By Morghan Holt
It began with the ear lobe, traveled to the nostril, crawled up to the eyebrow, and has now made its way to the navel and beyond. From tongue studs to eyebrow rings, American teenagers are driving holes through more and more parts of their bodies. Fashion models sport little metal hoops through their lips, rock stars pierce every visible ridge of flesh on their faces, Johnny comes home with new nose jewelry, and his mother goes insane. Its all part of growing up, he assures her. Hes just trying to have a little fun.
Granted, body piercing is certainly not the end of the world, but neither is it necessary. I actually find it pretty repulsive. As the race to see who can drive the most holes through the most parts of their bodies has begun, its obvious that body piercing, like so many of the past, now forgotten fads, has no logical basis. There is no reasoning behind it. Kids just do it to have done it, show off, to be a bit rebellious, without really being bad. And, maybe thats a good thing. Maybe teenagers need a form of rebellion that doesnt earn them a police record, or result in their expulsion from school, but I doubt that body piercing is it.
When asked, most kids with body piercings will say they did it to be different, to stand out, to create an identity for themselves. To me, thats nothing more than an excuse. Its definitely not the reason for their piercings. As body piercing becomes increasingly popular, almost everybody has at least one extra hole, to such an extent that piercing has become more of a conformist act than a way to stand out. In order to use the I want to be different excuse, therefore, kids are forced to search for even stranger forms of body piercings, and, so far, the search has been successful.
One day, once the fad has worn itself out, and the idea of drilling additional holes in ones body is viewed as the boorish practice it is, the members of my generation, who gave up jobs for the sake of being different, or, rather, fitting in, the same kids who pleaded with their parents for that silly eyebrow ring, will laugh at themselves, realizing how ridiculous the whole thing had been. Hopefully, by that time, the holes will not be beyond the point of closure. Unlike tattoos, body piercings arent permanent, but, depending on their position, the holes will always grow together, which could be a disappointment to some pierce-happy teenagers years from now.
Perhaps it is a necessary part of growing up, perhaps I dont know what Im missing out on, but I doubt it. I cannot relate with the whole piercing obsession. There exists no spark inside me that drives me to pay outlandish amounts of money to have a little hole stuck somewhere on my body. But, then, I dont want to base the whole of my identity on a crummy piece of jewelry, as it seems some people do.