Pum-Pum-Pumkins

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In the spirit of fall coming, with fall there comes, probably the best holiday ever, HALLOWEEN! Not only is it MY favorite holiday(and my birthday 😉 ), it’s almost most of Americas. Going around and collecting candy from strangers seems like an odd holiday and an odd thing to celebrate but the origins really have nothing to do with candy.

The origins of Halloween dates back to ancient Celtic festival Samhain(pronounced sow-in). The Celts lived 2,000 in what is now Ireland and celebrated their New Year on November 1st which marked the day that summer and harvest ended and the beginning of winter was coming, a time of the year often associated with death. The Celts thought that the night before the  New Year, the boundary of the worlds of the living and the dead were blurred and the spirits would walk the earth during this time. It was also thoughts that during the time that the spirits roamed the earth the Druids and Celtics priests could easier predict prophesies about the future(the Celts were dependent on the volatile natural world and these prophesies were important to them).

The Celts would light huge bonfires and burn commodities as sacrifices to the spirits, wear costumes while dancing around the  fire and try to tell their fortunes. As time past and Ireland was taken over by the Roman Empire, the tradition changed frequently and even more when the influence of Christianity was spread all throughout the Celts.

When the tradition came to America it was mostly the same other than it was all about the parties and celebrations and telling ghost stories. It became more and more popular to dress up and soon people began going from door to door asking for food and money and causing mischief(what’s known today as trick-or-treating).

There is a lot of very interesting and fun facts about the history and coming of Halloween. This post would be 3,000 words if I kept talking about it but I greatly encourage you to, if you are interest, look up more!!

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Corset Piercings

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There isn’t much to this type of modification. It is what it sounds like, two rows of surface piercings laced together with ribbon on various parts of the body ranging from the back, sides, arms and back of the legs. The process is done like any other surface piercing is done by pinching the skin and pushing the needle through the skin and inserting a ring, usually a captive ring.

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The areas are marked and then begins the long, grueling process of piercing them all! Every part of the body it’s done on will bleed just like any other piercing and these piercings are usually only temporary as most people don’t want to take the time to make sure they are clean and heal correctly. It’s hard cleaning piercings on your back yourself! They CAN be permanent though IF you’re willing to take that extra time.

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Like any other surface piercing, these have a nasty habit of rejecting. A piercing rejection is cause by either an allergic reaction to the jewelry or an infection. The skin will see this as a harm and slowly push the jewelry out of the part of your body it’s in

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If all goes well you should have a beautiful set of piercings that can laced up an infinite amount of ways. 🙂

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Job Discrimination Due To Body Modification.

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A lot of companies try and build this perfect image to put a face on their company that inspires trust and confidence in its clients and a lot of it is discriminating to those who have any sort of body modification.

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We associate different tattoos with certain types of people. Ex: neck tattoos with prison inmates, biceps tattoos with bikers, lip/eyebrow piercings with bullies and stretched ears with high school drop outs/punks. This concept is entirely flawed. One of the main reasons is, that we look at these people and automatically assume they are “dangerous”, “intimidating”, “rude”, or “impolite”.

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This paranoia isn’t just about pierced and tattooed people but also those who chose to color their hair unnatural colors, different styles that may not be the social norm and different types of makeup(woman as well as men). Mainstream society is TERRIFIED of anything that isn’t the social norm that includes the people who don’t look the part and tend to think it’s unprofessional to stray from that norm. Hence the job discrimination. Body modifications are no longer suggestive of the condemned pseudo-criminal.

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So why is there still discrimination towards these people in the job world? How does our perception of these people change when a tattoo or piercing is visible? If two people are interviewed for the same job and one has a nose piercing, a very visible piercing, and the other has a genital/nipple piercing(s), obviously not visible, why would the person with the non-visible piercing get the job over the person with the visible piercing? Even if the pierced person was more qualified or experienced?

The general public, especially employers, do not want to confront the conflicting cultural archetypes that our society has built up, which causes us to view others and judge them based off of their appearance.

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In my opinion, job discrimination because of the way a person is wishing to present themselves is not only flawed but is incredibly stupid. People can still look “professional” without having to cover up or hide their body art.

10 Cool Facts About Tattoos

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Most of the cool facts I’d been finding about tattoos haven’t really been all that cool, until I found these facts. There were a TON of them so I narrowed the list down to MY top 10 favorite.

10) The word “tattoo” comes from the Polynesian word “ta” meaning “to strike”, which describes the sound of a tattooing spike being knocked on skin.

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The first recorded references to the word “tattoo” is in the writings of Joseph Banks,a naturalist aboard Captain Cook’s ship. Before Captain Cook brought the word to Europe, tattoos in the West were known as “pricks” or “marks.”

9) The word “tattoo” is often misspelled as “tatoo” and is one of the most commonly misspelled words in the English language.

8) The first professional tattoo artist in the U.S. was Martin Hildebrandt, a German immigrant, who arrived in Boston in 1846.

7)  The Iceman (3300-3200) is the oldest physical body in existence AND has the oldest tattoos that have been preserved. He has a black cross tattooed over the inside of his left knee, six straight lines on his lower back, and parallel lines on his ankles, wrists and leg.

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When scientists X-rayed his body, they discovered joint disease under each tattoo, which suggests the tattoos were meant to relieve pain.

6) Winston Churchill’s mother, Lady Randolph Churchill, had a tattoo of a snake around her wrists, which she covered with a diamond bracelet at formal occasions. Churchill himself had an anchor on his foreman.

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5) Some of the funniest tattoo misspellings include “Beautiful Tradgedy”, “Tradgey/Comedy”, “Fuck the Systsem”, “Chi-tonw”, “I’m Awsome”, “Sweet Pee”, “Tomarrow Never Knows”, “Leave a coment below”, “Your Next”, “Exreme”, and “Eat & Drink Today Fore We Die Tomorrow”.

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4) The Latin word for “tattoo” is stigma.

3) Early tattoo methods included using chisels, rakes, or picks. Soot-covered thread was also used. The thread would be sewn through the skin.

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2) After the Lindbergh baby was kidnapped in 1932, many worried parents had their children tattooed on them.

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1) Americans spend approximately $1.65 BILLION on tattoos annually.

Old School Tattoos

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Tattoos have been around since 1700’s but wasn’t a mainstream thing until the 1970’s. There are a TON of different tattooing styles, be it new school, realism, black and white, but my favorite of them all is the Old School style of tattooing. It is a Western/traditional American style featuring bold black lines and a limited color palette.

In the 50’s-60’s it was almost completely unheard of to sport a tattoo, but by the 70’s-80’s getting heavily tattooed became a big mark for the punk culture and their, sort of, disdain for conformity. A lot of the popular Old School tattoos were of hearts with banners, anchors, pin up girls, swallows/sparrows, navy related, eagle, dagger, rose and star tattoos.

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“Sailor Jerry”

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Herbert Hoffman

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Bert Grimm

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Norman Keith Collins, better known as Sailor Jerry, was the pioneer for the Old School style(in my opinion) although there are a lot other brilliant artist who contributed to the Old School movement. Herbert Hoffman, Bert Grimm and Bob Shaw are some examples.

Vincent Casiglia/Blood Paintings

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I know this isn’t body modification but I found out about blood painting when researching Samppa Von Cyborg from my last blog post. He does paintings with his own blood along with another really talented artist, Vincent Castiglia.

Vincent is 32 years old and lives in Brooklyn, New York. He’s an American painter who exclusively paints in human blood, specifically his own. A lot of his paintings are said to be graphic, nightmarish or creepy(not considering that fact he uses blood to paint them). His paintings are monochromatic tableau which exam life, death, and human condition. A lot of his themes are about the symbiosis of birth and death, transience of man,  and the pitfalls of morality.

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“Feeding”

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“The Sleep”

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“Gravity”

Using blood as his medium, Vincent creates this unusual connection to himself and his work. Having used his blood, his art is essentially a part of him. Decomposition and decay are a very big part of life and in his paintings he shows exactly that. transition-22x30-blood-iron-oxide-on-archival-paper-efbfbd-2006-vincent-castiglia-collection-adam-wilburncastiglia4Vincent Castiglia’s paintings are absolutely fascinating and are definitely worth checking out. He is an incredibly talented artist who has taken art and completely transformed it with this odd(but amazing) medium.

Check out this video here for a short interview and a good look at all of his work! 🙂

5 Most Modified Men and Women

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There are a lot of heavily pierced, tattooed, modified men and women out there. A lot of whom are extremely interesting and have had extensive work done to them over many many years to achieve the look that they have now.

I couldn’t make a list of all the people because there are a LOT, so here are 5 men and women I found to be the most interesting.

5. Cindy Jackson

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While she doesn’t look very “modified” Cindy Jackson, to this day, holds the record for most cosmetic surgery procedures than any other person in the Guinness Book of World Records. Since 1987, she has had 14 full scale operations done including 52 cosmetic procedures that include, facelifts, two nose jobs, eye lifts, knee, waist, thigh, and abdomen liposuction, jaw surgery, lip and cheek implants, chin bone reduction and chemical peels.

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4. Erik Sprague aka Lizard Man 7236833680_d59cce995c

Best known for his lizard like appearance, Erik Sprague, not only has his entire body tattooed but has his teeth sharped, tongue split, sub-dermal implants in his forehead and even recently has his lips tattooed green. Erik does a number of acts in freak shows including sword swallowing, fire breathing, bead of nails and flesh hook suspension.

3. The Scary Guy

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Born Earl Kenneth Kaufmann, this man has 85% of his body tattooed and is a British motivational speaker who travels around the world. He campaigns to eliminate bullying in school, hate, violence and prejudice. He also owns a tattoo shop.

2. Rick Genest aka Zombie Boy

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Rick Genest is a Canadian actor, artist and fashion model with a full body of corpse tattoos. Before he had a single tattoo, he was diagnosed with a brain tumor. While on a waiting list for 6 months to get it surgically removed, he contemplated his life and own death a lot. He eventually had a very successful surgery.

1. Samppa Von Cyborg

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Hailing from Tampere, this Finnish artist totally takes the cake for most interesting modded man. While he doesn’t have very many body modifications and hold no records, he has made and produced his very own jewelry line called Cyber Cell Collection, models, does graphic design, and pretty much takes what you already know about body modification and completely reinvents it.

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Flesh Coil

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Flesh Plating

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He has pioneered many of today’s well-known modifications including the mad max bar, flesh stapling, flesh plating, flesh coil and

revolutionized approaches to ear modification, with multiple piercings interconnected with custom jewelry, like so:57054aro

Most of the jewelry he will custom make and is willing to work with his clients to come up with something that works for them. You can check out his website here which will give you his biography, contact info, and other fun tidbits about him.