Types of Body Modification

Body modification (body mod), as the name suggests, is the purposeful altering of the human body for non-medical reasons. Some types of body modification are relatively new while others have been practiced for centuries. People choose to engage in body modification for deep meaning religious reasons, aesthetic reasons, rites of passage, or self-expression. There are many types of body modification, all with different degrees of severity.  Below are some different ways in which people engage in body mod, ranging from the simple to the extreme.

Simply Body Modifications:

Ear piercings

Ear piercing is likely the first traditional body modification that most young girls experience. Many parents have their daughters’ ears pierced while they are still in diapers. Although many girls do not have their ears pierced until they are older than that, virtually every girl in American society has their ears pierced at least once before they exit grade school. Although the initial ear piercing process is simple, in the recent past, ear piercing has started to become more extreme with the introduction of lobe gauging.

Body piercing

Over the past few decades, ear piercing has expanded. It started with teenage girls double-piercing their ears in the ‘80s. In the ‘90s it became extremely popular to pierce other body parts such as navels, lips, tongues, noses, lips, and genitalia.


Tattoos are not a new body art trend, they have been in existence for centuries. According to Light Speed Magazine, there is evidence of ancient Egyptians having tattoos.  Their popularity has exploded in the past several years. Tattoos used to be viewed as a symbol of the counterculture, and it was widely thought that the only people who had tattoos were those who shunned traditional society. There is no longer such a negative stigma associated with tattoos. It has become commonplace in modern American culture and is now considered an art form by many people in today’s society.

Extreme Body Modifications:

Scarification and branding

Traditionally, scarring or branding the skin was performed by darker-skinned people for whom tattooing was not a good option. Some aboriginal tribes in Australia and the Karo people of Ethiopia also engaged in the practice. Over time, the practice was adopted by various fraternal organizations in college as a way to identify members and promote brotherhood. A downside of this type of body modification is that the aesthetic outcome of the healed skin is largely based on genetics rather than the application process. So, it is quite possible the final product of scarring and branding modification does not look as good as the wearer had initially hoped.


Implanting is simply the placing of a foreign object beneath the skin. This process has been practiced for centuries overseas, but has only recently become more popular in the United States. Often, the materials that are implanted include small silicone beads and ribs. These objects protrude from underneath the skin to create an aesthetic appearance. Breast and other body part implants can also fall into the body modification genre.

Tooth filing

People who want to take the current vampire craze to a personal level often engage in tooth filing. This process turns the surface of the teeth into fang-like shapes. Dentists suggest avoiding this procedure as it increases the possibility of pain, cavities, and increased temperature sensitivity. It is also costly to reverse.

Tongue splitting

Tongue splitting is a process by which the tongue is split in half with a scalpel. It is then threaded apart, and finally the wound is cauterized by body modification artists. There are potential dangers associated with tongue splitting, including infection, pain, bleeding, and a need for follow-up procedures. People who have this procedure done must then take extra care with their oral health habits.

Waist training

In today’s weight-obsessed society, many people strive to have a tiny waist. One way to achieve this extreme look is by wearing a tight corset to “train” the waist to be smaller. In more extreme cases, some people opt to have their lower ribs removed so the cinched-waist look can be achieved.

Eye tattoos and piercings

 Eye tattoos and piercings are beginning to increase in popularity. Both of these procedures are dangerous and carry a high risk of eye complications. There is a high chance of blindness associated with these procedures. Further, the procedure is painful and can create a great deal of irritation around the eye. Ophthalmologists advise against this form of body modification.

Any business that involves administering body alterations and modifications of any kind should have appropriate insurance coverage. Marine Agency offers comprehensive tattoo and body piercing coverage that extends to several different types of body modification. An insurance policy from Marine provides general coverage such as property, liability, and malpractice coverage. It also covers both guest artists, independent contractors.  Our policies also automatically cover surface and genital piercings. Our policies are completely customizable so you can create a policy to meet your specific needs.

If you own a body modification studio and need tattoo studio insurance and body piercing insurance coverage, contact Marine Agency today; we’ve got you covered!

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