THE PIERCING SUBCULTURE – A RISKY OBSESSION OR AN OBSESSIVE RISK

Kristina Paytasheva

There isn’t anyone who didn’t notice the young people, whose ears, eyebrows, lips, tongues, noses, navels and other parts of the body, are pierced with very different earrings, prickles and others interesting accessories. Some of them have at their bodies less at number piercing, until others have in excess of them. There are such kind of people those bodies are almost invisible from the great number of piercing. This is one very interesting society which way of life and image are sometimes quite shocking.

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Origins of the piercing culture
The word piercing comes from the word “pierce”. Today the piercing is used for fashion decoration of the body, until in the ancient times it was used with other aims. The piercing culture is well-known from many centuries. The first facts of body piercing date from 4 000 – 5 000 B.C., when was found a mummy with a piercing at the ear. For piercing at the nose is mentioned for the first time in the Bible. In ancient times the body piercing was considered as sign of manliness and courage. The Egyptian Pharaohs brought earring at the navel that was a sign of ritual transition from the life at the Earth to the eternity. Roman warriors pierced the nipples of their chest, showing manliness and duty to Caesar. The piercing at the tongue was a part of the religious rituals of the high priests of the Aztecs, of the Shamans, of the Mayas from Central America, as of some tribes from North America. They pierced their tongues in case they have to breathe a vein to attract the attention of the Gods and to communicate with them at other level.

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One of the most popular piercings among the primitive nations is this at the cartilage between the nostrils. This kind of piercing prevailed at the military cultures, perhaps because the big tusks between the nostrils gave to the face savage look. The Aztecs, the Mayas and the Incas preferred this piercing to be from nephrite and gold because of their religion. The piercing at the ear was maintained in many tribes. They believed that the demons and the ghosts can enter in the human’s body through the ear, but they are repulsed by the metal and the piercing at the ear protected them from unwished penetrations of the ghosts in their bodies. The seafarers during the time of Queen Elizabeth pierced their ears to increase their eyesight. In case that their body was thrown at the coast from the sea and somebody finds it, the earring will pay for Christian funeral.

Later, in the Victorian epoch became fashionable the piercing at the genitals that confirmed the virtue of the women. At the end of the 60s and in the beginning of the 70s it appeared as a form of protest and individual self manifestation.

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Today
Nowadays the body piercing is adopted as a way of self manifestation, other adopt it as an instrument for sexual stimulation. The piercing of the body is an opened form of proof in some informal communities. Celebrities in Europe and USA expose their pierced parts, and rock stars and famous sportsmen are a model of imitation.
The piercing of the ears rests actual in all the times, but with the appearance of the hippie culture and of the rock and roll, it transforms in a symbol. Today the piercing is a fashion tendency among the whole pop-art. We can see it at the sportsmen, at the actors and even at some politicians.

пиърсингAt biggest popularity the piercing enjoys the youth. In USA more of the half of the students is with pierced one or another part of the body, besides without thinking of the consequences that could be deplorable.

Some researches show that every fifth man that has made a piercing has had different health complications. Among them are infectious inflammations, bleeding, unhealed wound and others. The good new is that everything is already curable. The bad new is that when is broken the technology of the sterilization and every one piercing menaces with diseases like AIDS, hepatitis С or an infection of the blood.

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All this sounds to a great degree frightening, even at some moments terrifying, but yet have to be revealed the cultural signs of this obsession, its aesthetical characteristics, its interesting and various piercing variations at the different parts of the human body.

Types of piercing
For the real piercing maniacs the piercing of the body could be realized at all the free places to it. But this is not very recommendatory, because at the human’s body exists many points that answer to different organs. So, it is really advisable this manipulation to be made by some specialist in the area. But let we look at the most popular types of piercing.

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Maybe the most traditional type piercing is this at the ears. But yet most of the girls from their childhood are with pierced ears with medical earrings. Because of this maybe at this type of piercing people decide most easily. But again it doesn’t have to be forgotten the fact that at the ears exist many key points that don’t have to be touched during the manipulation, because this won’t have so good consequences for the health. Many popular in the last years became another one manipulation, called „flesh”. This is a special kind enlargement of the hole, made in the ear. Another kind piercing is this at the cartilage and it is called „helix”. Usually it is made in the upper part of the cartilage. „Anti-helix” is called this piercing that is positioned just in front of it. Another kind piercing is the „punch”. It is similar to the „flesh” but here is necessary a surgical enlarging of the hole in the ear. On the sticking our interior part of the ear is put the so called „tragus”. The „anti-tragus” is put at the contrary side of the „tragus”. Over it is put a piercing with the name „rook”, and over it is put „daith”. „Snug” passes through two cartilages of the ear. „Conch” is put on the interior cartilage part of the ear. The „industrial” binds two holes with long barbell. And when two holes at the ear are bind with one ring, so it is called „orbital”.

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Another many popular kind piercing is this at the nose. A painful manipulation, leading to sinus infection and other unpleasant consequences, the piercing of the nose is fashion nowadays from the 80s. The very popular from that time earring is called „nostril”. The piercing in the middle of the nose is called „septum”.

The tongue is also often pierced. The obsession with the pierced tongue came in the beginning of the 90s when the alternative music was especially popular in Bulgaria. The piercing at the tongue is maybe the most painless procedure from the enumerated. Unpleasant consequences from the piercing of the tongue are its swelling and disappearing of big doze gustative receptors.

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Another part of the face that is often pierced is the lips. Most often is pierced the middle part of the upper lip, but very often is pierced the upper. This kind of piercing is famous as „labret” or „loubret”. At the principle of the „flesh” is put such kind of piercing at the lip, but it is called „lip plate” and it is again made through surgical elimination of tissue.
The eyebrow is also often pierced part of the face. There exist four kinds of pierces of the eyebrow – vertical, horizontal, anti and bridge. The vertical and the horizontal are put aside of the eyebrow depending on the situation of the piercing. The bridge is positioned between the eyes, and anti is at the top of the cheek-bones.

The piercing at the navel is especially popular among the girls and they consider it for especially sexy, wearing short blouses. The unpleasant moment is that the consequences are related with difficult and prolonged healing of the wound, as to the appearance of eventual others infectious diseases.

Other kinds piercing are these at the nipples at the chest and at the intimate parts of the body. For this kind piercing people say that it influences very strongly during sexual act.
There exists one other piercing called brain piercing. The manipulation is the following: in the brain are pierced two holes, through those with curved pin is got in a ring. The sense of this kind piercing is that this ring presses the brain tissues and helps for the emanating in the brain of compounds, provoking euphoria. This is especially risky kind of piercing with dangerous consequences, leading even to death.

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Of course, there exist other kinds of piercing at the rest of the body and it is called „surface”. This is quite difficult manipulation, because the body sometimes throws the alien elements.

There exists still more substandard piercing as such kind in the eye or in the teeth, but these things are practiced by real maniacs that have tried already everything and that are seeking for the innovations in this type culture.

How to become a member of the piercing subculture?
All above enumerated type piercing hide their risks at their putting, but it doesn’t be forgotten the fact that if one young man want to be a part of this subculture society, he will have to ignore some of them. Here are five rules that if are observed man can easy get integrate in the piercing society.

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At first place, is the rule that if we want to shock all the people the piercing at the fleshy part of the ear, as the ordinary earring at the nose, aren’t valid because they are too well-known and cliched and nobody won’t rest especially amazed from two pierced holes at standard places at our body. If man really wants to make an impression, so his piercing has to be extremely innovative and shocking. The best is the piercing to be positioned at the face. The piercing at the eyebrow and this at the upper lip are already well-known, but are still considered as new type of piercing.

At second place it is good to be enlarged the hole that man has already made. However if he doesn’t want again to lie under the pin, so he could made it autographically, but the hole has to be so wide to can pass the little finger through it.

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At third place it doesn’t have to be spared not even one part of the body. The more piercing have the maniac, the more easily he will integrate in this subculture. When he gets jungle in the streets, so that means that he can become one worthy member of the piercing subculture.

At fourth place he has to start by him self to make piercing, as he learns at the principle of the try and of the mistake. If he decides to put him self piercing that has the most terrifying consequences, so let he make it all alone. He has to use safety pin without alcohol, to make it at public place, without washing his hands, and when it gets infect, the maniac has to refuse to go to a doctor and he doesn’t have to take away the piercing from his body.

At fifth place man has to know how to take challenges. If the piercing that he has put to him doesn’t have no unpleasant reactions, so let he try something more extreme. But yet, all have boundaries. The self destructive activities are not advisable, because they one day would become deplorable for the human’s health.

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But yet – why people put a piercing?
To be understood the psychology of the maniacs of the piercing culture it is necessary first of all to be known that they adore it. They adore these types of accessories, because they consider it as beautifying. From the other side this type of people like to be fashion and this type of culture is still quite fashion. For this reason people put piercing at the visible parts of their body. Another reason is the sexy appearance; to those they strive for as in this way they think they will attract more sexual partners. One more reason for the putting of piercing is the rebellious character of the maniac. The long cherished wish of man to be different and at the same time to belong to some society is also a reason for the putting of a piercing.

In conclusion
Interesting and shocking, the piercing subculture is for those people that are searching for the challenges in the life and wish to experiment with them selves. But we don’t have to forget the fact that this type of obsession sometimes can lead to unpleasant consequences and in the striving of the anesthetization of his body man can achieve an opposite effect. Because of this it is advisable when man decides to such a step first to be sure in the hands that he will fall in. But yet, the end justifies the means. And the effect of the piercing is more than satisfactory...

 

Used sources:
http://www.natamno.com/piercing.php, http://www.cosmopolitan.bg/dr_cosmo/p3_82_0.html, http://sholayna.livejournal.com/110361.html, http://articles.piercingmap.com/why-people-do-the-piercing.html
http://eyebrowpiercing.info/piercing_history.htmlр http://www.bodyjewelleryshop.com/body_piercing_information/history_of_body_piercing.cfm
http://www.hentaiger.com/portal_History_Index.htmlр http://articles.piercingmap.com/why-people-do-the-piercing.html, http://wkyt.mis.net/hrblog/?p=23, http://piercing-bg.com/piercing/piercing.html
http://www.chudesa.net/?p=statia&statiaid=4840, http://www.fema-bg.com/index.php?m=1014&lang=1
http://www.sodahead.com/question/22795

Photos:
1. – 2. Representatives of the piercing subculture
Photo: http://www.legendsofamerica.com, www.sodahead.com
3. – 5. Piercing.
Photo: www.sodahead.com, www.sodahead.com, www.sodahead.com
6. Flesh
7. Helix
8. Anti Helix
9. Punch
10. Tragus
11. Anti-tragus
12. Rook
13. Daith
14. Snug
15. Conch
16. Industrial
17. Orbital
18. Nostril
19. Septum
20. Flesh at the tongue
21. Labret
22. Vertical piercing at the eyebrow
23. Anti
24. Bridge
25. Piercing at the navel
Photo: http://piercing-bg.com
26. Piercing in the eye
Photo: http://news.ibox.bg/news


Read: 101140 times                                                  © Fashion Lifestyle Magazine, issue 13, August 2008

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