The National Geographic show Taboo looks into the insanely bizarre ‘bagel head’ extreme beauty trend to hit Japan. The rather odd look, where the person in question appears to have a bagel placed under the skin of their forehead, is created by infusing around 400cc’s of saline solution into the area. After the solution has been administered, a thumb will then be pressed into the swollen area until its shape is taken.
The show follows 3 people having the treatment. We get to watch as John, Marin and Scorpion undergo the 2-hour treatment, which will give them a ‘bagel head’ for the next 16-24 hours. Yes, what is probably the best thing about the ‘bagel head’ look, is the fact that it is temporary!!
It doesn’t look like the most pleasant experiences to undergo either, I mean who really wants a big fat needle shoved into their forehead and left there for 2 hours whilst your forehead is blown up like a balloon?
One of the test subjects, John described the feelings as “a slight stinging sensation…It’s a relaxing sensation, kind of tingly, and also a building pressure that’s kind of slow and steady that kind of feels like it’s putting me to sleep.” Errrrmm, does relaxing mean something different in Japan? I’m confused?
Marin described the look at ‘cute’, again I am left wondering about the definition of words in Japan.
The peculiar trend was started by the artist Keroppy, who told Vice magazine how he came across it at a body modification convention in Toronto, Canada, way back in 1999. Ah so the Canadian’s are to blame!
In the interview, Keroppy said: “I happened to meet Jerome, who was the person who pioneered saline infusions…We stayed in contact, then eventually I experienced saline with him in 2003 and he gave me permission to bring it to Japan.”
Keroppy then went about setting up a saline infusions team in Tokyo and the practice has been going since 2007 with many people getting it done and then heading off to a specialist “Saline Party.”
Apparently, you can get the saline bagel look on other parts of the body too, with the scrotum being one area that people often choose to get infused.
I once looked like I had the ‘bagel head’ treatment, I woke up one afternoon during a holiday in Cyprus and when I looked in the mirror I found the Cyclops-like ‘bagel head’ staring back at me. It wasn’t because a Japanese body modification practitioner had crept into my room in the dead of the night and given me the treatment just to freak me the fuck out in the morning, but rather because I had been bitten on the forehead about 6 times by mosquitoes and the bites had puffed up like this!
Thankfully the bites took less than 16 hours to go down, otherwise I wouldn’t have left the house that day!
Taboo airs Sundays at 10pm ET/PT on the National Geographic Channel and will premiere in the UK in January 2013.