What is shocking today becomes common tomorrow. It used to be that having a tattoo meant you had a ‘wild’ side to you, since the vast majority of people did not have them (back in the 70’s and 80’s). Now, it seems more of a statement not to have a tattoo. Body piercing hit the public awareness in the early nineties and was taken seriously as a tried and true form of personal rebellious expression around the turn of the millenium, where it has enjoyed immense popularity since. But now that body piercing has joined the ranks of tattoos as just ‘average’ forms of body modifications, what is next on the horizon for today’s adolescent youth looking for their own form of body modification?
Clues to what lies ahead for us in body modification can be found at the cutting edge of modifications being done now; procedures such as scarification, branding, implantation, and eyeball tattooing may be foreshadows of the next big crazes. In a recent news story, a man had attached a camera to the back of his head only to have his body later reject the item. Similarly, people are now experimenting with implantation of interface ports that mimic their computer peripherals (i.e. computer usb ports or cell phone inputs). For now, these mock ports are for appearance and are not functional in any way. But functional interfacing of the body to computers is not something so far fetched, and could yield great advances in education and entertainment once accomplished. It could be that today’s extreme trends in body jewelry extremism may be giving us glimpses of what is coming for all of us in the years ahead.