Why Do Some People Disfigure Their Bodies?
- By Professor Prabhu Guptara
- Published 01/18/2010
Professor Prabhu Guptara
Professor Prabhu Guptara is Executive Director, Organisational Development, Wolfsberg (a subsidiary of UBS - one of the largest banks in the world). He is also Freeman of the City of London and of the Worshipful Company of Information Technologists, and Chartered Fellow of the of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development; he is also Fellow: of the Institute of Directors, of the Royal Commonwealth Society, and of the Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts Commerce and Manufactures; and he continues to supervise PhD research at the University of Fribourg (Switzerland) as well as to be Visiting Professor at various Universities and Business Schools around the world.
Earlier roles include: a Governor of the Polytechnic of Central London, Member of the Council of the British Institute of Management, of the International Federation of Training & Development Organisations (IFTDO), of the Association for Management Education and Development (UK), of the South East Regional Council of the Confederation of British Industry.
Judge, 1988 National Training Awards, 1980 Commonwealth Poetry Prize, 1990 & 1991 Deo Gloria Prize for Fiction; Chair of the Panel of Judges, Deo Gloria Prize 1992 & 1993.
Experience with an enormous range of organisations including: Akzo Nobel (Netherlands), the Associated Banks Institute (Germany), Barclays Bank (UK), British Petroleum (UK), the Council of Europe, Cultor (Finland), Deutsche Bank (Germany), Groupe Bull (France), Federation of Finnish Engineers (Finland), the International Management Association of Japan, Kemira (Finland), Kraft Jakob Suchard (Switzerland), Leadership Academy (Finland), Nokia Telecommunications (Finland), Novo Nordisk (Denmark), Sedgwick International Insurance and Reinsurance Brokers (UK), Singapore Institute of Management, Sonatrach (Algeria), Sun Alliance (UK), UNCTAD, Valeo (France), and so on.
Organiser, chair and lecturer by invitation for numerous international conferences, he has contributed widely to radio and television in the UK and other countries (The Money Program, Any Questions) and has written for Financial Times (London, UK), The Guardian, The Times and other publications; articles, for example, in The Gower Handbook of Management, The Gower Handbook of Quality, and the International Encyclopedia of Business & Management (Routledge).
A CD-ROM has been issued of his lecture at the Professorenforum, University of Zurich, titled "Making the World Better - Why it does NOT happen...and what TO DO about it"
Further information available from firstname.lastname@example.org
His best-known research publication is "Top Executives in the Global 100 Companies and their IT-Competence" (ADVANCE: Management Training Ltd., UK, and Wolfsberg Executive Development Centre, Switzerland, 1998); and he is included in Debrett's People of Today and in Who's Who in the World. Professor Prabhu Guptara lives in Switzerland.
Many recent innovations are popular and seen as beneficial (e.g. cell phones, "green" products, email, and the internet).
However, some others are not particularly popular - e.g. reality TV shows and "more people getting tattoos," were seen as improvements by only 8% and 7%, respectively, but seen as "a change for the worse" by 63% and 40% respectively.
Reality TV must therefore divide people more than the survey suggests. Why? Because it is clearly hugely popular with a small number of people but clearly hugely unpopular with most others.
The same can be said for tatoos.
The only difference is: you can turn off reality TV, but you basically can't undo a tattoo.
So why do people disfigure their bodies, either more or less permanently (with tattoos) or at least temporarily (with various metal studs and loops through nose, ears, and even eyebrows, cheeks and lips)?
How come they either dislike or despise their own bodies so much?
On discussing this with a few friends, it turns out that while I consider tatoos and studs/loops as mutilation, some suggest that these could be seen in the same light as the use of perfume or cream - a sort of enhancement rather than a disfigurement. Particularly as perfumes, creams, lipstick et al can be at least mildly disliked by some people....
That is true. But I remain unpersuaded. It is far easier to stop using a particular perfume (and it has fewer after-effects!) than taking out a stud or loop, or undoing a tattoo.
Anyway, according to the survey, other things (wider acceptance of gays and lesbians, cable news talk and opinion shows, and the growing number of people with money in the stock market) also divide Americans relatively strongly.
All of which makes for interesting discussion about politically incorrect and therefore generally undiscussed topics.