Body modification is often defined in a narrow category, it is often associated with piercings and tattoos, but in all actuality body modification means to alter one’s physical appearance. There are many different forms of body modification that are practiced around the world. Many people modify their appearance for personal preference, and cultural and religious traditions. When “body modification” is spoken of it is commonly about tattoos, piercings, scarification and branding, but body modification doesn’t stop there. Now a days it would be very hard to find a woman without her ears pierced, many women practice corset training to have a slimmer waistline. Men and women alike also partake in body building. Just like extreme body modification like implants and stretching piercings or splitting your tongue, there are surgical procedures that people got through to alter their physical appearance breast enhancements, liposuction, and much more. Body modification has been adopted by many cultures. People from all over the world practice some form of body modification.


Tribes all over Africa practice scarification it is a cultural activity that has been around for many centuries. Scarification is much more intense than tattooing it is a very long and painful process. Scarification is practiced amongst these tribes and is used for identifying certain social statuses, religious beliefs, and is also used on young women to mark them after certain stages in life such as puberty and marriage.

The Suri women of Ethiopia practice the stretching of their lips, teenage girls are initially pierced by their mother or a female elder in the tribe. The piercing is initially done with a small wooden plug and is eventually stretched larger and larger over time.



As a people we may have different practices of body modification, some are more extreme than others but as humans we all modify something about ourselves.