Friday, May 1, 2009

Snape Isn't the Only One With a Snake Tongue.

Beyond the perceptions of what everyday body art is about lies the extremes of body art commonly referred to as body modifications. One example of this which is growing rapidly in popularity is the act of tongue splitting. Tongue splitting is the process by which someone’s tongue is cut half way down the middle starting from the tip. There are multiple ways for one to get his tongue split but it is generally done through surgery in a hospital. James Keen, a 19-year-old from Scottsville, Kentucky who has his tongue split says that “the cutting was done in three sessions with a scalpel heated by a blow torch and no anesthetic” (Bernbaum). Though there is a growing population of people who find this aesthetically, and physically pleasing there are still many risks are involved. “One of the main worries, [Illinois state Rep. David] Miller says, is risk of infection from bacteria in the mouth. He also says a person's speech could be affected by scar tissue and the splitting itself. . . .Essie Hakim, a 30-year-old New Yorker who had her tongue split says she did have to learn how to speak again (Bernbaum). Due to the risks it poses and the fact that many people see tongue splitting as body mutilation rather than body modification, it has received a bad rep in the government and in places like Illinois they are trying outlaw it. “Earlier this year. . . several branches of the armed services banned tongue-splitting. [One] airman had the tissue in his split tongue reopened and sewn back together in February to avoid being kicked out of the service” (Bernbaum).
With all of the risks and possible legal ramification soon why would anyone what is driving so many people to get their tongues split? An article by CBS news commented on the thoughts of these individuals. For some people they do not see tongue splitting like something to show off like a tattoo but they see it as a body enhancement. There are still those who do it for the shock value but at the same time there are those who find the experience of getting their tongue split as spiritual. There are even those who get their tongue split because they like the way it looks and feels. Also, according to James Keen, it makes you a better kisser (Bernbaum).

Works Cited
Bernbaum, Brian. "New Body Fashion -- Tongue Splitting." CBS News. 13 May 2003. The Associated Press. 1 May 2009 .

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