Its our body, right? A true statement in the eyes of most people but in the bible belt, it may be considered blasphemous. In the bible belt, “devil-worshiper”, “pedophile” and “thief” are just a couple examples of what some people think of you if you have modified your body in any shape, form or fashion. Yet in the same respect, it is acceptable to get plastic surgery, load on the make-up, or dye your hair(an acceptable, “normal” color mind you). I will explore the discrimination against people with body modifications and how it affects their lives.
I have lived in the bible belt the majority of my life. Although I was not raised in the church, I was taught strong values and morals. I rarely ever judge someone by the way they look, I tend to look at the creed of the person. I have always been “different” so to speak but never did I think that I could be judged harshly just because of a decision I made to modify my body.
I received my first non-ear piercing when I was 15 when I befriended my now husband who is a body piercing technician. As with most body art, I was hooked. I didn’t do many visible piercings because most jobs will not let you have them. It didn’t matter how hard you worked or how experienced you were, it was how you looked and who you know. I finally decided that I would get a visible, facial piercing when I was working at a local hospital and to my surprise…barely anyone noticed. I may not get as much discrimination as my husband but it is still there. I get my share of dirty looks and questions galore but live and let live is my usual mentality.
My husband on the other hand is discriminated against almost every day he leaves the front door of our home. He can only get under the table jobs because almost all the employers will not hire him. He gets harassed walking down the road by police. There has been incidents where a lady passing him clinches her purse or child closer out of some fear that he may be a bad guy. Truth be told they have more to worry about from a “normal, looking Joe”. “Freak” is a common thing he hears.
I just wish that these judge mental people would realize that most all people with body modifications are just like everyone else. We are just trying to get by and live our lives. We are not a danger to society nor do we pose a threat. It is only judge mental people that make us seem like bad people. It is always better to get to know the person behind the modifications not just the modifications.