Sunday, February 22, 2015

Destructive Body Modification, But Not in the Way You Would Think

After reading a few of the other blogs that individuals have posted, I think I want to focus more on the issue of tattoos on women as a form of branding in general. When Professor Peace showed us the image of the woman who had been branded on the inside of her lip with the name of her pimp. By doing this, that woman lost all sense of her own independence. Even years later when she no longer was involved in prostitution, she still had the reminder of her past with that tattoo.

Tattooing is a permanent form of body modification, especially when placed in highly visible areas. When one chooses to mark themselves in this way, it can be absolutely beautiful and expressive. But to think that something intended to be art could be used as a horrible reminder of the pain an individual has suffered is devastating. Instead of modifying their body to make themselves feel better, these women end up feeling much, much worse. Years ago, when tattoos were less common, women were scrutinized for their brandings. They were seen as freak shows and often put on display for the bodily markings they could not change. Nowadays, female tattoos are much more widely accepted, but this branding is still an issue. Although not visibly disturbing, these tattoos can still scar the woman who wears them.

I suppose I always knew that tattoos could have a negative side to them. When I thought “negative,” I always leaned more toward the gang and prison aspect. I never realized that they could be used to mark women, as a form of dominance, as well. After this past week’s discussion, I am very bothered by the use of these tattoos as a form of power of women. This week has left an unsettling feeling in my stomach, specifically because we, as a class, have focused so much on the forms of body modification that make individuals feel better about themselves. Tattoos can be destructive, but not in the way society would believe, and I feel that this should definitely be brought more to the forefront of discussion. 

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