What About Body Piercing?
‘When I first saw people with lips and other parts of their body pierced, I thought “Wow! That’s special.”’—Lisa.
LISA is not alone. Increasing numbers of young people are wearing rings and studs through various body parts, even their eyebrows, tongue, lips, and navel. It’s a practice called body piercing.
A 16-year-old named Heather is eager to jump on the bandwagon. She is convinced that a ring in her navel will look “absolutely awesome.” Nineteen-year-old Joe, however, already sports a gold barbell through his tongue. And another young girl chose to have her eyebrow pierced because she wanted something “highly visible” that would “freak people out.”
The idea of attaching jewelry to the body is hardly new. Back in Bible times, a godly woman named Rebekah wore a nose ring. When coming out of Egypt, the Israelites wore earrings. It is not known, though, whether such jewelry was attached by means of ear and nose piercing. Faithful slaves did have their ears pierced, however, as a symbol of their loyalty to their masters. Piercing has been prominent in other ancient cultures too. Aztecs and Maya pierced their tongues for spiritual reasons. Lip perforation is still widespread in Africa and among South American Indians. Insertion of decorative objects through the nose is common among Melanesians and inhabitants of India and Pakistan.
Until just a few years ago, piercing in the Western world was generally limited to women’s earlobes. But now teenagers and young adults of both sexes are wearing jewelry on just about every part of the body to which it can be attached.
Why They Get Pierced
Many get pierced because they feel that it is fashionable—the in thing to do. Others feel that it will enhance their appearance. Certainly, the fad has been fueled by the use of body jewelry by top models, sports stars, and popular musicians. And for some youths, piercing also seems to serve as an expression of independence, a quest for...