You can barely see that teeny tiny little stud!
I remember during freshman year of college, I was talking to one of the girls that lived in my dorm about music. She told me she loved punk, but hated pop, and I said I kind of enjoyed hybrid pop-punk music. She said she wasn’t a fan and asked why I liked it. It took me a moment, but I finally said, “We like music that we feel represents ourselves. So you have punk, which breaks the mold and stands out, and then you have pop which is relatively mainstream. Then there’s me, who wants to break out of the mold, but usually ends up following the mainstream anyway.”
Now, I don’t go following the crowd off cliffs or anything, but I’ve tended to be more conservative when it comes to my own personality and style. I’ve always wanted to dye my hair fun colors, but never had the chance to due to work commitments and speech and debate. I’ve tried countless times to change up my clothing style, but always end up back with the same tshirt and jeans I’ve worn my whole life. I know for a fact that I’d love to have a tattoo, but I’m too indecisive and I’m also scared of needles!
Then, there’s piercing. Since I was 14, I wanted to get my nose pierced. I can’t explain exactly why, but I always thought nose studs were super cute and I really wanted to do something that made me stand out a little more. I have my ears pierced, but I rarely wear earrings, and I know that piercing further up my ear would hurt a ton (I’m a huge whimp!).
My mom, of course, always said no. I went to private school for high school, so there were rules against facial piercings, though two girls in my class somehow managed to sidestep the nose piercing rule. When I got to college, I wanted to get my nose pierced, but my mom threw a fit and I was worried about the ramifications if I did go out and get it done. I’d also talked to my coach and he’d implied we couldn’t get any facial jewelry.
Well, one day I found myself in the Columbus airport waiting for a flight to Texas when my team struck up a conversation about body modifications. My best friend, Hannah, and I expressed how much we’d wanted to get our noses pierced, but couldn’t due to speech. My coach said, “What do you mean? I don’t care, as long as you put a clear stud in when you compete.” In that moment, all roadblocks were taken down. I was 19, had a job to pay for a piercing, and I could get it done without losing speech.
I was going to get it done over winter break, but realized the piercing would need a few months to heal, and I would be competing the week after classes started. By the time Nationals came around in April, I’d forgotten about it until Hannah said she’d emailed her internship and asked if she could get her nose pierced. They said sure and she was going to get it done before school let out. So, I did the same thing. Okay, I might have implied that I’d already gotten it done, since I interviewed for my internship over the phone, but they said they didn’t care. Once again, the roadblocks were gone.
I called my mom the next week and began my conversation with, “Mom, I need to tell you something. It’s important, but I need you to not scream and get mad, okay?”
I found out last week that when I started off with that mini-monologue, she thought I was pregnant. So, when the next words out of my mouth were “Hannah and I are getting our noses pierced,” she was so relieved that she was really agreeable. Not happy, but she knew it was my decision.
I’d already talked to my boyfriend about piercings. He comes from a conservative household and he favors more traditional beauty, but he’s super great when I suggest dying my hair or piercing something. “I love your hair the way it is,” He’ll say, “But I love you more than anything. It’s your body, do what makes you happy.” When I told him I was getting my nose pierced, he told me he didn’t think I would look any more or less beautiful, but that he was happy I was finally asserting my independence.
Hannah and I got our noses pierced on April 24th. As I grew up expressing my want of a facial piercing, I was told I would regret it. Okay, maybe three months in is a little early, but I haven’t for a minute regretted getting my nose done. Well, maybe when my boyfriend tries to be cute and pinches my nose. That hurt a little, especially in the weeks after getting it done. But, really, I feel confident, happy, and independent with my piercing. I feel like for the first time in my life, I did exactly what I wanted to do with my own body, without taking anyone else into consideration. I also feel more responsible. I weighed the pros and cons, and got my nose pierced only when I knew I wouldn’t have to give up many other things I love doing. Also, I fought a battle against my fear of needles. It really wasn’t that bad, and honestly, I felt such an adrenaline rush when I was done that I wish I could have pierced something else!
Piercings aren’t for everyone. Some agree with them and other’s don’t–that’s okay. For me, getting my nose pierced brought me close to a friend and also improved my confidence and self esteem. So maybe I do go along with the mainstream, but every now and then I do my best to break–or pierce–the mold!