Body Piercing

Topics: Body piercing, Lip piercing, Tongue piercing Pages: 5 (1530 words) Published: April 27, 2008
Body Piercing-A Form of Self-Expression

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It seems as if everywhere these days, someone has a part of the body pierced. Body piercings, also known as body modifications, are showing up on celebrities, athletes, classmates, friends and coworkers. Whether it is located on their face, tongue, or ears, body piercing is becoming a popular way to stand out from the rest of the crowd. Because body piercing is growing in popularity, more information needs to be provided about health risks and workplace dress codes, for those considering this form of self-expression.

Body piercing has been around for centuries. Body piercing is nothing new. However, the reasons for why people get pierced have evolved into something somewhat different these days. The history of body piercing comes from many different cultures. Different piercings have different heritages and backgrounds. Nose piercings were first discovered in the Middle East about 4,000 years ago. Tongue piercing was first practiced by the Aztecs. Navel piercings do not have a history but are very common to have these days. Roman soldiers would pierce their nipples to show bravery and strength. According to Laurel A. Van Buskirk (2005), statistics show that the majority of people, who are getting body piercings, other than the earlobes, are within the ages of 25-29 years old (36%). The second age group was 30-39 years old (28%) and the third was 13-24 years old (25%). The most popular choice of piercing in these groups is the tongue, followed by the navel. The percentages of the genders that are getting pierced came in at half for males and half for females. When these people were asked why they chose to get pierced, a majority stated simply that the piercing looked good (83%). Some people get pierced for self-expression and some do it just because they want to. Seeing an unusual piercing on someone brings up questions like, “Did it hurt?” or “How long did that take to heal?” A popular reason people obtain a body piercing is for the shock value they get from people (New Developments on Tattoos and Body Piercing in the Workplace, para.2). The reasons why people decide to get pierced are endless.

When choosing to use this form of self-expression, strong consideration should made on what part of the body to get pierced (Kiss Me Goodnight, 2006). Besides the usual earlobe piercings, there are many other popular locations on the body. The nose, eyebrow and navel are the most common places to get pierced. When someone gets a nose piercing, a popular choice of jewelry is a hoop. A jeweled stud is a nice expression, which could be color matched with an outfit. An eyebrow piercing is done either vertically or horizontally. A popular choice of jewelry is a hoop, but barbells are becoming more popular. Navel piercings are extremely popular and a wide variety of jewelry is available for the picking. Other piercing locations are: The tongue, the lip, the labret and the “Monroe”. According to Women’s Healthcare Topics (2004), a tongue piercing has to be done carefully as to not puncture veins that are located in this muscle. There is a wide variety of tongue jewelry available, with interchangeable parts. The main choice for tongue jewelry is a barbell.
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A lip piercing is done anywhere on the lip, but a popular location is on the lower lip, in the middle. A popular choice of lip jewelry is a hoop. A labret piercing is located on the chin, right below the lip. Many people are choosing to “gauge” their labret piercings. Gauging is the process of stretching the hole of the piercing. Gauging is done to insert a larger stud size into the hole. A “Monroe”, which is named after Marilyn Monroe, is a piercing that looks like a beauty mark. This piercing is usually done above the left or right side of the...
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