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September 25, 2011 | by  | in Features | [ssba]

Heavy Metal Facials: The Pointy Point of Piercings

With trends going in and out like an indecisive leper at a no-shoes-no-service buffet, it’s hard to keep a track on which the sane ones are and which need an urgent chopstick lobotomy.

For the record, I can accept most of these. Not that I’d do them, mind. But I can look at them and raise a bro fist of respect, because they are proud enough, happy enough or just ballsy enough to do it. Although, one thing that I have never understood for the life of me is piercings—the process of inserting metal or other foreign material through and into your skin as a fashion statement.

Now, when writing it like that, it sounds fucking ludicrous. Try fielding this earth-shattering concept in the Dark Ages. The only times any piercings went down is if you were pinned to a grassy hill by a spear or if you were the doctor attempting to remove said spear with an even bigger spear. But, like all formulae, once you have the basics, you can only build upwards. Say, for earrings. You start with a stud, then a dangly one, then a tube. Suddenly, these freaky people are channeling Quetzalcoatl and hanging paving slabs out of their ear lobes.

It’s scarily fascinating and fascinatingly scary at the same time. And like all things, I can’t get it out of my head until I find some kind of reasoning behind it, however backward it may seem logically. I see some of the prettiest girls—and guys, because I’m accepting like that—go out and ruin themselves by mutilating their noses, their lips, their tongues with all this jewelry with non-lethal hara-kiri.

What the hell sparks this process? Is it rebellion? I mean, the act of mutilating the body that was bestowed upon you just to prove that it is yours seems rather definitive if a little hard to digest. But then it can be reasoned in the same way a guy crashes his car. It’s the scratches and dents that give it character and narrative, and what makes it unique. Perhaps it works the same way with piercings. Then again, in the same manner a car has no selling potential after you’ve taken a tire iron to it, it’s the same when you apply a tire iron to your nipple.

In all honesty, the practicality is nuts. Piercings seem to have no other purpose than status. But even then, what status are you preserving by parading a bull ring through your nose? That you are a bull on heat ready to ride the nearest heifer? It doesn’t help that those particular piercings are female dominated, or maybe that’s just where I live. There are so many other ways to prove your point that doesn’t involve mutilating your body. And, it’s not stopping with staple art. Now there are implants that go under the skin to simulate, say, the alien queen planting eggs into your skull. At what point do we leave the uncanny valley of weird and fetishistic and return to the land of ever-so-slightly quirky?

All in all, I’ve never got it, and I never will. Perhaps they’re dying to prove a point which isn’t the “I walked in and they were having a two-for-one sale on bottle caps through frontal lobes, and deals like that don’t just appear on TradeMe” spiel. Maybe it’s a personal thing, maybe they just never grew out of that phase where it was cool to eat chalk and shove crayons up their noses. But I decided to pass on piercings when burnt sienna got stuck between my nostrils.

And don’t get me started on the chalk.


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