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Body modification refers to either a temporary or a permanent change made to one’s body via the intentional penetration of the skin. These alterations can be self-inflicted or done to one’s body by a third party. Types of body modifications include piercing, tattooing, scarring, stapling, suturing, branding, burning, pulling, stretching, and/or cutting of the skin. In more extreme forms of body modification, some individuals have objects implanted under their skin or have body parts surgically removed. The practice of body modification has existed for centuries across various cultures. Some scholars argue that modern Western practices of body modification are yet another example of cultural misappropriation of practices that were once part of sacred rituals and rites of passage. In the 21st century, motivations for engaging ...

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