Indeed, with gender fluidity05 Years Of Man Vs Wild 2006 2011 Thank You For The Memories Bear Grylls Signature shirt . and trans and non-binary identities becoming more accepted, the nature of the body one is born in is being called into question. Many of the people who replicate the mutant cyborg aesthetic find their human bodies fundamentally oppressive.
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“I was born in a human body with very specific limitations,” says Hayes, who characterizes her self-expression as a way of transcending her anatomy05 Years Of Man Vs Wild 2006 2011 Thank You For The Memories Bear Grylls Signature shirt . “Growing up, I really admired tattoos and piercings, but dyeing your hair only allows for so much modification.” By playing around with clownlike face paint and pointy elf ears, “you are truly redefining what it means to be human [in a way] that is commonly accessible,” she says. While these looks are unconventional, they aren’t exactly unprecedented. Fimmano cites instances of extreme body modification that cropped up in the late ’90s and early 2000s, noting that subdermal horn implants were a potential forebear of this trend. The biggest difference, he says, is that “these fetishes were expressed in a downtown club in some sort of attic or basement, but now that conversation is being had online.”Perhaps the ascendancy of mutant freaks is less a subversion of beauty than an evolution of it. Those who don colourful contacts in an attempt to transcend their humanity aren’t actively trying to court hostility; rather, they’re trying to make the world a more open-minded place by moulding their outsides to conform to the way they feel on the inside, which, coincidentally, is often scared, anxious and hostile.“We refuse to comprise our vision of life because society can’t handle it or prefers something ordinary,” suggest Dalton and Bhaskaran. “If it were just an aesthetic lifestyle, we wouldn’t have enough courage to pursue it. But because it’s our journey of translating our authentic selves into our lifestyle, it’s actually very easy. All we have to do is be ourselves and not be afraid. For us, it’s either that or die.”