Tuesday, 31 May 2016

Stop Judging Other People's Body Modifications

My name is Kitty, and when I was 27, I had Botox for the first time. I've had it every 3 months since. I've been getting piercings other than my ears since I was around 17, and got my first tattoo at 26. Lately I've been seeing a lot of hate from the body modification community towards those who have plastic surgery and less invasive kinds of fillers and Botox and the like and it's not cool.


Before Botox, this was my life. Hospital visits and a whole lot more medication than I'm sharing in that photo. I suffer from hemiplegic migraines and a form of chronic headaches. This means I am in pain 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year. Or at least, I was. Thanks to Botox I've been able to avoid hospital visits and ambulances for a little while now and it's incredible.


I took this selfie the first time I ended up on a stroke unit. Hemiplegic migraines essentially mimic strokes without the brain damage. Slurred speech, one sided numbness, confusion, aphasia, drooping face, all the fun stuff. It is absolutely terrifying.


I've tried dozens of different medications and treatments, and nothing worked until Botox. I have it every 3 months and it totally changed my life. I have 36 injections in my forehead, scalp and neck and let me tell you, Botox bloody hurts like hell. I cry every time. I've been tattooed for 6 hours in one sitting and there is just no comparison in the pain. I can't move my eyebrows anymore, and the slight wrinkle I had coming in my forehead has vanished.


And since I had Botox I realised something. There is a running theme within the tattoo/modified community of a prejudice towards those who have pursued a different type of body modification. I'm talking lip fillers, Botox, fake boobs, nose jobs and more. The tattoo community seems to consider it's type of body modification superior to these other types of modification because they are more associated with vanity than tattoos are. Because Botox hides aging, or fillers increase your pout, people believe their artwork covered bodies are different or better. I see so much hate from people who claim to be open minded towards those who have these other kinds of modification.


The body positive community is all about embracing who you are, and loving yourself, but that isn't always possible for some people. I felt like my body hated me before Botox, and now I can love it because it doesn't feel like it is rebelling against me. People get fake boobs because they've always been self conscious about their breasts, or because they are having reconstruction after breast cancer, or because they just love the look of huge fake boobs! You might love the exaggerated look of lip fillers, or have always wanted a split tongue, or a full back piece, it's body modification in a different form. And one isn't better than the other.


Tattoos aren't better than Botox, your nose piercing isn't cooler than a nose job. The body modification community has always claimed to be supportive and welcoming, but it is judging an entire group of people because their ways of modifying their body are different to their ideas of body modification. You aren't superior because you have tattoos and someone else has cheek fillers.


As someone who has always felt part of the alternative community, to see us judging other people's choices hurts, especially when I didn't have a choice about whether or not to have Botox. Seeing memes and jokes about frozen foreheads and about how awful people must be who have it, it hurts. Being judged by people who know nothing about you sucks. Why people have body modification is none of your business, and what kind of body modification is 'OK' is none of your business either. 


I believe everyone deserves total body autonomy, and that includes their right to get their preferred body modification without judgement from others. I want to see less judgement from the alternative and body positive communities, we have to learn to embrace everyone's choices about their own bodies. Whether you like the look of their modification, or would never have it done to yourself, you have no right to judge. The reasons I have Botox are irrelevant, I shouldn't have to justify it to you so you don't judge me.

Not your body, not your choice.

Much love,
Kitty xxxx

PS. All my tattoos are by Keely Rutherford!


14 comments:

  1. I've never thought of botox, plastic surgery in the same way as body modification but of course you are so right. I think its sad that people have to say "I had a boob job... Because I lost a breast to cancer" or "I get botox... For my migraines" in order for people to stop side-eyeing and deem it acceptable.

    On another note, I'm pleased your migraines are much more manageable now :) I've been thinking about botox a LOT recently as my forehead is looking wrinkly, but seeing your tears in that picture is making me think about just cutting in a fringe for a bit longer!!

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    1. thank you lovely! I really appreciate the comment. I have to admit, it's reeeeeeally, reeeeeally painful, but it makes such a difference ! xxx

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  2. I completely agree. There are certain types of body mods that make me feel really icky, but that's only because I'm thinking about how I'd feel with them on myself. Whatever anyone else wants to do with their body is totally their choice. I also think the bodily autonomy thing works in another way, though... I will be forever thankful to my parents for not getting my ears pierced. I remember asking my mother when I was about 8 years old to get mine done and she told me I could decide for myself when I was 16. I eventually got mine done aged 38 once I already had two tattoos because I decided that I wanted them doing. I don't honestly understand how it can be acceptable to pierce a child's ears when it exposes them to risks of infection and has no physical benefits. And don't even get me started on non-medical circumcisions... Do what you like to modify your own body and use that to educate children and young people to make their own decisions when they're old enough to make them.

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    1. I'm so with you, I'm very against piercings a child's ears, they can't consent or understand. Especially because it also tends to mean those children get pierced with guns rather than needles which are incredibly problematic and should be banned

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  3. I hate that there should be some kind of judgement over these particular procedures purely because it involves invasive action. You wouldn't see patients receiving lifesaving drugs, sneer or snark at others receiving less beneficial treatment. Body mods are one thing, medical intervention whether intended for health or appearance is another. Fools! As a chronic migraine sufferer, I can't even begin to imagine how painful and terrified that point in your life was. I'm so glad you found an alternative therapy that works for you. X

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    1. thank you lovely, I didn't have a remotely normal life before, the difference for me has been life changing in ways I never thought possivle xx

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  4. Glad to read that Botox was a life-changing treatment for you. I'm all for embracing who you are, especially if it makes you feel positive about yourself.

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  5. What an interesting post! I live by the motto, "not your body, none of your business." It's served me well thus far.

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  6. This is a really good post, Kitty. I'm sorry to hear about your migraines, but I'm very glad the botox helps. I knew it could help with some health issues, and it's amazing that it helps you live a better life. People assume the worst when you talk about botox - I have considered it, just for my wrinkly forehead. ;) xx

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    1. hehe thanks lovely :) I know a fair few people who have it for their wrinkles, why not if you want it! xx

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  7. I had fillers in my feet to stop heels hurting me (a friends is a cosmetic surgeon and I didn't have to pay so why not) - a so-called-friend slated me for it - the same friend has lasered every part of her body so she she doesn't need to wax/shave. Is mine any different?

    I love this post because people are too judging - I haven't had Botox myself, although I have been offered for my migraines and I've seriously considered it (although my migraines are caused by a existing neurological condition so they're not sure it will work) but even if I wanted to have it for cosmetic reasons, would it be a bad thing if it made me feel happy? I don't think so.

    C xx
    CurvyGirlThin.com

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    1. did it help your heels? That's such an awesome idea for it! Thank you for the comment lovely, it's bizarre the things people judge us for whilst also modifying their own bodies in different ways xx

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