Japanese body inflation photo by John Stone
Thank goodness for our trendsetting friends in the Land of the Rising Sun, without whom Western Culture would be without such important pursuits as Pokemon, Iron Chef and dressing like Elvis. Now, the cooler-than-you kids have got something that just defies explanation, though bizarremag.com gives it a shot: Body Inflation.
And really, it puts anything our modder, club kids and hipsters can think up into a shame spiral so rapid and deep that they may actually be able to achieve time travel on the way down.
Think of it kinda like this: You can create a saline-based fake breast anywhere on your body, with huge, cartoon-like effects and shapes. And the photo above is nothing. Check here for a gallery of more of this Dunkin-Donut-inspired body sculpting trend.
After you do that - and maybe throw up just a little bit - realize that the good news is the saline injection is temporary. It apparently takes a couple hours to show up and, depending on what part of the body you inflate, and a night at the club to dissipate. So these misfortunate urban body pioneers won't be taking their cyclops foreheads to the grave. Then again, maybe they want to. It's clearly a fetishest practice geared toward a certain culture that values the aesthetic. Or, maybe just to the crowd that doesn't believe in wearing motorcycle helmets in lieu of simply making their head a saline cushion.
Whatever the case or personal preference, it's good to know there's no real risk involved.
BMEzine.com (a social site for fetishists of all types) founder Shannon Larratt tells Bizzaremag that it's nothing to take too seriously. You know, it's just fun:
"It's primarily a play activity," he says. "I think most of the time it's done on its own, rather than with other types of play. I've seen people combine it with play piercing but, on the whole, that's not something I'd recommend because of infection risks."
Yeah, there's that. There's also the EXTREME risk of looking like you have a hemorrhoid cushion growing out of your skull - or chest, arms, testicles ... well, you get the picture. All of the sudden infection sounds like the least of the risks associated with this trend.
But hey, before you think these folks might be loners or societal castoffs, think again. They have mixers:
In February Keroppy and Bizarre body mod favourite Samppa Von Cyborg held a Dolphin vs Birds night, pitching the saline enthusiasts (dolphins) against the hook suspensionists (birds). Although the techniques are radically different, they both hold the same appeal - the temporary transformation of the body. Keroppy likens the experience of suspension to bungee jumping and the infusions to scuba diving: "Inflation isn't painful, it's more of a weird sensation - but it is the act of using the body and seeking another experience. It's a bit tight. If your head gets really full, you feel a lot of pressure."
So, if you're looking to expand your horizons - and your forehead - there you go. But remember, kids, don't try this at home - just in case "never" is not an option - as there needs to be some professional involvement, apparently. But you may want to brush up on technique, helpfully broken down to Bizarremag by someone they refer to as a "body mod pioneer," and real-life cyborg, Samppa Von Clyborg:
The professional body piercer will use a saline bag, tube and needle. It works in a similar way to a hospital drip, so the bag needs to be raised above the body part picked for puffing.
* Body inflators never make their own saline solution and steer clear of tap water, due to the risk of infection.
* The needle is placed under the skin but not in a vein - or the build-up of pressure could mean exploding blood vessels all over the show.
* While it's not that dangerous, some people who've done it regularly have found their skin has permanently expanded.
* The most interesting place to inflate is the forehead, as the taut skin means the effects are extremely obvious.
* Inflatees can prod the inflated lumps to make them look more interesting.