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Theorizing Popular Culture - Essay Example

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In today's society a person's identity and beauty are of great importance. Doing things to present themselves as individuals such as piercing, tattoo's, and brandings are common to achieve individuality. Though there are other body modifications that seem to be essential to achieve the perception of beauty, such as plastic surgery, liposuction, hair transplants, breast implants and in extreme cases gender transformation…
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Theorizing Popular Culture
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Download file to see previous pages As we enter and tumble into the 21st century we're at a point in human evolution where traditional cultures pushed by rough edge of modernity are really stepping back into their own traditions, and embracing their belief systems. One of the manifestations of that is body marking. At the same time, I think there is a whole sector of modern society, not just youth, but across all sorts of generations, genders, and ethnic backgrounds that are in search of identity, meaning and ritual. Hence, a huge explosion of tribal tattooing, and body marking. This is referred to as the "modern primitive" movement within tattooing. I think there's a correlation because if you step back and look at it, it's the larger picture of mankind wanting identity, wanting a sense of place, a sense of ritual, and a sense of culture within their own community.(National Geographic 2004)
Ear piercing can be traced back to 2nd century B.C. in Cyprus along with Iran from 2900-3500 BC and Iraq in 9th century BC, with pieces of art and jewelry in museums. Unfortunately the reasons for this ear piercing phenomenon have not been determined. However an Eskimo tribe in Alaska around 1918 used shark tooth earrings as a form of social rank. Another raising popularity involving ear piercing is stretching the earlobes to accommodate ear spools and ear plugs. Some examples can be found in places such as Guatemala 900-1500 AD with ear spools, and also in china with the stretching of the earlobes. Some people today still stretch their earlobes some examples can be found in Asia on an island named Borneo. Lip piercing another popular part of body piercing is lip piercing or labret piercing which some examples can be found in native Alaskan tribe around 1897. Lip plugs were worn by both men and women and represented those men had reached puberty. For women it was worn as decoration, or by women born of noble stature. Nose piercing, in today's culture can be stemmed from Alaska in the late 19th century and were considered a mark of distinction and prestige and were worn by both men and women. Body piercing in the cultural reference is seemingly just another form of individualism which has been practice in every culture for many centuries and will still be practice for many centuries to come. American's may not get their bodies pierced for the religious or cultural reasons that other countries do, but they still promote individualism that is ultimately behind it. This Modification is slowly becoming our present culture.
Cultural Background on Tattoo's
Tattooing is one of the most common forms of body adornment and individualism in America today. Tattooing has been practiced since the time of Ancient Egypt. "Tattoo is a word of Polynesian origin which is related to the Tahitian word tatau and the Marquesan word ta-tu." (University of Pennsylvania) One example of tattooing is the ancient Maori of New Zealand. Maori men have their faces, buttocks and thighs covered. This type of tattooing involves chiseling the skin and then placing ink the cuts to create the tattoo. Since this procedure is very painful it is done in stages starting in early adulthood. "The facial tattoos were an ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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