Open Wide and Say “Yeowwww!”

Body tattoos have become so mainstream that it’s no longer unique or ultra-cool to sport inked skin anymore, which is why the latest body modification fashion trend is now trending: tooth tattoos! But if you want to get in on the fun, you’ll have to make a trip to your dentist to get one or more of your teeth inked up.

Pucker up: Lip Plating Still in Vogue in Remote Tribal Villages

Today we travel outside the US to explore the lip plate, a form of body modification that’s still practiced in Africa among a few indigenous tribes, particularly in the central and southern part of the continent, as well as among some tribes in the Amazon rain forest. Women from the Mursi tribe in southwestern Ethiopia are particularly notable for this practice because their village has turned into a tourist attraction for Westerners to come and get their gawk on.

Lend Me Your Earlobe

Ah…the earlobe.

It’s filled with nerve endings, it turns red when we’re embarrassed, and for most people it’s also an erogenous zone. Stretching the earlobe has been practiced for thousands of years, and still continues today as a cultural tradition in many indigenous tribes around the globe, including the Mursi in Ethiopia and hill tribes in northern Thailand, where it can be a rite of passage, a spiritual symbol, or a sign of status.

Not Your Mother’s Idea of Sewing

Lip and eyelid sewing are on the list of extreme forms of body modification. They're a type of cosmetic procedure that is certainly not meant to improve one's looks. Sometimes referred to as "play piercing," this bizarre practice falls under the category of ritualistic body modification because it is typically connected to personal symbolism for individuals who undergo this painful process to make a point, for example, as an act of protest. This body ritual may also be incorporated into a public performance at a body mod conference, or one may feel the need for assistance in focusing their mind when meditating; lips sewn together can effectively remove the temptation to speak.

Uvula Piercing

Uvula piercing is an infrequent form of body modification because it has a high failure rate due to the intensity of the gag reflex, which makes it extremely difficult to apply or receive the piercing. It may take numerous attempts to clamp and secure the uvula for piercing. Mucus bubbles typically appear, making the process even more frustrating to accomplish. And once in place, mucus bubbles can form on the ring at any time.

Magnet Implants

Gaining in popularity in the body modification subculture is having a magnet implanted beneath the skin for the purpose of…well…we're not quite sure what the point is! The procedure is known as "body hacking" or "bio-hacking." People who've had it done report that they can now perform cool party tricks, such as picking up paperclips and bottle caps with the tip of their finger. (Guys, this implant could be a literal "chic magnet!")

The Eyes Have It!

Don't blink—surgically implanted eyeball jewelry takes body piercing to a whole new level. It was developed in the Netherlands 10 years ago, slowly made its way to Los Angeles, and recently arrived in New York. The technical medical term for eyeball jewelry is extraocular implant. Eye surgeons at the Netherlands Institute for Innovative Ocular Surgery created the cosmetic procedure where a tiny piece of jewelry (which they market as "JewelEye") is inserted under the surface of the eyeball for decorative purposes. The institute's website says that the implant is completely safe and does not affect visual performance, mobility, or other ocular functions.

Subdermal Implants Come in All Shapes and Sizes

When Frank Sinatra sang his hit song I've Got You Under My Skin, we're sure he wasn't crooning about subdermal implants, because they weren't around in his time. Today, there is a whole new meaning to Frank's phrase about love, in the growingly popular practice of implanting "body jewelry" beneath the skin's surface, which results in a raised design.

Suspended by Razor-Sharp Metal Hooks—Just for Kicks!

Why would anyone want to pierce their body with large metal hooks and be lifted off the ground, swaying to and fro above an appreciative crowd of gawkers while the tiny bits of flesh and skin beneath the hooked points of entry bear their body's entire weight?

Designer Derrières

Women who want a great-looking butt before bikini season—or men who are concerned about the flatness of their buttocks—may be flirting with undergoing any number of surgical enhancements, because when it comes to the appearance of your gluteus maximus, modern plastic surgery techniques and advanced cosmetic procedures offer an array of ways to acquire a kick-ass butt.