Aug 6 2008 8:52pm

My grandma went to Lothlórien, and all she brought back was this lousy pair of elf ears.


elf ears body mod


Via BoingBoing, here’s an instructable on how to give yourself permanent elf ears. It’s not quite a step-by-step, but you get a pretty good idea of how she pulled it off. Body mods and SF/F—they go together like chocolate and peanut butter.

Robert N. Lee
1. RNLee
Maybe people should be advised, on that note, to smear chocolate and peanut butter on the wounds as they heal? Just getting into the DIY spirit, here...

Seriously? That's just nuts.
Sammy Jay
2. Malebolge
Weird. I knew a kid who had pixie-ish ears and underwent plastic surgery to get them fixed up for her 'modelling career'. Boy, did she back the wrong team.
Megan Messinger
3. thumbelinablues
You know, I'm good with tattoos, piercings, and gushing bloody wounds, but somehow this whole ear-stitches thing's the transitive verb form of "woozy?" Yipes. With the cartilage. And the stopping now.

Pointy ears can be cute, but this does make me wonder weirdly about this woman's deepest, darkest in, what is the trying to express about herself with the elf ears? What is inside her that has to come out as a body mod? What attracts her to the visible difference it affords? If I ever meet her, I hope I make good conversation, possibly touching on some of these questions, instead of squeaking "YOU HAD EAR STITCHES" and passing out.
Pablo Defendini
4. pablodefendini
Heh, I knew that choosing the image without the stitches was the right move...
You know, Megan, I think that's a great question about body mods in general, and I would venture to guess (since I don't have any substantial mods myself) that the answer would vary from person to person, running the gamut from the completely empowered and deliberate, such as Erik Sprague, the Lizard man on one end; to the train-wreck plastic surgeries of someone like Jocelyn Wildenstein on the other.
Sammy Jay
6. Malebolge
Wonder when they'll start removing shins and kneecaps so people can have dwarf legs.
Megan Messinger
7. thumbelinablues
Interesting that both the Lizardman and Jocelyn Wildenstein took their inspiration from animals. One of the intriguing things about body mods, as opposed to tattoos and piercings, seems to be the desire to be something else entirely rather than producing 'the body adorned.' I mean, everyone knows that I wasn't born with holes in my ears or writing on my back -- nothing in nature is -- but with the pointed ears, split tongues, brow ridges, or even crazy lion-chins, the effect is both naturalistic and other....
Pablo Defendini
8. pablodefendini
Indeed, although I doubt that Wildenstein's lion-like appearance was intentional. This dude, on the other hand....
9. supertailz
Since Meg is afk until later tonight, I'll mention that according to the article you posted on Jocelyn Wildenstein, it appears that she was intentionally trying for a lion-like appearance (though that raises questions in my mind as to what she thought her husband was doing in his private jungle).

My main question though, is what are the tiger man's whiskers made of??
Pablo Defendini
10. pablodefendini
Well, color me lazy and stupid. I was always under the impression that her appearance was the inadvertent result of botched surgeries, so I didn't bother to read all the way through.
So, maybe Michael Jackson for the botched surgery category?
Tara Chang
11. tlchang
Don't really get body mod... I wonder how she'll feel about this 20 years from now?
Jeffrey Richard
12. neutronjockey
I bet Tiger Man is a hit at all the Furry Cons...

...I dig body modification as a spectator sport --- but at some time you have to realize that you've limited your potential income and job-range. While today's society is certainly more acceptable of tattoos piercings etc...having a glow-in-the-dark tarantula tattooed across your head and face is still not the answer unless you want to play bass in your garage for eternity.
Aric Haley
13. apokalypsis

I think the word would be "woozifying" (probably not in the OED yet). Maybe she wants to increase her biological/evolutionary "fitness" in the eyes of LOTR geeks...? (Not necessarily what I think of as the most-hotly-competed-for group to being with.)

I was wondering if she has to keep the bandage/white-wrap-thing on them for the rest of her life. None of the pictures showed her ear without it.
Megan Messinger
14. thumbelinablues
I like "woozifying"! Let's make it official. And I would also like to see it without the butterfly thingy...I assume that comes off after the healed spot can take the tension from the cartilage.


Also, Pablo, never fear -- Nina has a "lazy and stupid" crayon around here somewhere.... I'm sure she used it on me last week. ;0)

Nina, the tigerman's whiskers are variously reported as fiberglass or nylon, attached to piercings so he can take them out to sleep. Which reminds me of one of my favorite mods ever. Although it's technically a piercing, I would say it's enough of a lifestyle change to count as a mod, right? It seems really cool on one hand, but on the other, I'm just trying to picture wiping rain off them.... It kind of goes in the other direction, less of a faux-natural mod and more of a cyberpunk thing.
Blue Tyson
15. BlueTyson
No one has done leathery hairy hobbit feet then?

Larry Scroggins
16. LeisureSuitLarry
If there was anything I would ever consider in the body mod arena, leathery, hairy hobbit feet would be it. They would be warm in the winter, water-proof, and easily hidden. And, as a bonus, they would make for a great Hair Club For Men or Rogaine commercial.

The elf ears are kind of cool. Body mods are generally fun to look at, as long as whoever has them realizes that people are going to stare. The Stalking Cat guy is just messed up though. So is Lizard Man.

Whenever I see this sort of thing, the first thing I think is "What the heck do these people do for a living?" or "I wonder how they're going to explain that one in an interview." I wish that I had been free enough of inhibitions to do something like that when I could have gotten away with it.
17. Supertailz
Meg - I think I was sitting next to you when you googled the whiskers. Still, much more reassuring to my brain to think of them attached to piercings. Somehow the fiberglass just embedded in his skull made me twitch. How would he sleep? (I then proceeded to observe kitteh sleeping to figure out how one might sleep with whiskers. My conclusion? Uncomfortably.)

Pablo/Meg: I have found my crayon. If I give it to you to take to work, will you colour Pablo in?

So here's my question. Under the title of body mod are we talking all modifications? Any piercings, tattoos or surgery? Or are we only talking exreme-y type things? Because thinking about it, I tend to think of piercings/tattoos/surgery as not "body mod" though I recognise that they are a modification of the body. I think I reserve something that sounds drastic for the type of thing that y'all have been discussing here (becoming something else). If we say they all fall under body mod, then is there are a term for xtreme-y-ness? (Pulls out "extreme" crayon.)

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