In this paper I trace the changing characterisation of health and consider the evolution of health within a shifting paradigmatic landscape. I argue that understanding health now encompasses the importance of wellbeing as a key determinant of longer-term good health. I use the case study of body modification and body art to explore this further. I argue that while body modification and body art, as a means of self-expression and empowerment, is relatively easy to access, there are critical gaps in the regulatory framework that may undermine the notion of wellbeing and individual choice. I critique the Court of Appeal’s decision in R v BM, which raises particular public interest concerns, but conclude that it is a missed opportunity in relation to how the law understands the promotion of ‘self’ within a model of wellbeing.
- Body Art; Health; Healthism; Regulation; Wellbeing