Wednesday, January 12, 2011

What Can You Legally Do With Your Appearance, Gender, Genitals, and Death

Shut up about your appearance, you're hot and your mental disorder will go away with time. Surprisingly not talking to anorexics, this was researchers at Brown University's response to sufferers of body dysmorphic disorder. Obsessing about non-existent imperfections is a time-honored American tradition and result of the neuroticism, though treatable according to the study. This raises a few questions: maybe my eyelids are actually really goddamn ugly, who are you to tell me they aren't, and shouldn't I be able to change them? Lines drawn about what's a mental illness, against the law, and good clean fun are fuzzy relating to molding appearance to fit identity.

Though heartless psychologists won't listen to your probably valid concerns, plastic surgeons everywhere will. Especially in California, where a 2006 ruling certifies formerly unqualified people to play around in your insides. Even though the actual authority of the American Board of Medical Specialties doesn't recognize the American Board of Cosmetic Surgery certification, don't let that that stop you from a nose job. They'll probably do it at a discount.

Even the federal government looks out for your right to an eyebrow piercing all your friends secretly think is lame. Join the Church of Body Modification and hunks of metal in your face become sacred and given First Amendment protection. Courts decided last year the Constitution overruled high school dress codes after a student member refused to take out her nose piercing on religious grounds.

Hell, the feds give tax breaks for gender reassignment surgery. Takes some sting out of the fact that afterward the United Nations doesn't care about you as much. Removing “sexual orientation” from a resolution against discriminatory killings doesn't declare open season on the transgendered, just make them more comfortable to ignore. Maybe post-ops should use the money they save to buy some protection.

Changing part of your genitals can get messy too. Circumcision for males is on its way out, with only %32.5 of America playing “just the tip” at birth. That along with a recently shot-down bill attempting to ban infant male circumcision show it's an all-or-nothing affair affair for what's done with your junk. It's moving from a choice made for you at birth to a voluntary procedure, so if you really want to be extreme with your body modification it's a great way to be edgy.

Final Exit Network shows their remarkable grasp of the power of advertising

Of course, the edgiest thing to do is kill yourself. If who you are doesn't match up with the decrepit mess your physical body's become, dying is a definite way to change it. Currently assisted suicide is legal in the Union's most depressing state, Oregon. For everyone else there's the Final Exit Network. While not actively assisting your death, they'll help with the rest. They're currently challenging Georgia's suicide laws after being charged with helping John Celmer use helium asphyxiate himself. No word on if Celmer's last words were “does this make my voice sound funny?”

Basically it's all free game how you change yourself as long as you're alive and keep away from whatever is between your legs. All forms of body modification are ways to exert control, whether over appearance, gender, or life. Sex and death have always been scaring humanity senseless, so of course procedures involving them are going to be controversial. We'd rather stay back and keep our distance, when we should be interacting with them as fully as possible. All options should be open. It's the most power we're ever going to get.

Images from here, here, and here.


  1. Great photos. The girl in the middle just screams "I have nothing else going for me."

  2. >we should be interacting with them as fully as possible

    Sounds like a call to masturbate to death...which should definitely rank highly on the Top 100 Ways to Off Oneself.