Hair, makeup, nails, tattoos, piercings, and body modification can all be fun, bold ways to show the world your true colors.
Your body's an awesome jumping-off point for creating a look that screams "YOU!" Whether you get edgy with your hairstyle, go all-in on nails and makeup, or push the envelope with body mods — you can create a unique look that's oozing with personality and creativity.
So, if you're on the prowl for some inspiration, keep reading! We've rounded up some of the artful expressions we think really show what you can do with your body.
Why Body Art
Think of your body as a blank canvas or unmolded block of clay. They're perfectly amazing as is. But, they don't really say much.
Slap some acrylic on that canvas or form that clay into a funky figurine — now you're really talking! In terms of your body, hairdos, cosmetics, and body modifications are your paint and shaping tools. They're the perfect complement to the killer clothes you're rockin'.
And, people have been using their bodies to represent their true selves since the beginning of time. Styling your hair a certain way, getting inked, etc. can make big statements about who you are and what lights your inner fire.
That's why lots of social movements — like counter-culturalism, feminism, BLM, and LGBTQIA+ rights — embrace it. It's also a great way to express gender, sexuality, ethnicity, and other dimensions of personal identity.
7 Ways to Creatively Express Yourself with Your Body's Appearance
When your clothing alone just doesn't cut it, and you need something more to really ratchet up your one-and-only style — it's time to think about crafting your own artful bod. Here are some ideas to spark your imagination.
Whatever direction you go in — aim to be authentic. And have a f*ckload of fun with it!
#1 Show Your Stripes with Makeup & Body Paint
Makeup and body art can be totally transformative. Plus, they're so versatile and temporary (which is ideal if your "true you" shifts on the daily!).
Go high-contrast. Notice the light-dark tones in the color palette and the precise lines defining the lips and eyebrows. Even the eyelashes are well-distinguished and the liner's drawn on sharply. And, with a matte finish, there's a smooth appearance and no shine to blur the crispness of the look.
Defy nature. Who says your brows need to be filled in with a "regular" hair color? Fuschia's as good as any other hue — maybe better! We also think the addition of the heart-shaped "beauty marks" is a great touch!
Glam it up. Let your sexy kitten self see the light of day! This look is bold and balanced, dewy and smokey with its full, glossy lips, smoldering eyes, and thicker brows. Meow!
Halloween it. Infuse drama into your look, and perhaps some horror or gore. Black lipstick, fan-like lashes, and the alt use of color make this work.
#2 Claw Your Way to a Signature Style with Your Nails
Your hands are incredibly expressive and should have talons to match.
- Shape them up. Coffin is one obvious choice. But ballerina, almond, and stiletto just might nail your look, too.
- Color counts. For example, dark shades — black, maroon, midnight blue — can be moody or show intensity. Brights are lively. Nude tones may be demure. There are foils and glitter to consider... And remember, not all nails have to have the same color varnish and you can ombre the polish, too.
- Texturize the hell out of them! Add 3D embellishments — like rhinestones or mini-spikes — your nails with 3D. Frost them so they have a sort of dulled look and feel. Embossing is another option.
- Draw it out. Paint on pentagrams, moon phases, bones, dripping blood — whatever your heart desires!
#3 Hair's How You Do It
Your hair is your crowning glory as they say. Shouldn't it be gloriously "you," then?
Rainbow your tresses. No need to settle for one color when you can have them all. With color just on the underside, you can create some updos that really pop!
All-over your color. This approach is totally in-your-face and unapologetic. Loving it!
Go for sugar and spice. It's cute and dollish, yet a bit wild and unpredictable. The duality is fun and hints at underlying complexity. You're a multi-faceted person after all!
Achieve the peak of style. Don't shy away from severe angles or asymmetrics in your cut. Get one side buzzed and let the other grow long. Crimp or braid only a few sections and leave the rest alone. Go crazy with it.
#4 The Eyes Have It
Doing something as simple as changing the color of (one or both of) your eyes can have such a huge impact! These days, it's easy to lay your hands on colored or even patterned contact lenses.
#5 Poking Holes in Bland & Boring with Piercings
Got a body part? Chances are it can be pierced.
In-and-out piercings have been commonplace for forever. Ears, nose, and belly button are standard fare. Brows, lips, and nips are a bit more daring maybe. Tongue piercing has been super popular on and off. And, of course, those who're more hardcore go in for getting their junk or other "exotic" locations pierced. And, the more the merrier, right? (One and never done!)
In recent years, dermal piercing — piercings that go in one side of the flesh but not out the other side — has surfaced. These embedded jewels or studs can dial your style to another level. Artfully decorating the face, chest, and so on is riding a trend. And people even ditching traditional wedding bands and just getting diamonds set right into their fingers.
#6 Making Your Mark with Tattoos & Scarification
Getting some ink is probably the most common in this category. But scarification and branding — which can be much more dangerous and take much longer to heal than tattooing — have had a place in many cultures for centuries.
Be a tattoo multiverse. Splash a variety of sizes, colors, levels of detail, and motifs into your tableau.
Face it. It's not everyone's thing, but facial tattoos definitely tell the world a bit about you.
#7 Personality That's More Than Skin Deep — Body Modifications & Implants
Now, we're on the more extreme end of body art. These aren't for the faint of heart or anyone who's wishy-washy about their commitment to bodily self-representation.
There are too many to go into — so we're just listing a handful — but all require invasive cosmetic procedures or plastic surgery. Read: These can be dangerous and irreversible changes to your body.
- Tongue splitting
- Tooth filing (fangs!)
- Horn implants
Body Art & Personal Style — It's All in How You Look at It
A killer wardrobe can only go so far as to express your personal style.
But, you can use your body to show off who you are. There's a whole diverse range of ways to decorate your body (or use your body as decoration?) to declare your personality and sense of.
Pretty much, your imagination is the limit!
So, go ahead and find the hair, nails, and other body modifications that appeal to you. Enjoy the process and the results. Whatever you come up with is sure to be kick@ss!