As a follow-up to my last post about art implants and body modification, I submit to you the bagel forehead – a craze sweeping the trendier clubs in Japan.
There is one encouraging thing about this practice. If you don’t like it, at least it’s not permanent. It is, however, probably painful. The bulges like the ones you see above are created by the insertion of a needle under the skin through which saline drips to create the bump. Once the selected part is inflated, the person who has been inflated can poke and prod the bulbous part. A popular look is to press a dent into the center, creating the bagel look.
People choose all different types of body parts to inflate, but the forehead is popular because it is so obvious. One drawback is that frequent inflation of one’s forehead can lead to a saggy forehead. The skin can get stretched permanently.
Today, if you visit a fair or a carnival, you’re not likely to see “human wonders,” aka “sideshow freaks” like you did in the 20′s, 30′s, and 40′s. For one, exploitation isn’t as cool as it used to be, and for two, now we have the Jim Rose Circus, so that pays better and you make cooler friends.
It’s fun to learn. There was this guy, Martin Emmerling, who changed his name to Martin Laurello. That’s not the interesting part. He changed his name when he moved to the good old US of A in 1921. He had a special talent in that he could turn his head a full 180 degrees. What?!?!? See for yourself:
That’s crazy! How is that possible? I can’t tell you for sure because the internet didn’t tell me, but it was likely some genetic predisposition that Laurello cultivated into an “act.” He started performing in Europe, and then when he moved to the US he toured with Dreamland circus, Barnum & Bailey, and Ripley’s Odditorium. He had this strange little pamphlet wherein he told people about what he could do. He said that it took him three years to perfect his “act.”
It is funny that he is encouraging people to try to do what he does. IF (and it’s a big if) someone was able to accomplish this, without Laurello’s funky spine situation, it would likely kill them, whether they did it before or after breakfast. But, at least he wasn’t being stingy with the knowledge and stuff.