I’ve read a lot of things about obsession. Obsession with celebrities, obsession with eating disorders, obsession with video games and so forth, but I’ve never heard of an obsession so extreme that the person will modify their bodies to be closer to it, like Rhiannon Brooksbank-Jones, a British student who had her tongue lengthened to speak her biggest obsession, Korean.
According The Telegraph, Jones wanted to speak Korean more accurately.
While taking language lessons, she struggled to pronounce certain sounds in Korean. It was blamed on Rhiannon, of Beeston, Notts, having a slightly shorter than average tongue, caused by an unusually thick lingual frenulum – the flap of skin that joins the underside of the tongue to the floor of the mouth. Her parents agreed to her having a lingual frenectomy, a 15–minute operation under local anaesthetic that involved an incision in the flap of skin.
Is this going too far? When I read this I was seriously thinking, “WTF.” I’m all for the whole “If you don’t like it, then change it” but is this doing too much to get closer to your obsession? Obsession is like a drug; it can ruin your life or it can make you so crazy that you’ll do anything to get more of it. I’m also wondering what kind of flesh the doctors used to add an additional centimeter.
Jones’ reason for this was that she wanted to sound more like a native Korean person, though clearly, she is not. I’m wondering if there was any type of self-loathe sometime in her life. I understand that some people will go to extremes just to satisfy their own needs and will do almost anything to get there. However, is there a point where someone will draw a line?
To be perfectly honest, I’m not quite sure how I feel about Jones’ procedure. Should I applaud her for having the guts to change her imperfections or should I feel offended that someone would literally go to such lengths? I can’t even roll my R’s but you don’t see me running to the nearest surgeon. Then again, my current obsessions don’t involve any type of languages.
Is obsession really worth body modifications and recognition? I can’t help but wonder if Jones’ obsession will lead to something bigger. Maybe she’ll start a trend of artificial tongues or something even more extreme.