Living Up to a Biblical Name


There's a great post up over at Modblog (the go-to site for the newest exploits in the realm of body modification), about a Colombian bod-modder named Cain, who wanted to look more like the devil:

My friend Cain from Bogota, Colombia, was waiting a long time to modify his physical appearance. So last year, I took a trip to Bogota and saw, when I met Cain, he had a very hard, rough appearance; even with no modifications, he impressed me. He told me he wanted to look more evil, you know, like the devil itself, and to pay tribute to the name Cain.

I started by giving him silicone horns, and had to take a few trips there for make them bigger — our goal is 2-inch horns, and to eventually add another set of 1.5-inch horns, manufactured by Steve Haworth. Cain was really happy with the work I did and wanted to go to the next step: making his nose like the bad guy from Harry Potter and the Order of the Phoenix, Lord Voldemort, but with a very personal touch.

When I came home to Caracas, my big friend Cesar Gonzalez (a plastic surgeon, specialized in nose reconstruction) and I had a very long conversation about Cain's situation. When I went back to Colombia for a tattoo convention, I did the procedure on him — he was more than pleased, and very soon you will see the result. I want to give thanks to BME, and a special thanks to Lukas Zpira for helping me a long time ago to make my first step into the modification world.

Cain's drastic refiguring is interesting for two reasons (both of which transcend the shock/disgust factor): For one, it's difficult to convince plastic surgeons in the U.S. to conduct non-cosmetic surgeries, yet, in most states, it's illegal to pay someone without a medical license to do anything more "extreme" than a simple ear piercing or tattoo. In Florida—a territory more liberal than most with regards to guns and booze—it's illegal to have your ears or nose scalpeled or punched, or any other part of your body scarred or branded.

The end results of these laws—which often serve to enforce the mainstream medical community's views on appropriateness, as well as fatten the pockets of AMA ABPS-licensed certified plastic surgeons—is that people interested in the procedures end up either feeding another state's—or country's—economy (several scarification studios in Austin, TX., have a months-long waiting list), or getting back-alley procedures. In the former case, states that prohibit "risky procedures" lose revenue and earn resentment, but in the latter case, artists and their patrons are forced to behave like criminals. One Florida artist I spoke with said that for years, he conducted scarification procedures in hotel rooms, using a portable surgical kit and painting plastic. He moved to a more sterile environment when he started a tattoo and piercing shop, doing scar work on Sundays and after hours—evidence that legislation aimed at stopping risky procedures hampers the trade more than anything.

And reason number two almost speaks for itself, but I still feel compelled to ask, How are triple M boobs more justifiable, from a cosmetic surgery perspective, than an untraditional nose reconstruction?