I have a bunch of piercings, about 12, and I am proud to have them. They make me feel good about myself, not only that but they make me feel more like myself and there is a certain adrenalin rush every time I get a new one. I love all that. What I have also noticed though is that many people not only don’t like piercings on themselves - which I understand and and respect- but they treat me differently or judge me because of them which, at times, makes me feel a bit ashamed. I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately, piercings, or at least having more than the usual two is seen as more alternative and people who have them are viewed as strange attention seekers or worse, especially by people over a certain age. I understand that many people may have associated them with a number of different things. For example, my dad used to tell me that if I got piercings I’d look like a hooker or a pirate, he also told me that people who feel the need to have many piercings or tattoos are just trying to be special and internally hate themselves. My mother was a bit open minded but still admitted to me that people with facial piercings scare her and she tries to stay away from them because they might be violent.
As a person with many piercings myself I don’t relate to how my parents feel about them. I think piercings are a way of self expression, they are a way for you to show to others how you feel or how you wish to be viewed but more often than not it’s just that they look nice and make you feel confident the same way someone might wear a pair of high heels, an expensive suit or even have their hair styled a specific way.
It’s very unfortunate that many people see piercings more as a threat or a warning sign rather than jewelry that empowers the one wearing it.
I can’t count the times that my parents had people over or even that I bumped into someone I know on the street where I felt like I had to hide my nose piercing. I have two and I felt like even the one that I couldn’t hide would make them see and treat me differently, maybe even judge me. There’s often an odd stare here and there and some people are even as blunt as to tell me: “ what is that junk on your nose, I hope it’s fake.” There are only one or two rare occasions when someone actually told me that they liked my piercings and that they suited me.
I’m happy that at least things are beginning to change. I went to England recently, specifically to Brighton, and I always enjoy my visits there since everyone is so proud to be who they are, they own it, even if that means that they dress differently or dye their hair various extravagant colors or even have a whole bunch of piercings and tattoos. Everyone is accepted and treated the same which is why I’m very confident that I’m not going to be hiding my piercings for much longer.
About the author:
My name is Lou (they/them). I’m 15 years old and I love writing because it allows me to be a part of the change that I wish to see in the world.