Over the last several editorials, I've covered a few varied topics. I've received some e-mails on those topics, and before I get to my latest editorial, I want to share those...
First off, my last editorial -- Buyer Beware raised the issue of what should be done about jewelry suppliers who consistently receive bad reviews etc. Sara sent a reply to this editorial, you can read her response here. Sara's response is rather ironic, as I was contacted by Alphasylum following an email from a one of their customers informing them that a bad review from that customer had been submitted to the review section of Modified Mind. Alphasylum did threaten legal action for some comments in some reviews, but all was worked out in the end. I did correspond with Sarah of Alphasylum and she seems to be frustrated by the reviews and claims she wants to have satisfied customers. I pointed out that even though the company received bad reviews it remains in the ModMap section of Modified Mind. I agree with Sara's reply that ModMind and BME should not discriminate. The review section on ModMind allows readers to share their experiences with these companies, and that allows others to benefit from these reviews. The more reviews that are contributed, the easier it'll be to figure out where to go and where not to go. Perhaps all those reviews from Alphasylum are the exception and not the rule? Perhaps a shop with all positive reviews is really a shop that just made a couple of satisfied customers while really disappointing many customers who do not contribute their experiences. The stronger the review section, the better users of it will be able to figure the good from the bad, and in the meantime sites like Modified Mind cannot make the judgement call prematurely.
Another response came from Lauren, you can read it here. I also wonder why a supplier would screw their business like that, but maybe some of them don't count on word of mouth creating a bad reputation for them, and maybe that's where things like the Jewelry Supplier Reviews will cause a realization for these suppliers. As far as a ratings system, it could be a good idea...Modified Mind's reviews section is a form of this, but some links lists could implement a star system of rating suppliers.
A while back I asked about bod mod related pet peeves, and received a few responses to that as well...
Hmmm. Pet peeves. There are only a few things that bother me; I usually keep them to myself because some things aren't for me to judge. The main one that I think I have the right to be angry at are children staring. Their parents know they're staring but don't do anything. It's quite hard to feel comfortable in, say, a restraint setting when someone is staring at you for a half hour. Another one is people getting piercings that just don't look good on them. I think the main culprits are septums and Monroe's. I suppose it depends on the rest of the mods that person has to accent that one and the size of the ring but like I said...who am I to judge. I know I'm not the only one who thinks that way though. One of my piercers stated that on occasion he would kinda try to talk people out of getting a septum done because he didn't think it would look good. Ultimately the customer gets what they want, but personally I like a piercer with some type of opinion. The last thing that comes to mind is when people get piercings just to get one. Some I'm fine with because they have become a cultural norm, i.e. tongue, naval. My mods are very personal to me every single one of them and when I see someone with a piercing that has no meaning to them it hurts and angers me. It's almost as if it's an attack on me personally. There will always be those people and I still believe they should be able to do whatever they want to their bodies. I tend to live a life of conflict.
Well, the first point I understand completely. I've often been stared at by children, and even had them make loud rude comments to their parents and they are not hushed or disciplined for it, sometimes the parent even joins in and stares right along with their children. Children need to be taught to be curious and maybe ask questions, but not to be rude and hurtful.
As far as the other two issues, I think it's a matter of taste as far as what looks good on someone. It is an opinion, just like me saying I find someone attractive an you saying you don't find that person attractive. To each their own, if someone wants a septum piercing, it's their decision.
And getting piercings with no meaning...I feel slightly different about this, but in a comparable way. I feel that piercings can be an experience and might not always have meaning, but piercings with no meaning are also usually temporary -- for the experience and not the appearance of the piercing. My pet peeve in this area is people who get it just to be "cool", in which the piercing still has no meaning, but in which case they also have not tried to educate themselves on what they are doing to their bodies. Someone who is knowledgeable in mods might get a surface piercing just to experience the feeling of it and the healing process of one, but someone getting their navel pierced only because their friends are doing it is my version of this pet peeve.
I don't even know where to start with this, there's so much I can go on and on about, but I'll start here. Why are people in the bod-mod community so damn critical of others? (not saying it's everybody, but enough people that I was irritated enough to write this). Are you not cool if your ears aren't at least 7/16"? Unfortunately, that's the whole vibe I've been starting to notice from "modded" people lately and I'm just straight out embarrassed by these people's attitudes, if not offended when it's directed toward myself. I'm really tired of hearing all these snotty elitist attitudes from modded people, knocking people for having all the usual stuff like 14g bellybuttons, nipples and the standard fare of body piercing. Then turning around in the same breath saying how sick they are of people staring and making nasty comments at them for big lobes or whatever.
Hello? Are you people thinking before you speak? Don't be so damn critical of the choices other people make with what to do with thier bodies, just as you don't want them to be so critical of your own choices. Just as we have made our choices as to what we do with our bodies, so have others and just because it's something "trendy" or whatever, these people have still made the conscious decision of what they were going to do with thier bodies, just as you and I have. I know not everyone is like this, unfortunately enough people in the body-mod community are that I figured I'd say something about it, but the point I really want to make is sometimes maybe we should all think before we speak, because I know I've been guilty of the same things I'm bitching about now (on more than one occasion I'm sure), but now I'll think more before I speak, or just keep my mouth shut. Maybe Ice Cube said it best, "Check ya self before ya wreck ya self"
It is true that many people think like this, I know I have done so myself. I do criticize those who don't educate themselves before modifying their body, but the mods one chooses are personal. I choose to have a large gauge septum and labret, but I don't think less of someone with a 14ga septum or labret. They might like the smaller look of the jewelry, prefer the options that come as far as jewelry selection or might have comfort or social reasons for their mods and the sizes of those mods. Who am I to think I'm better for having something bigger or more extreme than the next person?
On that note, I'd like to move on to a more personal editorial this time. It deals with friends. I have a small but close group of friends offline. The closest two friends from this group recently moved, and I am moving as well in the Fall. The remaining friends here are good ones, but at times they make me feel uncomfortable, drawing too much attention to the fact that I'm modified. I know that when they do this it isn't to insult or hurt, it's more to compliment me than anything. It doesn't bother me too much, but where it makes me uncomfortable is when I think of moving from here.
I am not social and outgoing, the friends I have now are all ones I made in college. I wonder once I move if I will have a group of friends like this again. I don't judge based on whether someone has mods or not, but many people do, or at least can't look past the mods. I've had to deal with many questions like "did that hurt?" when developing relationships with friends. I don't know if I can deal wih that again in a new city. Will I just end up with a group of friends who are all modified? I don't know, but I do feel like I don't want to deal with having to go through the questions and attention of the mods before actually forming a friendship with someone.
I don't know if any of you know exactly what I mean...let me know if you do, and of your experiences in dealing with this issue when making friends.
Thank you, Modified Mind Editor/Creator Bryan Henderson