Freaky to Fashionable

Piercings. Whether on the face, ears, stomach, nose or just about anywhere else, body piercing has become very fashionable. The trend, once deemed as freaky by society, has become mainstream among younger generations and GW students.

Sophomore Jeff Nestler had his ear lobe, upper ear cartilage and tongue pierced, all on a whim last year. One was a bet, the others he liked and decided to get done, he said.

Nestler said he thinks piercings are fun. They are a means of expression and can be cool and trendy, he said.

The art of piercing has been around for a long time. It originated in tribal cultures, in which piercings usually symbolized spiritual elevation, marks of identity, acceptance into society or even coming of age. Deemed as body mutilation by some in the past, the image of piercings has changed and they have become more of a means of expression.

Nestler said people often hold negative impressions of piercings, attaching personality traits to the jewelry they wear. But these impressions are usually wrong, he said.

People with piercings tend to be viewed in a more negative sense, as rebellious, and, depending on where the piercing is located, it can be promiscuous or kinky or just weird sometimes, Nestler said.

Other students said they are cautious not to jump into something they may regret.

Freshmen Mark Aikman planned to get his upper ear cartilage pierced earlier this year but backed out. Aikman said he was scared he might not like it after a while.

I went all the way to Georgetown and got to the piercing place, and then thought, man, I don’t think I want to do this, Aikman said.

Junior Lydia Bosnos has one hole pierced in each of her ears. She said she thinks small nose studs look nice and she almost got one, but changed her mind.

Bosnos said piercings can be fun but does not like it when people go overboard. A few things are good in moderation and limitation, she said.

Students said wearing their piercings to work is not always an option.

Bosnos said one of her friends took her nose ring out for a job interview. But when she showed up for work with the nose ring in, she was asked to remove the piercing, Bosnos said.

Nestler said he takes his piercings out for job interviews because they do not fit the impression employers want for their employees and might hurt his credibility.

It can give them the impression that you’re not really mature, obviously that’s false, said Nestler.

Sophomore Christina Engel said piercings are out of place in some work environments.

Unconsciously, (professionals) may not take you seriously, Engel said.

Engel said piercings create similar impressions as sloppy clothing in work environments.

It’s all in how you present yourself, Engel said.

Students said there is a generation gap in accepting piercings as normal.

Our generation is more willing to accept piercings than older ones, Engel said. My parents have a problem with them.

Students said the most attractive place for a piercing is the eyebrow. Nestler said he likes the tongue ring the best because of its subtlety, but other students disagreed.

Cappo said he saw a man with the septum of his nose pierced on a plane flight. Cappo said it was disgusting and wondered how the man could blow his nose.

Nothing around the mouth or the nose, freshman James Cappo said.

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