THE ART OF BODY PIERCING



There are multiple body art forms in the world today. The art of body piercing has "a colorful history that spans many centuries." (History) As a relatively new trend all over the world it represents a new area of interest. Though body piercing is controversial these days, the opinions are divided. The opposition states that rebellion insights body piercing while the practicians say that it brings personal fulfilment. Supporters sustain that body piercing should be viewed as an art not as body mutilation.


The majority of the opponents rest in the middle‑aged population. These people claim that piercings spread diseases and infections. Researches show that "The most dangerous of all piercings are the tragus, which sticks out from the middle of the ear. If not carefully pierced, the body will go through shock which it cannot handle and result in paralyzation." (Prieto) Genitalia piercing are the most likely to get infected since it is one of the most sensitive parts of the body. The truth is that the healing depends on the way one takes care of the pierced place. Healing can take from one month to two years. The next argument brought by the opponents is that body piercing is only the bad influence of fashion. It is shown that " for beauty, the Fulani women of Mali wear giant, hand wrought gold earrings suspended from ear lobe piercing."(Wilkinson) In the name of fashion "women who live in the region of Sahel in Northern Africa pierce their ears with thin, sharp thorns and wear silver or brass loop earrings ." (Wilkinson) The reality is that beauty and fashion are major parts of our lives, and appearances will always influence peoples opinions. Rebellion is another fact brought by the opposition. Often children pierce obvious parts of their body just to rise up against their parents. Some of the punk and rock disciples pierce themselves to riot against the strict society or to make a disconcerting note. Everyone knows that rebellion is a way to show that a culture is not open‑minded and that the society’s restraints are too tight.


The community has always influenced the world population and their lifestyle. People use this kind of art to gain personal fulfilment. Everyone knows that "by piercing body parts associated with sex, a growing number of people are promoting a personal recognition of this sexuality. Among feminist circles it symbolizes women’s regaining control of their bodies in a patriarchal society."(Audley) Some do it to show their sexual preferences. One’s feeling of being accepted and belonging to a social group is very important today, so some people practice body piercing to feel accepted. People with body piercings recognize themselves as a certain social group. In our typical society pierced people are viewed as belonging to a certain social group." In gay culture [ the piercing of sexual body parts] is often used to declare a deviance from the accepted norms."(Audley) In their culture it is believed to serve more inward, personal purposes than outward social purposes. Homosexuals also use this kind of art to explore their sexual pleasure. Although it seems a new form of manifestation"body decoration is one of the earliest forms of artistic expression known by the human kind."( Wilkinson) Body piercing has a long tradition. It can be traced in tribes from Africa, South America and Pacific where the societies " have practiced [ for generations] ritual piercing of the ears, nose, lips or genitalia to celebrate the passage from childhood to adulthood." ( Wilkinson) Ampalang tribes also practiced body piercing as a part of puberty rites. " In Polynesia "Trukese women (...) Pierced their labia to attract suitors."(Audley) Body piercing can also be traced "back to Rome 400 to 200 A.D." (Wilkinson) Roman Centurions wore nipple piercing to hold up their tunics. Ancient Romans also pierced "the foreskin of (...) athletes (...) the purpose was to prevent erections so that athletes would perform better."(Wilkinson) In any way people would look, piercings are found all over the world. History shows that "in Europe, Asia and America, previous generations pierced ears has always been a statement of elegance." (Wilkinson) Arab youths, when they reach manhood they receive a silver stud for their celebration.


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