english version

We live in an age where artificially tanned, lyposucted, silicone- enhanced models grace every Playboy magazine cover. Body Modifications are featured on the coverstories of weekly information magazines, confirming the general insatisfaction with one's own image.

Roberto Medeiros, a young man from Florianópolis (Brazil), modifies his body in the purest "do it yourself" manner. Searching for information and techniques on the Internet, he explores his own limits with piercings, scarification, stretching, and other experiments.

After photographing him for a promotional piece, we were curious to learn his motives for his modifications and decided to interview him.

Read his answers below.

WHAT IS THE MOST FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTION IN YOUR INTERVIEWS?
If it hurts, why do I do it, if I use drugs, if I am not going to regret my mods, etc. The answers vary depending on my mood :)

ARE YOU DIFFERENT FROM "THE OTHERS"?
People are different from the others, even without modifications. I don't have many visible modifications and don't feel aesthetically different from people without mods.

HOW DO PEOPLE FROM YOUR CITY (Florianópolis) AND YOUR FAMILY REACT TO YOUR MODIFICATIONS?
There's not much difference between Florianópolis and São Paulo people make the same questions and react in the same way. It's totally new for my family - they haven't been around it before. But they love and respect me, regardless.

ARE YOU DISSATISFIED WITH YOUR "NATURAL STATE"?
There is no "natural state" - you grow, pick your haircut, your clothes, modifications, etc. There is no difference between a person with modifications, like tattoos, piercings, and implants, and a model, who undergoes lyposuction, gets breast implants and an artificial tan. The motives vary from person to person and from modification to modification. My hand scars, for example, have no relation to my tongue splitting.

WHEN DID YOU START?

I began in 1997, by getting a tattoo in each foot.

COULD YOU LIST THE MODS YOU'VE DONE IN THE ORDER THEY WERE DONE?
I've done and removed several piercings. Forehead, tongue, lips, chin, nipples, forearms, navel, scrotum. I haven't removed my eyebrows, just shaved them, so it is not a permanent modification, it's like a haircut. At this time I have four tattoos (one on each foot, thighs, and hands), two scars (hands and belly), a 1/4" Prince Albert, 1/2" septum, 9/16" earlobes (I want to reach 1 1/2 - 2"), postectomy, and tongue splitting.

WHAT ABOUT THE SUSPENSIONS? WHAT IS THE SENSATION?
The first suspension was my birthday gift, when I turned eighteen. Although it was for a short time, I was happy I didn't pass out, or have any other bad reaction. The second suspension was really better than the first, and the third, better than the second. I am preparing the fourth, a knee suspension, and I think it will be even better :)> You stay above the ground, flying. You feel free, despite being held by tons of hooks. I think its fun - I don't enjoy being suspended and staying in a corner, alone, meditating. It's another way to have fun.

 

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photo copyright © Louise Chin