BME: The Body Modification E-Zine
by Rebekah Sue Harris
I came across this page while looking through other online ‘zines for, of all things, Lollipop. It caught my eye not only because I’m tattooed and pierced (just a 00 in my ear, but I’m hoping to have a hole in my eyebrow by the end of the month), but also because I’m from Connecticut, where body modification is legal. Since Lollipop is based in Massachusetts, where the laws seem to prohibit free expression on one’s own body (!), I thought that reviewing this site might prove educational as well as fun.
The index page of the ‘zine begins with a warning that the site contains nudity – as art, not as pornography. (Maybe if legislators realized the difference, more states would legalize body modification.) The first link I followed took me to the contents page, which listed general info (links on everything from other sites to articles on African tribal art to first aid), piercing (very thorough – right down to the photographs of how to care for a new piercing), and, of course, tattooing (some neat photos and an account of a Jewish girl and her ink – tattooing is forbidden in Judaism). There are also links to some less traditional forms of modification, such as scarring and branding (the pictures of healing cuts are not for the weak of stomach) and ink rubbing (my first homemade tattoos were done that way) and even surgery as a form of body modification (included is a verbally graphic description of the start of a penis head being surgically split). Customs and rituals are described in this site as well.
The links on here are great, and the photography is clear. Strongly emphasized on most of the pages is the importance of sterility, during both the modification and healing process. This is a site that requires time for perusal (the hour I spent with it wasn’t nearly enough) because there is a lot of ground to be covered. For an art form that’s often called primitive and/or disgusting, the art illustrated here shows logic and maturity. Obviously the site isn’t for everyone, but I strongly suggest that those interested in changing anti-modification laws in their states take a gander at this site, because this intelligently-written information will give you ammunition against your local lawmakers.