忘れている、足りていない。

一番無表情な一人は、一番感情を持つ一人だ。

The significance of Body Modification in Horimiya, and relation to society

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You can’t deny. (Someday I’m gonna buy all the Horimiya volumes and drool over Miyamura everyday no one can stop me)

Warning: VERBAL DIARRHOEA AHEAD

CAUTION: There are spoilers. Don’t read if you’re not updated with this series.

 

I’m pretty sure anyone who reads manga has come across Horimiya, one of the rare Slice of Life titles that has gained the attention from both males and (mainly) females. The name of the manga already suggests that the story centres around Hori and Miyamura, (it’s a freaking legit ship name for god’s sake), stemming from the original title Hori-san to Miyamura-kun. Even though the title suggests as so, I believe that this manga has a deeper meaning to it, which in fact relates very well to our society today, and that is body modification. (contains a little Miyamura character analysis)

In our society today, there is a growing acceptance for different forms of body modification, be it body piercing, with the most common form being ear piercings, or tattooing. This very idea is represented by our lovely main character Miyamura Izumi. Having eight ear piercings (four on each side), a lip piercing (which has since closed), and tattoos on one side of this torso and arm. The degree of body modification Miyamura has done is actually quite astounding, considering that he is only around 16-18 years old, and the fact that he is a guy. This brings us to another point – Gender stereotypes. It is not rare for females, since the previous century to engage in body modification, mainly ear piercing, be it due to religious reasons or just for fashion. In the modern decade, however, this trend has also spread to male population. In public areas, such as malls or train stations, it is not uncommon for there to be males (mostly late teens to young adults) to be sporting ear piercings, be it plugs or tunnels or just an ordinary pierce. It has become a fashion trend for males to have pierced ears. Society has started to recognise this fact and ear piercing is now not exclusively for females.

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Let’s admire some Miyamura. You know you want to.

 

As fashion trends continue to change with the acceptance of body piercing, it is now common to see many people, both male and female, to have multiple piercings, especially on the ears. The notion of ear piercing due to religious reasons may have become less of a reason as more and more people start having multiple piercings on different parts of the ear for beautification purposes. Miyamura is an exact representation of the change in our society, how ear piercing has become not just a trend in females but also in males, and how the acceptance and popularity for multiple piercings is spreading.

 

The subject of ear piercing for males brings us to another significant topic – sexual orientation. In the past, it was common to think that males who got their ear pierced were gay. This perception still exists in our society, though it is slowly fading out. Some people, however, still do think that males who pierce the left ear are “straight”, while those who pierce the right ear or both ears are “gay”. This perception surfaced when homosexuality in our society became more prominent, but I believe that the notion of males piercing their ears do not have anything to do with sexual orientation. As  our society continues to advance, it is becoming more and more common for males to pierce both ears, with the action having nothing to do with sexual orientation. Miyamura stands as a symbol for this mistaken perception – ear piercing in males is becoming more of a fashion trend. And as anyone knows, Miyamura isn’t gay.

 

This again leads us to another point. If Miyamura is the representation of our society’s progress, then why on earth did he get all those piercings and tattoos for? As some of you might already know, one of the other reasons for body modification besides beauty and religious purposes, is for self-identity and body image. For those who have read the manga, a bit of Miyamura’s past was revealed in the earlier chapters. Just think of Shindou if you can’t remember. (I swear that guy is the bestest buddy you could ever have) During middle school, Miyamura was sort of ostracised by his peers for being “dark” and “gloomy”, which we find out in the earlier chapters that is a fact that he does not deny. So we found out that Miyamura wasn’t the most cheeful kid, few or none friends and rather unhappy. It was this mindset that led him to ear piercing, which we find out later on. He actually did the piercings himself with a safety pin (god knows how much that hurt, for EIGHT of them plus the lip one). He did not go to a legalized piercer, which actually shows that he didn’t do the piercings for beauty purposes. It was a means for him to escape from reality, to de-stress and momentarily forget about the pains in life. He didn’t give a damn about whether he’ll end up with infections, he let his ears bleed. He wanted to feel the pain. He wanted to be recognized has himself and he questioned why he didn’t have friends. His mom wasn’t against the idea of him piercing his ears, she wasn’t actually concerned about his bleeding (she cares about the pillow though). Maybe this was a tool to get rid of parents so that the story between the main characters could flow better, but Miyamura’s mother’s lack of concern gave him chances to inflict himself with unnecessary pain (going to a piercer hurts less i swear). God knows when Miyamura got the tattoos, maybe to fit in with his dark and gloomy image, he got them and now he regrets it.

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If you get the context of this scene you’ll understand why I put this here

 

In Miyamura’s many attempts to hide his piercings and tattoos, it shows us that these are irreversible actions. It may have been on impulse, but it isn’t something that can be undone. What does this tell us? Body Modification is really only when you’re 100% sure. Don’t do it if you’re half-hearted about it. (but I still love you Miyamura my bby)

 

I mentioned Shindou earlier, and I personally feel that Shindou plays a really important role in the story as well as Miyamura’s character development. Shindou was the one who stopped his peers from ostracising Miyamura, the one that pulled Miyamura out from his shell and maybe the first person to become Miyamura’s true friend. This also relates closely to the topic of sexual orientation. Our society discriminates according to appearance, it’s a fact you can’t deny. First impressions are always important, and there are certain stereotypes that come with certain appearances, like I have mentioned on the subject of males with ear piercings. Miyamura’s classmates in middle school discriminated against him, under the impression that he was dark and gloomy, always spoiling the atmosphere etc. It was not until Shindou became friends with him that he found out that contrary to appearance, Miyamura was actually a really fun and easy to talk to person. Linking back to Horimiya, one of the major themes would be outward appearance. The series starts off with “Everyone has a side they don’t want other people to see.”. It really shows that people judge based on appearance, their impression of you, be it true or false, based solely on what they see and hear about you. It is impossible to know someone so thoroughly you’ll know every side of them. People are constantly changing. Both Miyamura and Hori stand as figureheads to this whole notion of outward appearance and judgement from others. No one in school knows about Miyamura’s fashion outside of school and no one from school knows what Hori is like at home. Impressions alone are really not enough to know a person well enough. Going back to Shindou, it is mentioned that he may possibly be Miyamura’s best friend (you can’t deny this), he repeated a year of high school. I honestly feel that Shindou is the only person where Miyamura releases his true self, verbally stabs Shindou, kicks him, slaps him, all the things a good friend would do. You don’t see Miyamura doing this to Ishikawa or anyone else. It shows that Miyamura still holds a little of the trauma from Middle School, he’s afraid of the judgement of impressions of him that will change for his newly acquired friends in high school. It’s a fear we all have within us.

 

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Everyone pls appreciate this bromance

 

Shindou also once mentioned that “the long-haired Miyamura is my Miyamura” (TOTAL AGREEMENT), which brings me to talk more about Miyamura’s appearance. At the start of the series, Miyamura had hair which was considerably long for guys, and in one of the chapters, his height and weight were revealed, (Height approx 169cm and weight approx 48 kg). Miyamura becomes a symbol for gender stereotype again. Males are starting to grow their hair out. I’m pretty sure there are some guys out there who have hair longer than Miyamura’s and they’re not afraid to flaunt it. Before WWI, it common practice for males to have long hair, and now they’re bringing it back (but more stylishly). It is now a common fashion trend for both men and women to have long hair. Miyamura symbolises the openness and progression of fashion trends and society. However, he later cuts his hair (but that’s due to bitches talking shit) and that’s why his hair is short now. (GIVE ME BACK LONG-HAIRED MIYAMURA) And talking about Miyamura’s height and weight, HE’S FREAKING SKINNY OHMYGOD. Is he severely underweight or something people reading this manga especially the girls would go into full throttle dieting because of him. Miyamura you have a fucking cake shop go eat the cakes and gain some weight (but you look hot though so) Alright I better stop here before this post gets anymore ridiculous and turns into a full-blown Horimiya analysis. I never planned it to be this long. Oh god it’s almost 1700 words what do I do with life

 

Anyway to sum up, I personally feel that Miyamura is the best husbando you can ever get. He represents what our society is going through today, gender stereotype, fashion, body modification, and he in himself is a gr8 character. So is everyone else.

My ideas were kind of scattered here and there, but I still hope you enjoyed reading and don’t hate me cos I love Miyamura.

 

 

 

 

 

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4 thoughts on “The significance of Body Modification in Horimiya, and relation to society

  1. Awesome analysis, I really enjoyed your thoughts on this manga!

  2. Yes, it was an awesome analysis! You made me like Horimiya and Miyamura even more! You sure are observant, thank you for sharing your thoughts.

  3. Miyamura should have punch the bitches who were speaking ill of him, instead of cutting his hair (even if this wouldn’t fit with his character, hehe ^^’ )

    His long hair was one of the things which rendered him different and interesting, it gave him personality, now he looks way too much like “the ordinary cool guy” for me. (Plus it was damn sexy. I really appreciate the messy-haired nerd type. °^° )

    I heard he did this for stopping others from saying things like “He is not good enough for Hori” ?! He would have better done not to care about other student’s opinion. Is this really a problem to have dumb people bitching about our boyfriend’s reputation or appearance or anything else ? I think Hori would have been able to bear it.

    I’ve always wondered why guys like Miyamura are always tagged as “unpopular” in the world of mangas, and are considered unable to get a pretty girlfriend, as if they had plague or something. Especially when they wear glasses (John Lennon would have had a bad reputation among students if he had been thrown into a shoujo manga)…

    That said, Miyamura remains endearing, and this the most important.

    • His long hair made him really attractive, and just like you said, it gave him personality, I’ll never get over his short hair now 😦 if someone knows another manga with a guy like Miyamura please tell me XD

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