When my friend Elyse saw this “bagelheads” photo posted on my Facebook wall she commented, “You know, I always think I’m open-minded, but then I read random crap like that and realize that I have limits…” Elyse, I kinda agree! I have loads of friends with different body modifications (or body mods) and believe me, I don’t have a problem with it at all. Even I have a few tattoos (which I’ve blogged about here on MethodShop) and occasionally contemplate getting my nose or navel pierced. However, although I am open-minded and generally speaking like body mod, I find this new trend making waves in Japan a little mind-boggling. Oh, Japan. Sometimes you can be so weird.

What Is The Bagelheads Bod Mod?

Bagelheading is a temporary body modification trend that involves adding fluid under the skin. A saline solution is injected into the customer usually by a professional piercer or tattoo artist. The injection then causes extreme inflammation and swelling in that area. Popular body locations for the injections include foreheads and arms. Many people will then press into the center of the inflamed area and creating a “bagel” shape, thus the term bagelheads.

Bagelheads: Bagel Shapes
The “bagelheads” shape is created when a thumb is pressed into the center of the saline inflamed area on the customer’s forehead.

How Long Does It Last?

Luckily these saline-based body mods aren’t permanent. The bagel head bumps only last for about 24 hours. The harmless saline solution is eventually absorbed back into your body.

Bagelhead Girls
It usually takes about 2 hours of injection to achieve the large puffy bagelheads shapes in these photos.

Is Being A “Bagel Head” Worth It?

Why inject your forehead with saline solution to make different shapes like donuts or bagels? Especially when it requires two hours of suffering and patience for just 1 day worth of results. Maybe it is just a rebellious thing to freak people out? Who knows? As long as it doesn’t hurt anyone I won’t complain too much. However, I personally like my bagels toasted with cream cheese. And I’d rather have them go in my stomach, not in my forehead like these Japanese kids!

Bagelheads: Customers Being Injected With Saline

NERD NOTE: Although popular in Japan, the bagel head body modification has its origins in Canada. It was originally conceived by Montreal-based photographer Jerome Abramovitch. Abramovitch first showcased the technique at a Modcon convention in 1999. Several years later, Abramovitch’s friend, photojournalist Ryoichi Maeda, then started hosting “bagel head” parties in Japan starting in 2007.

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Giacinta (Gia) Pace is a digital journalist who makes her home in New York City. She was born in Brooklyn, New York and was brought up on Long Island in a small town called Mastic. Giacinta is a graduate of Hofstra University where she received a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, Cum Laude with High Honors. She currently works for NBC News where every day is a new and exciting adventure. Giacinta has been published in several magazines and websites including Bibi Magazine & bibimagazine.com, Tonic.com, TheGrio.com, NBCUatCES.com, MethodShop.com, Q, Filmfare, Back Stage and The History Channel Magazine. Giacinta has written numerous pieces for MSNBC.com's charity section, "Giving," and produces the weekly web page "Cause Celeb" on NBCNews.com's Newsvine. In addition, she occasionally contributes video spots to NBC Mobile's News 2 GO as well as photos from red carpet and other events to NBCU Photo Bank. Giacinta also regularly posts photo essays to The Today Show's allDAY Blog.