Body Piercing: Reclamation, Enhancement, And Self-Expression

2118 Words 9 Pages
In America the practice of body piercing is everywhere, especially among young people, who are getting several parts of their bodies pierced either as an affirmation of their personal individuality, as a means of sexual gratification or stimulation, a reclamation of their bodies from physical or emotional trauma, or for as a means of adornment. Whatever the reason, it's widespread. Body piercing is the piercing of the ears, nose, septum, cheeks, lip, tongue, nipples, navel, clitoris, labia, penis, and scrotum. Says California State University anthropologist James Myers, Ph.D. body piercing is "possibly as old as genus Homo." (Todd, Richard, p.1) Body piercing studios are popping up all over the country in a response to the growing …show more content…
Of course, the reason for body piercing also carries other connotations such as rites of passage and sexual gratification. Still, the body piercing movement is gaining momentum throughout America. It's not at all uncommon to see pierced navels and noses anymore, even in largely conservative regions like Indiana. And young people are feeling the need to be individuality-minded in the fast paced nineties. It's a conscious effort to repudiate the conservative mindset of their parent's generation by differing from that which is said to be normal in our society. This is where piercing comes in. When the piercing movement first started to gain momentum in the eighties it was frowned upon as a method of body ornamentation practiced only by "deviants". This is partially due to the popularity of piercing in gay and Sado-Masochist circles (Leo, John p.2). But now piercing is done for different reasons. Many teenagers get pierced during their college years, mainly because they are away from their homes and therefore don't have to worry about parental reaction. Indeed, some piercers say that piercing is becoming part of the college experience (Howard, Dylan, p.1). Many young people enjoy piercings in body parts other than their ears, especially in the nose and navel, and increasingly, the lips or tongue. Body piercing, when done correctly, is also
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