Beauty and art is not often defined by what individuals finds acceptable and pleasing to the eye; but can be used as a form of self-expression and developing identity as a person. Body shaping, tattoos, clothing, make up and scarification are stages of coming of age and can provide history depending on the culture. All around the world and seen in many different cultures, artistic expression is incorporated into everyone's daily life. Hair, clothing, tattoos, and body modification is seen on streets and within any trending magazines whether it is the make-up we wear or clothing we choose to have we are able to express our individuality through our choices. We are not only influenced by what we see or hear within our society, but influenced by what is acceptable by society, culture and history. Our individual creative beauty through freedom of expression is seen through our literature as well. .
In "Body Art as Visual Language, " Enid Schildkrout discusses the different methods people do in order to change their appearance and express their individuality. Schildkrout states, "Body art can be an expression of individuality but it can be an expression of group identity. " (Hirschberg & Hirschberg, 2012, p. 110). Body art is not new to humanity, rather every culture in the world has had some form of body art influence their lifestyles. Even Queen Nefertiti wore a black wig, a crown with a giant orange disk framed by cow horns, striped collar and jewelry with her eyes thickly rimmed with black eyeliner. This style of clothing sounds similar to Lady Gaga's style in current videos. .
Enid Schildkrout believes body art is a visual language. It allows individuals to freely express their creativity and individuality through their clothing to the tattoos. She states that if the impulse to create is one of the defining signs of humanity. She believes the human body may very well have been the first canvas for art.