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Lady Gaga Just Looks Horny . . . These People Really Are

Apr 20, 2011 – 8:14 AM
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David Moye

David Moye Contributor

Lady Gaga may have shocked the world recently when she appeared in public with what looked like horns sticking out of her face and shoulders, but she's actually just horning in on an existing -- and, so far, very underground -- trend.

Gaga recently appeared in Harper's Bazaar magazine looking as if she had horns sticking out of her face. Although she said the so-called horns were her real bones, and she had merely been "waiting for the right time to reveal to the universe" who she truly is, some experts are skeptical.

New York plastic surgeon Dr. Barry M. Weintraub has analyzed pictures of the singer and believes her new protuberances are not surgically implanted.

Singer Lady Gaga attends The 53rd Annual GRAMMY Awards,
Rick Diamond, WireImage
Singer Lady Gaga told Harper's Bazaar that she's been "waiting for the right time to reveal to the universe" who she truly is, but one expert says her recently revealed "horns" are likely makeup or a prosthesis.
"They are more likely skin-colored shapes, such as triangles, that have been applied externally," Weintraub said. "It's either sophisticated makeup or an externally fastened prosthesis."

But while Gaga's look may be the result of external makeup, there is a tiny part of humanity that prefers to get horns the old-fashioned -- and painful -- way.

That is, of course, having them embedded in the skull.

Take Maria Jose Cristerna, a 35-year-old former attorney turned tattoo artist who lives in Guadalajara, Mexico.

Twenty-one years ago, Cristerna -- who now is known as "Vampire Woman" -- started doing "body modification" in the form of pierced ears and small tattoos.

In recent years, she's taken it to an extreme, getting her body inked up and having titanium horns embedded in her skull. Her rationale is that the human body changes anyway, so why not have a choice in how it looks.

"Our bodies modify when we get old or pregnant, so nobody should be afraid of body modifications, right?" she told AOL News via email.

However, Cristerna's decision to get, well, horny, wasn't made just for fashion reasons. According to Fox News, she was married at the age of 17 to a man she said beat her and abused her repeatedly.

Mary Jose Cristerna, aka the Vampire Woman
Carlos Bravo
Maria Jose Cristerna, aka the Vampire Woman, says she had titanium horns embedded in her skull because she believes humans have only one life and they should live it the way they want.
When she finally left her husband, as part of her liberation, she chose to reinvent herself as a "warrior."

"I went through a bad marriage and learned to be stronger," she said. "Warriors tattoo their faces, so I'm a warrior for my kids, too.

"The horns I have are a symbol of strength and were implanted without anesthetic," she said. "[The people who did the surgery] cut the skin and place the implants. Recovery lasts three weeks and it's not that painful. The horns are as big as I wanted them."

But while Cristerna's horns may have been a reaction to a bad situation, that's not the only reason people get horns.

Erik Sprague, who is better known to the world as "Lizardman," says the reason he had horns embedded in 1999 was strictly aesthetic.

Back in 1994, he was in college and hit upon the idea of using body-modification procedures, such as tattooing, for a body-based work of art that would explore the idea of what it means to be human.

"I started getting tattooed my senior year of college after deciding that I wanted to go ahead with my transformation project idea," he told AOL News. "I started thinking about implants in 1994 when I first saw them. Almost immediately I knew I could use them as part of my project."

Those first implants were done in early 1999 by Steve Haworth.

"He's a body-modification artist, not a doctor, who specializes primarily in implants and was the primary innovator in the field," Sprague said. "He nearly single-handedly created the field of 3-D art implants."

Erik Sprague, also known to the world as Lizardman.
Allen Falkner
Erik Sprague, also known as Lizardman, had horns implanted in his head in 1999 as part of what he calls an art project.
Although Sprague describes the procedure as "arduous and rather painful," he says there were no complications.

"Once the implants were healed there were no real adjustments," he said, adding, "I am a little more careful of bumping my forehead, though, since they can be sensitive."

That sensitivity could be a bad sign, according to Weintraub, who says that no board-certified plastic surgeon would ever agree to do such a procedure.

"Although doctors can safely do implants in the cheek and chin, the forehead is something else altogether," Weintraub said. "You put it there and it's likely to erode through the skin. If that happens, you'll basically poke a hole through your skin and are at risk of infection."

So far, that hasn't happened to either the Vampire Woman or the Lizardman, but Sprague does suggest thinking long and hard before having horns embedded in the noggin.

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"Be sure you are doing it for yourself and for the right reasons," he said. "No one should rush into any serious long-term body modification. If it really is right for you, waiting a little longer might not be what you want at this moment, but the desire won't fade.

"Once you know you are making a good lifelong commitment, find the right person to do the procedure and don't try to cut corners or bargain shop because it isn't worth the risks."

Meanwhile, Cristerna's advice is a little simpler, but no less important.

"Remember," she said, "size matters when you are about to cross any door!"

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