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Japan’s New Beauty Buzz – The Bagel-Head


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Body modification is a form of body alteration that can be beautiful, unique and sometimes, downright bizarre. Traditional forms of body modification includes circumcision, while more common forms of this act includes body piercing and body tattoos. It appears that body modification has been given a ‘fresh’ take as enthusiasts get creative.  Eye tattoos and scarification, for example are just one of the many unconventional forms of this.

Recently, something new and downright outlandish made its way in the mainstream in the form of bagels (or donut-shaped) foreheads. This ‘trend’ was recently documented on National Geographic’s series Taboo, where three body-modification enthusiasts from Japan, are filmed turning their foreheads into large donut-shaped lumps. (Source)

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This body-art trend that emerged in Japan is know as the “bagel-head”, where the look is created by injecting saline into the forehead until it swells up, then pressing the centre of the bump with one’s thumb. The trend is believed to have been started by an a photography and journalist name Keroppy (real name Ryoichi Maeda) in 1999. Keroppy was inspired by a man named Jerome he met in a body-modification convention in 1999 and explained that it took for years to get the treatment done to himself and brought it to Japan in 2007. (Source)

The process takes over two hours, where approximately 400cc of saline is injected into the forehead. That’s over 120 minutes of having a needle in one’s forehead! The bagel-effect however, is only temporary and only lasts between 16 to 24 hours.

As for the sensation or why they do it, a bagel-head enthusiast said that the injection causes a “slight stinging sensation” and a “building pressure that’s kind of slow and steady that feels like it’s putting me to sleep”.

This is a rather bizarre form of modification, but it’s also not the most extreme. What are your thoughts on this new ‘trend’ in Japan?

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Genevieve Nunis
If not comatose in bed watching Netflix, Genevieve (or Evie) is dressed to the nines sipping Gin-Tonics and devouring soup dumplings in a dodgy Chinese restaurant.