Body modifications are either consensual or non-consensual. BME chooses to focus almost exclusively on consensual body modification (ie. body modifications that the individual chose for themselves at an age sufficient to understand the implications), and holds that (or at least Shannon holds that) to make potentially unwanted changes to someone else's body is fundamentally wrong and a violation of their rights as an individual.
Examples on non-consensual body modification include:
- FGM on children
- Ear piercings on babies
- Circumcision of babies
- Forced scarification and tattooing of children
- Tattooed concentration camp numbers
Clearly some of these are culturally acceptable in most people's eyes, while others may not be. The now wide-spread cultural concept that an individual owns their own body is a relatively recent one.