The post below this is one about today being Self-Injury Awareness Day. That is why I am posting this now rather than tomorrow, even though today’s modblog plate has already been filled up. The words self-injury in this context brings up one of the oldest arguments in the body modification world which is modification vs. mutilation. Obviously, a lot of the deciding factor is in the eye of the beholder. Seriously, ask around enough and you will find plenty of people who think that a standard navel piercing is a mutilation. However, I think most modblog readers, even those that are not fans of navel piercings, would never consider one to be a mutilation. However, there are some other modification we cover on BME are not so black and white.
No one modification is responsible for more modification vs. mutilation arguments then the voluntary amputation of healthy and viable body parts. That is why I couldn’t overlook the coincidence of a photo submission of a finger amputation (amputation submissions in general are extremely rare) on Self-Injury Awareness day.
In my many years of involvement in this community, I have met and talked to a lot of amputees. Some of whom had the most sane justifications for their choice to amputate a part of themselves. So justified, in fact, that there was no question it was a modification and a sane decision for them. Others I met were a little bit more questionable in their level of mental stability, but still managed to make me feel like this modification was the right choice for them.
Then there is a small minority, people who I might dare call insane, who hate themselves and are slowly cutting away bits of them selves in a hateful fashion. Those people obviously fall into the mutilation category.
So to me, amputation and pretty much any body mod for that matter is neither modification nor mutilation 100% of the time. It is the owner of these mods and their decision making process that, to me, determine whether something is a modification or a mutilation, or to keep with the theme of the day, a modification or a self-injury.
So I ask you, the modblog readers, where do you draw the line between modification and mutilation? To answer that question, see unwrapped photos of this amputation and learn what other non-major (but far sweeter) holiday today is, keep on keeping on.