What are piercings, tattoos or body modifications? As an act and art, what are they? Does a tattoo on me define who I am? Do my piercings make you think I am a rude-ass bitch? Well, after a point, I can’t care less, but that’s not what it’s like. My piercings don’t change my orientations, neither my job profile, nor my characteristics, but is just an expression of who I see myself as.
There have been several myths and stereotypes about body piercings which have been formed throughout history and even now. Although the history of body piercing is obscured by popular misinformation and lack of scholarly reference, it is believed to have been practiced in various forms by both all civilizations since time immemorial.
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You don’t need a reason to put on a piercing or any sort of body art on you. People from different parts of the world practice piercings for various purposes. They could be religious, spiritual, in order to conform to their culture or rebel against it. Some people think in order to drive yourself to get any sort of body piercing or body art, you need to have a specific meaning behind every aspect of it, but you really don’t! People may get pierced due to peer pressure, to enhance their beauty, self-expression, cultural traditions, spiritual reasons, addiction or just no reason at all. Stereotypes held against body piercings might just be coming from negligence and a fear of things that they do not understand. It’s baselessly easy to slap a label on someone from the piercing they wear.
Unprofessional behavior at work places. Attention seeking. Assumptions that you enjoy pain. Not employable. Associated with cults. Kinky. The list of stereotypical judgements associated with body piercings, and with pierced folks is probably never ending, and slightly funny, at the most. But these stereotypes are so ingrained in our societal structures that taking the plunge to be who you want to be can often seem like a huge leap. Due to these existing stereotypes and mainstream assumptions, many pierced people tend to hide their chosen form of how they want to look in certain environments. People in white collar jobs, with septum piercings will often wear a horseshoe jewelry or a retainer that can be flipped and the piercing isn’t exposed.
Whether my piercing is influenced by my culture, roots, tradition or not, or by the culture I have adopted in my personal life is my goddamn choice, and only I have a say in it. PERIOD.
A year back, I started to pierce from a very hygienic studio (The Flying Lotus Tattoo & Piercing Studio in Andheri, Mumbai) after I learnt everything about the procedure, aftercare and all necessary theories about body piercings. I have so far done about 400 piercings and have learnt a lot about each and every piercing during the course of this time. As a piercer, let me tell you this:
The point of tongue or genital piercings isn’t just sexual pleasures.
It’s an idea of personification, not identity.
No, I am not peddling anything.
No, my forefathers didn’t have a septum.
The technicalities of piercings are another article for now, but before we reach there, let’s start being more accommodative of each other in general. A bit more tolerant, can we be? It’s not just about ‘My Body, My Rules’, it’s also about creating a societal environment that encourages every individual to explore their inner ideas of personal identity, and beauty.
SAY YAY. NOT NAY.
*The opinions framed in this article are solely of the writer, and do not represent or belong to Tattoo Cultr.*