Well…maybe not magical, but most certainly attention grabbing! The last time I remember seeing stretched cheeks close to this size was in the post about our old friend fishmaul back in 2008. You might remember Bodmodpunky from the previous post I did about his deep chest piercings here.
The photo below sparked a little controversy among the piercing community as there were a few viral posts claiming his cheeks were cut from nothing to this size. Honestly nobody had much background on this photo so I decided to go straight to the source!
Bodmodpunky was willing to answer a few quick questions for ModBlog, he is not a native English speaker so a bit of translating was in order.
Firstly was your cheek initially cut to 30mm?
My cheeks were at 1,6mm for four years before I made the initial cut to 10mm, After 3 Months they healed completely and I made the next cut to 18mm. This healed in 1 Month. I stretched then to 22mm in 1mm increments and yesterday we made the last cut to 30mm. The jewelry was PTFE with 22mm wearable after cutting and Black PMMA with 14mm wearable when completely healed. We didn’t use any stitches only the teflon jewelry. When you make a smaller initial cut it takes a long time to heal completely. We made a big cut for lower pressure. Cheeks are always trouble when they have too much pressure on them. The big risk is if you damage your salivary glands, the nerves are no problem.
Who performed the procedures?
Danny from Rock the Body Studio in Baden (CH)
What kind of adversity have you experienced having such an unconventional and visible modification? Are you happy with it today?
People look at me strangely when I’m walking through the city. My life will never the same as before, but i like it and would never want to go back. I’m really happy with all my mods and I’m not finished with my modification.
Gabriele of Maxart Body Piercing in Rome, Italy (ModBlog superstar) just did this wild play piercing scene using a just massive collection of captive bead rings, which appear to form a tube through which is drawn the soul of a flower — I particularly like the touch of the threading being pulled through a cheek piercing!
There are about 120 rings in all in this scene, and they took about three hours total to do, including some short breaks. The rings were taken out immediately afterwards at Gabriele’s insistence, I assume to keep scarring to a minimum (although it would make a cool scar to let these all reject!). I suspect that Gabriele must have been practically as sore as the client, after taking all those balls on and off.
Something that often surprises people is just how quickly a trapped infection can move from nonexistent to serious. These cheek piercings were about two months old and by all appearance doing just fine, when the wearer decided to switch the jewelry. In the process, they somehow managed to drag bacteria into the still-healing fistula, probably bacteria that was on their hands. Within the week the piercings were seriously swollen or infected, so they headed to their doctor, who insisted that the piercings be removed and put her on antibiotics. This photo was taken when she got home from the doctor.
Mistake number one: Changing the jewelry in a still healing piercing without proper attention to contamination control. Be aware that cheek piercings often take a long time to heal, and perhaps more importantly, piercings of all types will appear healed long before they actually are healed (and even young technically healed piercings may have very thin skin, making them highly susceptible to injury). Ideally a piercing that’s still healing shouldn’t have its jewelry changed, but if it must, the jewelry needs to be sterilized and gloves and other appropriate cross-contamination must be in place. Whenever possible this should be done at a piercing studio — most will autoclave and change jewelry for a small reasonable charge, or even do it for free when you buy the jewelry.
Mistake number two: When a piercing is infected with significant amounts of swelling and discharge, the presence of jewelry is both good and bad. It’s bad because a foreign substance in a wound can greatly increase the population of bacteria by giving them a “foothold”, but it’s good because it can keep the wound open and is often the only thing keeping the infection from becoming an abscess. The piercing allows the wound to drain, as the antibiotics (or alternative treatments) work to eliminate the infection — saline soaks and other treatments can also work to draw out the discharge, but can only do so if the wound is open. Even if antibiotics eliminate the infection, you can still have serious complications if a large pocket of pus is trapped under the skin. For this reason I feel it’s important to always have someone familiar with the treatment of troubled piercings involved in such complications — doctors are notorious for making problems with piercings worse due to their unfamiliarity with them, even today. Any reputable piercer is always happy to take the time to look at a piercing having difficulty (whether they did the piercing or not) and give you advice on how best to treat it (and that advice in this case likely would have been “go to the doctor, but don’t let them take out the piercing”). Better yet, piercers, unlike doctors, rarely charge for this service in my experience — although you should always tip them!!!
Speaking of Yann Brënyàk of Body Temple (londonbodytemple.com), another in his growing arsenal of modifications is this scar on his leg, totally self performed, which is always very impressive to me even though there’s no shortage of self-blading in this world. The core swastika heart design is great, and I like the way that he’s mixed heavy bands of skin peeling with find detail scarwork with the swastika geometry background pattern. Another nice touch is the random slashing around the border, which if you know Yann’s facial tattooing, is a motif that is echoed across his identity.
Those with long memories may recall way, way, way back in 2007 Hugh Mattay, now modifying people at 119 Tattoo (oneonenine.com.au) in Sydney, had his batwing eyebrow tattoos posted here. Since then he’s had a lot of tattooing added to his forehead, with the stripes exploding out over his temples being perhaps my favorite of the bunch. But he’s also been piercing himself this week, adding first the medusa piercing, and now a pair of cheek piercings. I’m always impressed when people do their own labrets or medusas because it’s so hard to judge one’s own facial symmetry, and it only takes being off my a millimeter to look wrong.
I am occasionally of a mixed opinion on microdermals when they mimic piercings. For example, when I see cheek “piercings” that are done with microdermals, the sensible part of my brain says, “hey, what a great idea, that’s a lot safer and less trouble”, but the self-righteous part of me says, “you fucking faker!” …But then I see this microdermal cheek project by Joeltron (joeltron.com, firstblood.com.au), and everything’s all right and the Civil War in my head is officially in a state of truce. The neuroruins of my bombed-out brain officially thanks you.
Here’s something you don’t see every day from IAM: Beju. Now I’m pretty certain the bricks are painted on, but the weaving over the eye is definitely real. There’s a lot going on here, with the collar, the bricks and the threading, giving this photo a sort of ominous vibe, touching on institutionalization as well as confinement and religion. Overall, it’s just a fantastic photo.
Joeltron (FirstBlood.com.au, joeltron.com) shows us his teeth — yeah, he’s no Zygzag, but this is how Joeltron looks when he takes out his 13mm (1/2″) cheek piercing. If I was him I would totally wear clear glass plugs all the time or maybe tunnels with corks conspicuously stuck in them, especially if the size continues to increase. And gosh, I really love his eye tattoo — that lime green is one of my all time favorites.
Got a great tip from a friend who was watching a overflowing-with-fun video (that even reminds me of some of the big BMEfests of yore in a way) of Woodstock 2012 by Ostro and Cam-L, held at the start of August in Kostrzyn nad Odrą, Poland, and at 0:24 who should make a brief appearance but one of my piercing heroes, Zygzag, aka Fishmaul, the fellow who in the past wore the remarkable stretched cheek piercings — if you don’t know who I’m talking about, you must go read my original entry on it here — news.bme.com/2008/02/24/fishmaul-fishmouth-zygzag-cheek-stretching/ — as it’s one of the most remarkable (and most divisive love-it-or-hate-it) things I’ve ever posted. It looks like he’s looking about the same as the last time I saw him — his good ol’ grimey self — and isn’t currently wearing jewelry in those big holes (and nylon thread in many of the little ones). Here are some relevant screencaps.
Click to double the size of that image. Wish I could get you better photos and an interview, but it’s not like he’s a guy that’s easy to get in touch with from Canada over the Internet. If someone reading this is a friend and can help out, you’d make me very happy and I’d be thrilled to publish any photos or information you can provide.
Finally, If you’d like to enjoy the whole music video, here you go.