Tattooed Eyeballs, Split Tongue... Meet The World's Most Modified Young Person
One afternoon after school, Ethan Bramble's sister suggested they stretch his ears.
"But shouldn't we ask mum and dad first?" Bramble, then just 11-years-old, recalls asking his sister, eight years his senior.
She assured him they'd tell their parents once the spacers were in.
"We used peanut oil as lubricant," Bramble, now 22, told 10 daily.
Eleven years later, Bramble is a model, a father and the world's most modified young person.
Inspired by Aztec-style shapes, Bramble's modifications started with tattoos and ear stretching, and progressed to larger changes like tongue splitting. Most of Bramble's body is covered with ink, including the whites of his eyes.
"I have always enjoyed how it looks. Growing up I was interested in Aztec design like nose poles and then as I got older I realised, wow, you can get more intense stuff done ... you can get all kinds of weird and wacky stuff done," Bramble said.
As a model, he equates getting a new tattoo or modification to getting a new pair of shoes: it happens regularly and it's enjoyable. Bramble said the enjoyment he gets from modifying his body was the motivation for the changes, and modeling came as a byproduct.
One of Bramble's most intense procedures was splitting his tongue to create a snake-like fork.
The process involved one man holding his tongue out, and another taking a scalpel and inserting it from the underside of the tongue, through the middle and slicing forward.
Oh, and there was plenty of local anaesthetic.
Bramble was unable to eat or drink for five days. Even drinking water was a challenge.
"To drink water I had to use a syringe. Your tongue is huge, so you have to jam it down the back of your throat. I was very dehydrated for a long time," Bramble said.
"It excruciating when you've just had your tongue cut in half, then it [ the anaesthetic] goes away and it all hits you at once."
However, he said it was worth the pain, and now his tongue is one of his favourite modifications. No pain, no gain, right?
Bramble accepts the reactions he receives from perfect strangers. The sideways looks, the double takes, the photos, the questions. But acceptance of public scrutiny doesn't always come easily.
"You expect it when you look like this and you get this kind of stuff done ... you know it's going to happen," Bramble said.
"I have terrible social anxiety so when you are out in public and so many people are ... asking questions and wanting to take photos with you and it can get a bit overwhelming and when it is an everyday occurrence, that's when it can get a bit frustrating."
While Bramble admits he isn't too concerned about the permanency or consequences of his modifications, he has given some thought to when he would allow his one-year-old daughter to start making changes to her body, if she wants too.
"Once she turns 18, she's allowed to do whatever she likes. I might let her get her ears pierced earlier, but that's it," he said.
Bramble doesn't know how much he's spent over the last 11 years modifying his body, but recently he's been getting work done for free.
In fact, some offer to work on him so they can have their art on Bramble's body.
And it seems there's plenty of time for them to work on him. Bramble says he'll never stop modifying his body.
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