Body adornment has always included body painting, tattooing, and other kinds of body art, this has been the case over the ages; but in recent times, body art has become more varied and endlessly creative. It now includes variations such as, Face Painting & Body Art, Gestational Painting (or Pregnant Belly Art), and Temporary Tattoos: Glitter, Henna & Body Illustration. It is now so popular that it is common practice for a body artist or a face painter to be invited to a social gathering like a party or a wedding, corporate events and promotions, so that the guests can take home a unique memento to remember the party by.
Body art is that art which is made on, with, or consisting of, the human body. It also includes scarification, branding, scalpelling, shaping (for example tight-lacing of corsets), full body tattoo and body painting.
Primitive and tribal societies have some marvellous (if painful looking) examples of body art, such as earlobe stretching among many African tribes, and many other kinds of piercings.
Tattooing was a method of identification for old timers in India, when illiterate people would typically have their own name tattooed on a visible part of the body such at the back of the hand or the forearm.
The significance of henna at wedding ceremonies in India is now well known, with one entire pre-wedding event dedicated to what is known as the 'mehndi ceremony'. All the females in the bride's entourage would typically gather to have henna artist make intricate, elaborate and beautiful henna patterns in the hands, arms and feet as part of the wedding celebraions.
The World Body Painting Festival is held in Austria in the third week of July, which is the biggest festival of its kind. There are different categories of competitions, brush and sponge, airbrush, and special effects. A UV effects contest is also part of this festival. All models must be wearing underpants while painted, but female models can go topless if they want. It is a singular experience to be used as an artists' canvas, so many participants of the festival offer themselves as models without any charge.