Body Modification is an alteration of the human body done on purpose. It produces an altered appearance of the body and it can create numerous effects. It is important to know that while body modification seems like a new thing, it actually has a long history among numerous cultures. The most common historical reasons for body modification in various cultures include religious beliefs, aesthetics, rites of passage, affiliation and sexual enhancement. Body modifications have gained more popularity in the West during the end of the 20th century. Today, they are common among many different groups. There are many reasons why people choose body modifications today and the most common ones include aesthetics, self-expression, sexual enhancement, group affiliation and shock value.
There are several popular types of body modifications and some are more permanent than the others. Also, some body modifications are more extreme than the others and alter the body in more extensive ways. By far the most common types of body modifications are body piercings and tattoos. These body modifications can be found across different demographics, ages, genders and professions. While piercings and tattoos are still not seen as completely socially acceptable among general population, this attitude is changing for the better. It is also important to remember that while body piercings and tattoos are the most common body modifications they are not the only ones. There are numerous rarer and more extreme body modifications people choose, such as tongue splitting or genital beading.