Unfortunately, I am not writing about a delicious breakfast dish today. Instead, I will be discussing a bizarre new trend in Japan. Warning: Please do not attempt to continue reading while you are eating.
Perhaps getting bored by tattoos and piercings, Japanese body-art fans are taking things to the next level with an introduction to a practice called “bagel heading.” The process had been demonstrated on a new National Geographics show called Taboo.
The way it works is that a technician will create a blob on the forehead by injecting about 400 milliliters (13.5 ounces) of saline into the forehead through a needle over a period of 2 hours. The practitioner will then place a finger into the blob to create the indentation, giving the blob a bagel-look.
You must be wondering how something as bizarre as this can become a trend. Keroppy, a Japanese body modification artist was interviewed back in 2009 and said, “People who like extreme body modification want to find their own way of doing things, and they’re always looking for new ways to do that.”
Although the bagel-shaped injections aren’t permanent and the ‘bagel’ will fade after 16 hours as your body absorbs the saline, a question that quickly came to my mind was: Is injecting 400 milliliters worth of saline into one’s foreheard even safe to one’s body? Are there any side effects? According to Omar Ibrahimi, a dermatologist at the Connecticut Skin Institute and visiting assistant professor at Harvard Medical School, there are several red flags against becoming a bagel head:
1) Amount of Saline. The body can safely absorb saline that is injected under the skin only if it had been moderated because a person’s body will not be able to process salt properly if the saline solution is over-concentrated. In other words, if a person getting a bagel head accidentally used high-concentrated saline, he or she could suffer from severe dehydration which would have similar effect as gulping a lot of sea water.
2) Concerns Regarding Sterility. This is an issue that is also common in tattooing because there is an increase in the risk of experiencing bacterial or fungal infection from un-sterilized saline solution. Usually our immune system is able to fend off most pathogen that are present in our body, but when saline is injected directly beneath our skin, the germs will have a higher chance of winning the battle.
3) Cosmetic Troubles. Experiencing the thrill of being a bagel head will actually increase the risk of permanently damaging our skin because the skin is being stretched beyond its normal elasticity. You would not be feeling as “cool” when you have to live with an extra floppy piece of “bread” on your forehead for the rest of your life.
What do you think of this bagel head fad? Interesting, cool, or disturbing? Will this be the new botox? Will you ever go to the extreme to try something like this even just for once? Call me a conservative but I think I am quite content with having my ears pierced, I don’t plan on making a bagel out of my forehead anytime soon.