Piercing Paper

This essay has a total of 1636 words and 7 pages.

Piercing



A Piercing Look at Society

"If it sticks out, pierce it" is a motto for body piercing. In the past decade, body
piercing has "steadily evolved" to be part of a trendy fashion statement that is spreading
like Parkey throughout the American society. "Body piercing is an American style fad."
(Wattenberg) The influence of fashion is the most powerful pressure there is. The once
rebel art of body piercing done only by so called "freaks" of society is now a trendy
fashion practiced by many.

The trend of body piercing was partially sparked by models and MTV. "Piercing gradually
shed its outlaw image and was mass marketed to the impressionable generation

by music videos, rock stars, and models." (Leo) Piercings are also found on celebrities
whose lives are so torn apart by the media that nothing is kept secret. News would
eventually reach the public, which would spark a trend in admirers. Piercing also appears
on the Tattoodles Doll in toy stores, and as games on the Internet such as Piercing
Mildred. Through these style of piercing has grown to become acceptable by all ages from
children means the playing with Tattoodles, to teens watching MTV, to adults on the
Internet. Body piercing has excelled so much that it is now on a level referred to as body
art along with tattoos.

"Piercing is part of the broader "body modification" movement."(Leo) It is figured that 1
out of 10 people have a piercing some where other than their ear. Today's social standards
are not what they once were. Society has begun to relax on what is viewed as the ideal
image. It has gone from the conservative middle class look to the open-minded, anything
goes creative look. The point is not to look like the crowd anymore; rather to
differentiate oneself and make a statement to the rest of society. One doesn't have to
have the nicest or most business like look to get far. "Society has a tendency to
indefinitely relax its standards to accommodate even more bizarre and anti- social
extremes of behavior." (Wattenberg)

Piercing achieved mainstream recognition in American society in the 1990's. More people
began to accept it. One newspaper put it well - "It moved from society's margins to the
mainstream." (Leo) Piercing used to be done by "outcasts of society and was often looked
down upon, but now, body piercing studios expand by about one studio per day. Piercings
are far more mainstream than parents realize." (Lord)

People of all ages get pierced for many different reasons. "The yearning to irritate
parents and shock middle class...seems to rank high as a motive for getting pierced
repeatedly." (Leo) A teenager's reason may be just that. They know what gets their
parents' goat and rebel to the fullest known extreme.

Some choose to be pierced because they want to seem daring. This is chosen to perhaps gain
the respectful opinion of peers. Others choose to be pierced because it's

fashionable. Fashion statements are always being made, and someone has to be there to make
them. Expressing rage is also a reason for getting pierced. Many believe that the pain of
the initial puncture is exhilarating. This releases adrenaline and is thought to be very
addictive. Individualizing oneself from society by expressing a creative fashion statement
is a desire many have. Everyone wants to be recognized and many use piercing as a way to
receive the attention they deserve. Wanting to commemorate an event in a person's life is
also a popular reason for being pierced. People use the mark of a piercing as a
remembrance to something of value. "Some kids are just doing it because it is the thing to
do." (Mullenhouse)

However, the rebel-teen is not the only part of society taking advantage of this
fashionable body art. "The young body art enthusiasts come from all income levels and
ethnic groups." (Lord) On any given day, people such as students, professionals, and even
senior citizens are apt to walk into a piercing studio and get some sort of body piercing.
Body piercing is not only getting done to "freaks" like it once was, but the upper class
people are getting in on this trend as well. At one time, it was thought that only those
that were unintelligent would do something like puncture their skin in order to look
fashionable but the truth is, a majority of people who are pierced have an A or B average.
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