These days, it’s quite common to find people with piercings and the occasional tattoo. Body modification- which is an umbrella term that includes piercings, tattoos, cosmetic surgery, and sometimes even dentistry, is not a new phenomenon to the modern world.

People indulge in body modification for a variety of reasons, such as aesthetic quality (piercings), nostalgia or to draw on an inner reservoir of strength (tattoos) or even to enhance their natural features (cosmetic surgery and dentistry).

However, some people took the trend a tad too far, indulging in excess body modification in order to channel their “inner animal.

When You Can Be Anything, Why Be An Animal

According to a survey conducted by Elliptical Reviews, people with relatively minor modifications (a small, unnoticeable tattoo, earrings, etc.) are generally perceived more positively by society.

People with extensive and visible tattoos and facial piercings lose out on both job opportunities and relationships when compared to their more natural counterparts. So why go in for such extreme modifications, anyway?

As per interviews given by people who have sought to make drastic changes to their appearance, most of their motivation lies in the yearning to be someone (or something) other than who they already are. They see turning into an animal as an almost spiritual process that helps them get in touch with their inner self.

Based on the analyses of psychologists, this intense yearning to make such dramatic changes to one’s body could stem from body dysmorphic disorder, where the patient is deeply unhappy with their looks and is ready to go to any lengths to achieve what is, according to them, the physical ideal.

The Tiger Lady

Texas-based Katzen has modelled her physical appearance after that of a tiger. Her affinity towards this particular feline began when she was 5 and had recurring dreams of herself covered in tiger stripes. As an adult, Katzen (meaning cat in German) has been tattooed by more than 227 tattoo artists, who have given her tiger stripes all over her body.

She also has piercings on her face, to which she attaches plastic whiskers. However, she has reduced her use of whiskers in the recent past, as she feels they affect her range of vision.

The Cat Man

In a story similar to the tiger lady, we have Dennis Avner, the Cat Man. Taking the advice of his Native American medicine man to follow the “ways of the cat” a little too seriously, among other procedures, Stalking Cat (his spiritual name) underwent extensive tattooing, piercings on the upper lip on which to attach whiskers, subdermal implants to give a more feline appearance to his face, and got his upper lip bifurcated, so that it would resemble the split lip of a cat.

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The Lizard Man

Erik Sprague was a PhD scholar at the University of Albany before he decided to ditch the world of academics and move towards the world of sideshow performing.

He has undergone multiple procedures to enhance his likeness to that of a lizard, some of them being green-tattooed lips, scales tattooed all over his body, a bifurcated tongue, and sharpened teeth.

The Leopard Man

Known as the “Leopard Man of Skye” or simply the “Leopard Man,” British Tom Leppard (born Tom Wooldridge) formerly held the title of “The World’s Most Tattooed Man.”

After three decades of service in the armed forces, Leppard began his transformation into a leopard. He spent over £5500 on full-body tattoos that resemble leopard spots and lived a largely reclusive life.

Getting in Touch with the Wild Side

Human beings in the modern world have long been known to want to give up the fast-paced world of deadlines and technology to live a simpler life, closer to nature.

Most people achieve this by cutting down on social media usage, or switching off their phones and going on a week-long camping retreat. And some literally try to turn into animals and minimise the human in themselves. Well, whatever floats your boat.

Image Credits: Google Images

Sources: CBS News, Popcrunch, Tattoodo

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