, travel and other costs.  Nutter did not inform any media although they always manage to track him online. In response to comments that the activity is ‘sick’ and ‘perverted’, Nutter feels that body modification and body suspension are not meant for everybody. However, he asserts that participants are willing and have thought through their decisions and are exercising their rights over their own bodies.

The article does spend a lot of time focusing on the families of Nutter and the girls who suspended, but they do get bonus points for actually doing research on

In wedding news, Elaine Davidson, whom many know simply as the world’s most pierced woman (I’m guessing they don’t count Staysha’s play piercings) got married this week in Scotland.

Deemed as the “world’s most pierced woman,” Elaine Davidson married Douglas Watson, a conservatively-dressed, piercing-free civil servant, at a low-key wedding ceremony in Scotland, the Telegraph is reporting. The Brazilian-born Davidson, 46, opted for a flowing white dress and floral tiara, but offset the traditional look by painting her face — already studded with 192 piercings — green, blue and yellow.  At a recent count, Davidson, who lives and works in Edinburgh, had 6,925 piercings, included 1,500 that are “internal,” according to the Daily Mail. Despite his bride’s unconventional look and lifestyle, Watson, 60, couldn’t help but gush after the 35-minute ceremony. “Elaine looked astonishing,” he said. “People see the piercings, but I see the amazing personality underneath. We have known each other for a long time.”  Davidson was reportedly first certified as a Guinness World Record holder in 2000, when she had only 462 piercings. According to her website, Davidson never removes the rings and studs, which she estimates weigh a total of three kilos, and insists she is able to sleep soundly with all of her piercings in place as there is no pain involved.

Now that The Hangover: Part 2 has been in theatres for a while, the lawsuit against the studio is moving forward.  Warner Brothers, the studio behind the film, may be in the process of conceding the case by digitally altering Ed Helms’ tattoo for the dvd release.

Warner Bros. has told a Missouri judge that if it can’t resolve the ongoing legal fracas over the tattoo on display in the mega-grossing comedy by the time it comes out on home video, the studio will digitally alter the controversial mark on Helms’ face.  As you’ll recall, Warners was sued by a Missouri tattoo artist who claims he owns a copyright on the unique tattoo worn by former boxer Mike Tyson and Helms in Hangover II. The tattoo’s owner, S. Victor Whitmill, attempted to stop the film’s release but was denied a preliminary injunction. Hangover II has since grossed $350 million worldwide and counting.

The ongoing debate regarding this story is a combination of who owns the rights to the tattoo, and whether the use of the tattoo in the film constitutes “fair use” as it is a parody.  With a February court date, it may still be a while before we finally get an answer.  Unless of course the studio settles out of court.

Finally, as you may recall a few months back I mentioned that actress Rooney Mara, in preparation for her role in the American remake of The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, got several piercings, including her nipples.  With this week’s release of the international movie poster, it turns out that the story was true.

Good for her.  She could have taken the easy route and just used make-up and fake piercings, but for her to go and actually get pierced means she’s taking the project very seriously, which is never a bad thing.

Now if you were looking for more celebrity news, well, that’s it.  Ok, so maybe Bieber got his ears pierced and Chris Brown got a smiley face tattoo, but I couldn’t even stomach clicking the links, let alone reading them, so you’ll just have to take my word on it.

And that’s it for this week’s news.  Have a great weekend everyone.

15 thoughts on “ModBlog News of the Week: June 10th, 2011

  1. I laughed when I first saw that Facebook Sleeve thing, it’s so easy to tell that it’s fake yet people kept submitting and posting it.

  2. All churches look ridiculous to an outsider. Who are we to judge?

    I am super stoked for the remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo because of this. I can’t remember being stoked for a remake before.

  3. While giving studios licences may not entirely solve the problem of dodgy tattoo studios, it is great to hear stories of the government working with tattoo artists and actually listening to what they have to say.

    Also, have to say I’m not really looking forward to the remake of The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo at all. I really enjoyed the book and the original movie, and in my experience American remakes always feel the need to Americanise almost everything about the movie, and it doesn’t really stay true to the original. Kudos to the actress though for going the extra mile and actually really getting into the character, it might make it halfway watchable.

  4. Elaine looks beautiful in her wedding photo! I’m from Edinburgh and I often see her around the city; I’ve stopped to speak with her a couple of times and she’s a lovely lady. I hope she and her new husband are very happy together :)

  5. What I love bout the article linked with the facebook sleeve at the beginning is the “The Facebook-inspired tattoo follows a trend started by rapper T-Pain” now I googled this tattoo and from what I see its only from like the beginning of this year which is funny…cos I was seeing facebook inspired tattoos back in 2009….hell when I was working in a studio here in my city we did a cover up on a young lady who had a (badly done) facebook logo tattoo..

    god I love journalists lol

  6. The American version of Let The Right One In (let me in) was done really well IMO. It could go either way.

  7. many congratulation to Elaine Davidson – i met the lovely lady last year and she was sweet to me and my friend when we asked for a picture :-)

  8. Wob – I’d be interested to know why you hold that opinion about the CoBM, or if you are ignorant of it and making a judgement based on that ignorance?

  9. @Wob: Tattoos have been tied to spiritual beliefs and practices for hundreds, if not thousands, of years. The Church of Body Mod. isn’t really too different from that…

    The tongue stud thing is really cool. It’ll be interesting to see that develop.

  10. churches look ridiculous from the inside too. when i tried to join the president was nowhere to be found ever and no one could ever answer my questions.

    its nice to see the COBM finally doing something about their “fallowers”, but god damn did it take them a really long time to get their shit straight

  11. That tongue piercing prototype is amazing! Very exciting to see how/if it goes further.

  12. If that girl’s nose stud was part of her personal belief system, entirely independent of any church, would there have been a settlement? Or was it based on the legitimacy of an already established religion? I always wonder what ‘freedom of religion’ really encompasses when cases like this pop up.

  13. in regards to the opinion on Body Modification applications, i would like to offer this small bit of information to you in the hopes of shedding light on a few important issues. the bias opinion coming from many articles about this topic, needs some serious clarity.
    Not all artists should perform, or should expect or aspire to perform these unique procedures, due only to the fact that some people aren’t smart enough or capable of doing these procedures safely or properly, and in many cases some artists cant even do simple piercings properly, but are too eager to be a star and cloud judgement with ego causing damage to others. it took most of us today more than 15 years to perfect certain procedures, and today more beginners aren’t apprenticed properly, and allowed to simply open up shop without prior experience and training.
    so when deciding who to ask about standards and dangers, you should consider the idea that your sources may not be adequate, and you should seek various options from various artists who you have personally met and viewed their studios and work. a lot of people who run their mouths aren’t always the people you should look to for positive feedback.
    research and education is paramount when it comes to the human body, but lets not forget that you don’t need a doctorate to achieve incredible intellect or talent. but yes physicians could perform these procedures because they have the proper training and environments in which to perform them, but they wont because they’re too busy charging 8000 dollars for breast enlargements or facial reconstruction to clients who want to look younger.
    they use to pierce, but it became a hindrance and was a joke to them. now its not so funny and we are a large industry with 100′s of millions of clients.
    lets not forget the many who perform various emergency medical treatments to those in secluded countries, who have no medical degree nor do they operate in a sterile field, but still maintain health patients. also a form of triage used in hostile military situations where many men are usually treated in close proximity to one another with no sterile field but they survive, and think of the minor d.y.i at home suturing that occurs daily. these are examples of people in situations that they can control with experience and/or common sense. something many people unfortunately lack.
    don’t forget that many of us have spent years perfecting technique and application acquired from medical texts, videos, reference etc. while others simply assume they are providing adequate procedures based on limited access to info or lack of ethics and professionalism.
    is what we are doing wrong ?, no ! is you deciding what our limits are ? yes ! can this be changed to ensure safer training & procedures are applied by artists ? yes ! will we ever make everyone happy ? no ! is it best to try your best and hope to achieve common ground ? yes !
    are some people mentaly unstable who request unique modifications, well yes, some are artists with A typical personalities, some are performers, most are normal but most of them are hiding things only they and we know and you arent meant to because its none of your fuckin business lol, but none of them harm anyone with these modifications. but if an artist provides services to a client who is clearly unstable or certainly crazy, they should have turned them away, one because who needs the hassel, and two because it would imoral. however some artists are only money oriented and will do these for people, ruining their appearance, job opportunities, friend and family issues etc, so its truly the artist and client who have to live with it, we only have to look at it if we choose to. and there are alot of attention needy individuals out there, and personlay i dont cater to them, i beautify and alter the human canvas, i dont abuse its potential.
    and no offence to anyone, but anything that can afflict certain danger or difficulty to human function is not a safe body modification.
    now it needs to be made obvious that appx 70 % of artists today have little to no serious or adequate apprenticeship training because there hasn’t been a reputable training system established, and only recently have health boards been demanding basic standards and criteria be met prior to providing services to the public, but the lack of knowledge on their behalf isn’t their fault, but it can cause serious gaps in quality control, which is why it is necessary for both reputable senior regional artists and health officers to meet annually for meetings.
    were you aware that the people who assisted health canada with creating current canadian ccdr health & safety standards are artists known to provide these modifications’ keith kennedy’, did you know that the known artists routinely providing body art safety training seminars to regional health officers are well known international artists who provide extreme body modifications ‘russ foxx, keith kennedy, mike grant, elwood reid, jesse villemaire ‘ , and did you know that the artist hired as the canadian health educator for body arts safety is Jesse Villemaire who is a great piercer and scarification artist who provides few extreme modifications.
    thus you didn’t interview any long term established professional artists known internationally who are working in canada, and you should have because it tuns out that they seem to be the professional artists working with health canada regularly, and the only shops who complain seem to be either the corporate type franchise studios or the worst shops who cant seem to compete technicality or professionally.
    it is important to note that ‘extreme modifications’ does not and should not include a lot of procedures, and the public needs to understand that most artists who provide things like tongue splitting, scarification, 3d silicone implants etc, do not condone such acts as labia removal or nullification etc, and thus we as artists pass judgement on others and seem hypocritical, but its necessary that a line be defined by health canada for us in some regards.
    if you want to regulate the system, start at the beginning and regulate aftercare and not allow idiots to offer sea salt water or alcohol based aftercare info, regulate the use of medical grade jewelry such as G23 Titanium and consider the E.U laws in effect regarding surgical steels and the dangers of nickel salts in the body, or regulate the training system by appointing a board of educators from within the industry itself and health canada, these would be researched and appointed based on expertise, quality of service, reputation, and current level of experience.
    these small but paramount factors are the most important, these determine a well maintained studio, artist, and modification process. once we weed out the bad eggs, we offer training to those who want it, and offer certification to those deemed capable of performing these procedures, and re-test each other annually. initiate bylaws and fines for infractions.set legal age requirements for all known provided procedures and set aftercare recommendations
    people will not stop getting these done and its not a fad, it seems bigger only because theres more of us, its always been around. people will differ from either seeking quality or low affordable cost as they do with current medical practices like breast enlargement, and you know as well as i do that many substandard practitioners exist in medicine as well, and just like us its hard to regulate everyone, but we can try for the benefit of us all.
    if we just help educate the public, they will make smarter choices regarding Body Modifications, and by showing the world whats is commonly practiced, they will decide what is right for themselves. youtube and the explosion of available media has proven to be a problem, due only to the fact that most professionals never allow or post film, so most videos are probably mediocre at best and performed by beginners, thus more beginners learn poorly right from the start.
    if you had viewed a procedure being done by an experienced professional artist, you would probably be amazed at its proficiency and simplicity as well as its beauty and uniqueness when healed properly.
    its funny that we’ve been scarring, piercing, implanting, tattooing and modifying the human canvas for more than 10,000 years, we never made issues with it before and there are little to no known dangerous complications that have occurred from these, other than basic infection which we commonly get from almost every surface we touch with a cut on a finger. so are you going to tell all of africa or borneo that they cant provide these art forms because you think its dangerous or offensive ? personally your opinions are offensive and bias if you do, but that is your human right to decent.
    i tend to believe that it is simply a few bad artists stepping beyond their capabilities who have given us all a bad name, most recently the offences in halifax canada where i believe 2 deaths have occurred and an artist has been charged in another account. when i was interviewed by cbc in 2005 i made reference to these necessary changes, but even as i provide seminars to health officers, little to no serious changes have been made as of yet but we are trying to help, however bias and in-adequate research by media hasn’t made this easy either.
    studios learning from youtube, horrible piercing by untrained artists, poor aftercare info which has caused significantly poor healing for many clients, shops are using cheap inferior steels for initial piercings, self proclaimed infant piercing specialists,artists with websites that say all the right stuff but their work is certainly substandard. so you can see that a body art safety editorial is needed for the public to review, i have been trying to get local media to assist me in this effort but have been met with a cold shoulder repeatedly, so i am working with sask mho’s to help with current applications and quality control information.
    simple considerations.
    an implant simply represents a piercing that has lost its beads and healed under the skin forming a rigid surface under the dermis, like braille on the skin, if its an implant inert material it will heal. some are larger than others, and can be done with more efficient tools and materials, thus we use scalpels, retractors, elevators, and sutures for larger implants. with no damage anywhere near muscle or vein/capillary structure.
    splitting the tongue can be achieved over 3 months by stretching the tongue with a triangular shaped eyelet or taper, and if you don’t pierce or cut near any large capillaries, it will heal fine because it is actually two muscles connected by feral tissue. however more efficient tools are used for the desired effect, such as scalpels and suturing the tips to ensure a snake like appearance. and it doesnt effect speach ! for you doctors out there, our genetic design resembles many species and we show that in many physiological aspects, like out tongue which can be split !.
    scarification is simply tattooing a consistent line 1.5 to 2.5 mm into the dermis, instead of 1000s of dots in lines with a tattoo machine or tabori/tatau device. if the artist is fluid and stable it wont cut deep, and it will heal fine just like a tattoo without leaving inks and unknown materials in the skin. however branding is quite painful and much more susceptible to infection & poor healing potential.
    ear pointing can be acheived by abrasing the tissue around the helix, and piercing or suturing the ear to a point, where the tissue will fuse together leaving an elf like pointed tip ear. however we choose to use appropriate tools for the job, and sutures are simply piercings you tie off that heal better. some people have pointed ears from birth, so who is this doctor to say it seems obscure ? lol its a form of otoplasty
    body suspension is ancient, euphoric, enlightening, meditative, and can be therapeutic. but heres a physics lesson for you folks, if you own a cat, it weighs 6 lbs or so, youre 6 feet tall, and you pick that cat up by the mane up to your waist, you just put that cat through shock, pain, stress, and gravity like that of shooting off in a jet, much more drastic than suspension, without the hooks of course.
    now talking about the obscure and bizzare as mentioned by doctors in a recent cbc report, i find most of what we do beautiful and unique and personal, but some are obscure and bizzare, much like seeing women with boobs the size of mack trucks and salie pumped lips barreling through the club spilling drinks with their big fake nipples poking through their blouses at 45 years of age, or men with breasts and no balls, now thats bizzare !

    body art history.
    piercing has been practised all over the world since ancient times, particularly in tribal cultures. There is considerable written and archaeological evidence of the practice. Mummified bodies with pierced ears have been discovered, including the oldest mummified body discovered to date, the 5,300 year-old Ötzi the Iceman, which was found in a Valentina Trujillon glacier in Austria.[5] This mummy had an ear piercing 7–11 mm (1 to 000 gauge in American wire gauge) diameter.[5] The oldest earrings found in a grave date to 2500 BCE. These were located in the Sumerian city of Ur, home of the Biblical patriarch Abraham.[6] Earrings are mentioned in the Bible. In Genesis 35:4, Jacob buries the earrings worn by members of his household along with their idols. In Exodus 32, Aaron makes the golden calf from melted earrings. Deuteronomy 15:12–17 dictates ear piercing for a slave who chooses not to be freed.[7] Earrings are also referenced in connection to the Hindu goddess Lakshmi in the Vedas.[1] Earrings for pierced ears were found in a grave in the Ukok region between Russia and China dated between 400 and 300 BCEThe Prince Albert piercing is named after Prince Albert, who was the husband of Queen Victoria of England. He was reputed to have had this piercing done prior to his marriage to the queen around 1825, at that time Beau Brummel started the craze for ultra tight men’s trousers. Because the pants were so tight, the penis needed to be held to one side or the other so as not to create an unsightly bulge. To accomplish this some men had their penis pierced to allow it to be held by a hook on the inside of the trousers. This piercing was called a ‘Dressing Ring’ at the time because tailors would ask if a gentleman dressed to the left or the right and tailor the trousers accordingly.
    Tattooing has been a Eurasian practice since Neolithic times. “Ötzi the Iceman”, dated circa 3300 BC, bore 57 separate tattoos: a cross on the inside of the left knee, six straight lines 15 centimeters long above the kidneys and numerous small parallel lines along the lumbar, legs and the ankles, exhibiting possible therapeutic tattoos (treatment of arthritis). Tarim Basin (West China, Xinjiang) revealed several tattooed mummies of a Western (Western Asian/European) physical type. Still relatively unknown (the only current publications in Western languages are those of J P. Mallory and V H. Mair, The Tarim Mummies, London, 2000), some of them could date from the end of the 2nd millennium BC.Tattooing has been practiced for centuries in many cultures spread throughout the world. The Ainu, the indigenous people of Japan, traditionally had facial tattoos. Today one can find Berbers of Tamazgha (North Africa), Māori of New Zealand, Hausa people of Northern Nigeria, Arabic people in East-Turkey and Atayal of Taiwan with facial tattoos. Tattooing was widespread among Polynesian peoples and among certain tribal groups in the Taiwan, Philippines, Borneo, Mentawai Islands, Africa, North America, South America, Mesoamerica, Europe, Japan, Cambodia, New Zealand and Micronesia. Indeed, the country of Great Britain takes its name from tattooing, with Britons translating as ‘people of the designs’ and the Picts, who originally inhabited Britain, literally meaning ‘the painted people’.[1] British people remain the most tattooed in Europe.[2] Despite some taboos surrounding tattooing, the art continues to be popular in many parts of the world.Tattooing spread among the upper classes all over Europe in the 19th century, but particularly in Britain where it was estimated in Harmsworth Magazine in 1898 that as many as one in five members of the gentry were tattooed. There, it was not uncommon for members of the social elite to gather in the drawing rooms and libraries of the great country estate homes after dinner and partially disrobe in order to show off their tattoos. Aside from her consort Prince Albert, there are persistent rumours that Queen Victoria had a small tattoo in an undisclosed ‘intimate’ location; Denmark’s King Frederick was filmed showing his tattoos taken as a young sailor. Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, had a tattoo of a snake around her wrist, which she covered when the need arose with a specially crafted diamond bracelet. Carrying on the family tradition, Winston Churchill had an anchor tattooed on his forearm.

    body art buyer beware top 10.
    1. there are professional tattoo artists, and there are tattooers who simply copy & trace, big differences between the two, so choose your next tattoo wisely. its an art form, so find an artist.
    2. there are professional body piercers & professional body modification artists, and then there are just piercers, big differences between the three, so choose your next adornment wisely.
    3. no professionals use piercing guns. visit for info..
    4. no professionals provide services to clients without proper consent. see below.
    -no professionals tattoo clients under 16, and require parental consent and/or photo identification for all other clients.
    -no professionals provide modifications or Pierce below the belt on clients under 18. no professionals pierce clients under 16 without parental consent, and some require the age of 18. no professionals pierce infants or children.
    -all professionals will request a consultation to discuss the adornments design, how it will effect their life, work, family, future, and the professional will make the best decision based on the clients age, health, and situation.
    5. all professionals work in clean & organized studio environments, using proper hand washing & non latex gloving techniques, utilizing sterilized packaged materials and supplies, while all other procedure equipment is covered with plastic barriers during their use, and have a spore test certified autoclave properly operating in the studio.
    6. all professionals should use the highest grades of inks, jewelry, and equipment in order to provide the highest quality service and potential for proper aftercare.
    * note that laws regarding body jewelry exist, see the E.U. nickel directive 2002. MSDS info should be readily available to clients. surgical steels are bad for the body, and are not used in any surgical implants.
    * note FDA has proposed MSDS info on all tattoo inks be readily available for clients.
    7. responsible artists should always research techniques prior to procedures, and not all artists are as capable as others, and should not perform certain procedures, or should seek training from reputable artists in their field if needed.
    8. proper aftercare is the second most important part of the procedure, so if the artist gives you inaccurate information, you will have certain difficulties.
    * note that sea salts in tap water are Not a sterile or suitable cleaning solution for healing piercings. see or info.
    * note that some creams can cause irritation to tattoos, so for the first 3 days hand wash with warm clean water and tiny amounts of fragrance free sensitive skin liquid soap 4 to 6 times a day to remove the slimy plasma before it dries and scabs, then for the next month use small amounts of hypo-alergenic sensitive skin lotions free of lanolen and fragrances, 3 to 4 times a day.
    9. some competitive studios will sometimes bad mouth other studios, and some studios need to be bad mouthed, but take the drama free route and judge for yourself who you feel most comfortable having provide you with your first or next adornment. remember to check their photo portfolios for clean crisp work, ask about experience, and do your own solid research before making your decision.
    10. great body art isnt cheap, and cheap body art isnt good, but dont fall for price wars, the most expensive isnt always the best for your buck. so do your research !

    safety information links.

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