Body Piercings

By: Hanna

For this blog entry, I wanted to do something that has kept my interest for a very long time now. I have decided to discuss body piercings. There are many reasons why a person would want to decorate their body with a specific piercing. Cultural, physical, and social reason are just a few examples of why some of the people that I have talked to have body piercings. In my opinion, body piercings are a perfect example of globalization.

If you travel to different countries, piercings can be interpreted in different ways. I’ve never been to Africa, but I know from doing a little bit of research that they don’t just get piercings because they like the way they look. The stretching of the ear lobes and lips is a tradition. Unfortunately, the African men are starting to frown upon the lip plate because they don’t think it’s attractive. I feel like this has to do with Western influence. In other countries, they pierce peculiar parts of their body to honor their gods.

Above is a picture of an Ethiopian woman with a Trapezium lip plate, stretched ear lobes, and multiple piercings in her upper ear.

The United States and Africa are like night and day when it comes to body piercings. I have multiple piercings in my ears because I like the way it looks. The reason I wanted these piercings had nothing to do with my religion or culture. I definitely think that people in the United States with gaged ears and multiple piercings have culturally appropriated this practice. I once watched a documentary about a man who had stretched ear lobes, tattoos all over his body, and multiple piercings on his face. He wanted to go to Africa to see if he would be accepted in their culture because he told stories of when he didn’t feel welcome in his own country because of the way he decorated himself. Many people in this country definitely shine a negative light on people with body art.


This entry was posted in Section 2, Student Posts, Winter 2011. Bookmark the permalink.

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