Longtime William the Coroner readers know that one of my interests in forensics is body modification. I have whole lectures about it–ones that really, really pissed off the photography department of the Cuyahoga County Coroner’s Office when I worked there. (Bloody dismembered bodies, OK, a scientific talk on body modification? No go.) I am interested in what people do to themselves and why. And how this stuff can bring them to the attention of a coroner.
My interest started when I did a homicide abated by suicide pair, one person had killed the other and then turned the gun around. The killer had a tattoo of a bound, naked person in chains in front of a grotesque skull/castle.– a big arm piece. I started noticing tattoos, then. The guy who had been shot by the cops while attempting to hold up a bar (holding an FOP fundraiser at the time, bad idea) who had “OUTLAW” in gothic script over his chest. The fellow whose hallowe’en costume had failed and stabbed himself, with “Born to Lose” on his chest. Patterns begin to emerge.
So I keep aware of what people do to themselves. When I was in L.A., I noticed large plastic surgery ads in the weekly tabloid paper. Labioplasty was big. I never really thought it was an issue, but some women are concerned that their wobbly bits aren’t symmetrical. I really can’t see that being a problem, though I did have one patient who had had the procedure done because “I was tired of having things get tangled in my underwear.” I really did not want to know anything more.
But now, via Holly Pervocracy, I am now aware of “Labia dye“. (As an aside, doesn’t that sound like a women’s goth metal band? Anyway) The product is targeted at light-complected people, as there are four shades of pink, and evidently some folks are concerned that age and life (pregnancy, usually) stimulates the melanocytes. Women who have had a child tend to have darker genitals and nipples than those who haven’t. I don’t know where you will ever use that little bit of information, but there you go. And one’s anus is usually brown, too, which is another topic entirely.
The author raises some interesting questions. For example, why pink? Why only pink. The stuff is (as far as I know) temporary and harmless. I don’t see the point to it, but I don’t see the point to nail polish, either. But why pink? Why not green? Or Purple? Or black, if you’re in a goth mood. It’s your body, and you can play with it as you wish. The dye seems to be made of unflavoured powdered drink mix, which we know comes in tons of colors.
As a male, though I don’t really have a dog in this fight. I really do not anticipate my ever thinking, let alone saying the sentences, “I love you honey, but your labia are just too funny looking/weird/the wrong colour. Could you do something about it please?” I can also anticipate that even if I did say such a thing, intimacy would be over with the other person, so it wouldn’t matter.