Sometimes fashion goes from relatively subtle changes in style to the worryingly outlandish. The latest craze for piercing the achilles heel with flexible rods definitely falls into the latter category.
I'm not entirely sure why someone would want to pierce this area of their body, not least because the achilles plays such a crucial role in movement, but also because the piercing is largely invisible especially when it's hidden by clothing during all too frequent dull days that the British weather bestows upon us, and also practical issues with footwear such as boots spring to mind. I'm not one to judge, and each to their own, but I find piercings of this nature distasteful and I worry for the wellbeing of those who have them done.
According to a man who's undergone such a piercing, they've caused him, "quite a lot of complications... like pain when I walk, and my legs aching when I'm on my feet for too long, although since reducing to 15mm it seems to have improved." He's also admitted to limping because of the piercings, but since he's reduced the size of the bar in his achilles he feels "more agile and less fragile".
It's seems that this type of piercing, that, incidentally, also takes years to heal and looks red, angry and swollen for an extended period, is highly dangerous. It has high potential of crippling you, requires constant maintenance, can impair your ability to walk and can cause permanent damage.
This craze is very worrying and dangerous, no desire to be different is surely worth jeopardising your health for.
Body Modification is a process whereby people undergo some pretty extreme modifications to their bodies such as horn shaped implants to the forehead and multiple piercings to various parts of the body including genitalia and orifices.
As an open minded person I might wince, but I cannot judge, my philosophy has always been, live and let live, it is after all your body and you should be able to do as you please with it.
If there is any pain to suffer (and I imagine by the eye watering photographs of some of the modifications there is a lot of pain) it is yours, and yours alone to suffer. However in an image driven society, I do question the influence that such modifications and photographs have on our younger members of society?.
On social media when I posted the photograph here in this article, the reaction was that of incredulity and fury such as Jane Edgecombe who says "I can't imagine why anyone would want to do this. I have an autoimmune condition which has attacked my right Achilles tendon making it extremely painful at times, I really do not understand why anyone would maim it deliberately".
Is it really necessary to do this to your body? what adornment is there when there is more pain than gain? From a safety aspect I do worry, I worry a lot, I founded a campaign called 'Safety in Beauty' to raise awareness of malpractice in the beauty industry, pain is not a beautiful thing. Infection is also very very painful, and it doesn't look nice, at all.
Who is actually agreeing to carry out these procedures? where and how? This is my point.
An ethical surgeon or doctor (who took an oath where the first vow is to 'do no harm') would not carry out these kind of procedures knowing the massive risk of potential damage and infection.
Is there nothing in this world anymore that is sacred and untouchable when it comes to ethics, health and safety?
Sometimes people just take things one step too far.