World 164

In World 164, it is mandatory to undergo the process of being permanently marked at the age of 25 as a rite of passage. This world explores the amalgamation of body modifications as a medium through which one’s identity is conveyed. The practice of body modification is believed to originate 10,000 years ago, from ancient cultural tribes across the world. These modifications constitute a semiotic approach towards the trauma and hardships experienced by one. Should one decide to defy the system, they will be disregarded as an outcast and have all of their belongings confiscated, along with their identities. Nanotechnology will be infused with the modifications to induce pain and record one’s trauma every cycle of 10 years. In this world, everyone embraces their vulnerability as a part of their identity; wearing it as a badge of honour.

What if …

body modifications become a mandatory marker of our identities?


the elimination of discernment in present society


the sacred body modification practices in tribes and indigenous groups of people, which includes tattoos, piercings, scarifications, enlarged earlobes, splitting of tongue etc.

This World was contributed by Tia Zi Xuan Vernice, Pang Jia Wei, Yip Hon Weng, Jeremy, Farah Bte Sudiro and Foo Yi Wen (located in Singapore) using a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International licence which allows others to share and adapt the work in any medium and for any purpose, providing that they credit the author and share their material using the same Creative Commons licence.

Related Explorations

Does this World remind you of something?

I am keen to hear about any historical or contemporary real-world examples – whether individual practices, subcultures or mainstream activities – that this fiction brings to mind.

Please share any such examples using this form. Thank you!

Published by Amy Twigger Holroyd

explorer of Fashion Fictions