My daughter has pierced ears. I don’t have a problem with that. I have pierced ears. I think a lovely set of earrings is a flattering accessory for women to wear. However, my daughter is of the “piercing culture” generation. She would like to go beyond that. My initial knee-jerk reaction is to exclaim, “Of course not! You may not pierce your nose, your tongue, your eyebrow or your bellybutton!” But, am I just being a fuddy-dud?
A piercing can be removed later if she changes her mind. No harm done. No permanence, unlike a tatoo. Body piercing has been around for ages and exists in almost every culture. I have to consider I am simply being close minded because her body part choices are simply not the typical piercing site for the culture I am accustomed to. But that does not mean it is something bad or taboo. Mom may just have to lighten up.
People have been piercing their noses since, at least, 1500 BC. Ear piercing has been known to exist as far back as 5,000 years. Evidence of ear and nose piercings has been discovered in burial remains on practically every continent and country around the globe. So, okay, I have to accept if she wants to pierce her nose, I should see it as no big deal. I just pray that she keeps it tiny, like an itty-bitty golden stud or something like that.
As for any desire to pierce her tongue or lip, it seems she is also in good company where that is concerned. Ancient African and American tribes did the same. Many still do today. I suppose I could look at it from the perspective that she is just getting back to her ancestral roots.
Even the practice of piercing the navel has history dating back to the culturally tempestuous years of the 1970s in the United States. The popularity of the belly-button ring was part of the hippie subculture that gained a popular revival beginning in the 1990s.
Most Westerners today pierce for purely cosmetic reasons. However, the history of piercing is ingrained with religious and spiritual significance. Modern Western society, however, views body piercing, other than in the ears, as symbolic of rebellion and participation within counter culture behavior. Some schools and employers have gone so far as to restrict displays of body piercings. These are things my daughter needs to consider before she goes poking about on her body.
Whether she likes it or not, the world judges you based on your appearance. Most people you meet you rarely get the chance to speak to them and allow them to get to know you. The only information they have about you is your appearance. And, the reality is, that most people, when seeing someone with multiple rings and studs dotting their facial features or peeking out under the blouse, are going to think that a multiple pierced person is a bit strange, possibly irresponsible, maybe even dangerous. Unfair, but the reality of life and human nature.
If my daughter decides to pierce her nose, lip and eyebrow in addition to her ears, it may cause unpleasant social after effects. Some people may choose not to befriend her. Some parents may tell their children she is “off-limits”. Some teachers may look for trouble from her in every little thing, thus creating problems that really are not there. All of these possibilities could then cause my daughter frustration and anxiety that could end up taking her to an emotionally dark place that she may have otherwise avoided.
Or, she could break forth with a new confidence as she expresses herself through multiple body piercings. She could also find out who her friends really are, those who do not judge her. That is a great life lesson. She may also connect with kindred spirits and develop lasting bonds that are emotionally nurturing.
What a complicated thing this is for a parent. To consider all the possible consequences of their child’s desire for sub-culture piercings.