Sunday, May 22, 2022

How safe is body piercing?

I have seen pretty young lassies here in Botswana looking like Dennis Rodman with rings on every flap of skin on them.
Men and women have taken to this ‘bizarre form of make up.’
People are punching holes in themselves to insert ear and nose rings. This in addition to studs smack in the middle of the tongue; a ring adorning the navel, the lower lip, below the lower lip, the eyelid, the eyebrow.

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There is chick piercing, bridge (of the nose) piercing, and nipple piercing. There are rings hooked to private parts (for both men and women) whose purpose eludes me although adherents claim it enhances their intimate frolicking. With all that metal clanking, we might as well ring church bells when we go into sexual combat!

And with all the worldwide disapproval of genital mutilation, I fail to understand why women would voluntarily submit or request clitoral piercing to hang a ring on it. Do their lovers ask to view the splendour of how the ring fits?

And just how do people with nose rings and studs negotiate their way past a cold or flu?

Not so long ago, we used to be shown what some nature magazines and television programmes called ‘savages’ from the south seas and Africa with big wooden or copper rings adorning their ears along with brass and copper rings hanging from their noses. Now it is a multi million dollar trend worldwide. The ‘savages’ have become a fashion plate and they must ask for royalties!

Although piercing parts of the body – other than the ears – may seem to be a recent fashion and lifestyle trend, body piercing actually has a rich history that dates back to ancient times.

Whether as a means of personal expression, to designate societal standing, or as part of religious ritual, body piercing has been around almost as long as humankind.
People like Leonardo Da Vinci believed that the nose set the character of the whole face and that nose piercing is very attractive, and can accentuate the face, because “the nose is the face’s most prominent feature.”

“Nose piercing was first recorded in the Middle East approximately 4,000 years ago,” says Cheyenne Morrison, (The Piercing Temple). “It is mentioned in The Bible; in Genesis 24:22 Abraham requested his oldest servant to find a wife for his son Isaac; the servant found Rebecca, and one of the gifts he gave her was a “golden earring”. The original Hebrew word used was Shanf, which also translates as “nose-ring”.

In Exodus 32, Aaron makes the golden calf from melted earrings. And Deuteronomy 15:12-17 dictates ear piercing as a mark of slavery.
The practice of nose piercing is still followed among the nomadic Berber and Beja tribes of Africa, and the Bedouins of the Middle East with the size of the ring denoting the wealth of the family. “It is given by the husband to his wife at marriage, and is her security if she is divorced,” says Morrison.
Morrison says that nose piercing was bought to India in the 16th Century from the Middle East by the Moghul emperors. In India, a stud (Phul) or a ring (Nath) is usually worn in the left nostril; it is sometimes joined to the ear by a chain, and in some places both nostrils are pierced.

“The left side is the most common to be pierced in India, because that is the spot associated in Ayuvedra (Indian medicine) with the female reproductive organs, the piercing is supposed to make childbirth easier and lessen period pains.”

But in the ‘west’ nose piercing is believed to have first appeared among the hippies who travelled to India in the late 1960s to be later adopted by the Punk movement of the late 1970s as a symbol of rebellion against conservative values. And conservative people, like parents and employers, still don’t react well to it. But nowadays nose piercing has gradually become more socially acceptable with many celebrities having their noses and other body parts pierced.

“Body piercing usually refers to the piercing of a part of the human body for the purpose of wearing jewelry in the opening created. Body piercing is a form of body modification.” Some people practice piercing for religious or other cultural reasons, while many individuals, particularly in the modern West, “choose to be pierced for spiritual, ornamental, or sexual reasons, or as a form of rebellion in punk, heavy metal, and alternative culture.”

Attitudes towards piercing vary.
“Some regard the practice of piercing or of being pierced as spiritual, sometimes embracing the term “modern primitive”, while others deride this view as insulting, as cultural appropriation, or as trendy,” says Wikipedia. “Some see the practice as a form of artistic or self-expression. Others choose to be pierced as a form of sexual expression, or to increase sexual sensitivity.”
It goes on to say that while some people consider body modification to be “a sign of non-conformity”, others deride body piercing as trendy, but this isn’t always the case. This leads to prejudice or cognitive bias against those with piercings or visible signs of past piercings.

As discussed earlier, almost any part of the human body is punctured for one reason or other. After the piercing, rings, studs or some types of ornaments are inserted. Body parts that are mostly punctured for such purposes include nostrils, ears, lips, cheeks, tongues, bridges of the nose, eyebrows, nipples and navels.

An on-line magazine says that back in the 1980s, there was some truth to the fact that men in the gay community would often wear an earring in their right ear. But even then it wasn’t their only means of identification, so almost as soon as it became widely known, it ceased to be symbolic and became more of a fashion statement than anything else ÔÇô which is really where it was before and has continued to be today.

“For instance, Julius Caesar, William Shakespeare, Sir Walter Raleigh and Francis Drake all wore earrings”… as do Dennis Rodman and noted international sportspeople and, of course, Hollywood people.

“Body piercing may be a popular trend, but it has created an equally unpopular trend in allergic reactions,” says David E. Cohen, MD, assistant professor of dermatology at New York University School of Medicine. According to Dr. Cohen, frequently chosen sites for piercing that have displayed allergic responses include, not only earlobes, but upper portions of the ears, lips, nose, tongue, navel, breasts and genitalia as well.

Considering the risks involved, one needs to be very careful whenever they decide to pierce their body to wear some jewellery.

Make a through check of the jewellery. All parts must be made of nickel-free alloys such as surgical stainless steel.
If you, or members in your family scar easily, do not get your ears or other body parts pierced. Piercing is not a do-it yourself or group project. Home sterilization methods are unreliable and flaming a stainless steel needle to sterilize it can release nickel into the lobe setting off a lifetime allergy.
The things we do to look different!
Sources: Internet, Wikipedia


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