Re: Mutilation and tattoos

Adrienne Dearmas (DearmasA@AOL.COM)
Tue, 9 Jul 1996 12:03:04 -0400

In a message dated 96-07-04 19:14:11 EDT, jlm@TWICS.COM (John McCreery)

> Easy, but too easy. Global generalizations don't explain the variation,
> e.g., why some people would settle for a discrete butterfly above the
> while others go for total bodycoverage, or why some people make their mark
> by wearing Gucci while others go for tattoos and sometimes they may be
>the same people.

Now, you say easy - so tell me why reams of stuff have been written on
fashion, but nothing much looking at body mutilations cross culturally
(before I get flamed, I know about Bulwer, Flowers, Brain, Rudofsky, Hilaire,
Thevoz, Ebin, etc). To me, the variation is much less intriguing b/c it
reflects individual taste - something that has no pattern or reason. But why
do we wear clothes at all? Why do we mutilate the body? These are cross
cultural phenomenon. Individual preferences demonstrate the wide variation
and provides the supporting documentation that all cultures mutilate the

- Adrienne