Skip to main content

2nd May 2012

A piercing passion

My fervour for shiny sharp metal

Last week, Nathalie Clark professed her love for tattoos, which I confess I fail to share. Tattoos can look great on others, but they’re just not for me. The idea of getting a tattoo doesn’t appeal, not because of the pain or social perceptions or ageing issues, but instead purely because, regardless of whether or not you designed it, a tattoo will always be someone else’s art on your body and therefore loses its personal quality. It’s a different story with piercings though in that, although often someone else is piercing you, the piercing doesn’t exist without the jewellery you select yourself that you yourself insert.

I have yet to get my actual earlobes pierced – mainly due to idle apathy – and so I’m currently ignorant to the joys of wearing a proper pair of earrings. However, I’m pierced four places elsewhere – helix, rook, navel, nipple – and I feel naked without them. They’ve become an integral part of my preferred appearance, just like other personal normalities such as hairstyle (anyone who seeks either a tattoo or a piercing in the false hope of being “different” is obviously doomed to forever remain tragically ordinary).

Admittedly, I also enjoy the process of getting pierced. Having a stranger stick a needle through miscellaneous parts of your body is somewhat exciting, and the pain is pleasant in its short and sharp quality. Pain is experienced in the same part of the brain as pleasure, hence the potential pleasurable aspect to pain, which I presume is why I often leave the piercing studio in a heady euphoric daze. Plus, y’know, piercings are hot. You’ve extended your array of orifices in a symbolic fashion. Impish.

Finally, piercings come with the added bonus of disposability. If you wake up one day and suddenly detest harbouring alien pieces of metal in your body, you can take them out as if nothing ever happened. For me, however, and it seems for most pierced people, the reality is often the opposite: once you start, it’s difficult to stop. Maybe I’ll just whip out some needles, ice and apple and sort those earlobes out at last for my next fix. Otherwise, I’m tempted by the tongue. Till then, I’m happy as I am.

Isabelle Dann

Isabelle Dann

Isabelle Dann is the Lifestyle Editor at The Mancunion. Follow her tomfoolery @izzydann

More Coverage

Horticultured: Manchester Fashion Movement brings great clothes to the great outdoors

First Chanel’s Metiers D’Art took place in Manchester last December and now RHS Bridgewater’s Horticultured unfolded in Salford showcasing some fantastic local and sustainable brands

My favourite jeans: Student journalists share their top denim picks

Looking for the perfect jeans? Look no further! Our writers and editors share all their top tips and fave pairs

Celebrity Style Guide #8: Dua Lipa and Callum Turner

We explore the style of up-and-coming couple, musician Dua Lipa and actor Callum Turner, from their day-time outfits to their after-party looks

Glossier: Cult brand or profit machine?

Glossier were famed for their Balm Dotcom and Cloud Paint Blush, but with product prices rising during a cost-of-living crisis will their cult status last?