As many as 83% of Americans have had their earlobes pierced. Pierced ears have been extremely common in the United States for centuries, though the practice of ear piercing actually dates back to ancient times. In fact, the oldest body piercing ever found dated back to 2500 B.C. Today in the U.S. you see males and females of all ages sporting earrings; some mothers even have their babies’ ears pierced.
If the practice of ear piercing is so commonplace, so widely accepted, then why is it that piercings in other areas of the body are deemed distasteful by the majority in American society?Who determined that the earlobe was the only acceptable body part to don pierced jewelry?
Aside from the aesthetic, there’s certainly a much deeper-rooted psychological and most likely xenophobic or prejudiced mentality behind America’s conservative view of body piercing.
In other cultures across the globe, nose piercing is as common (if not more so) than earlobe piercing is in the Western world. The use of the nose ring in the nomadic Beja and Berber tribes of Africa as well as the Bedouins of the Middle East is actually sort of similar to our historic use of the diamond wedding ring. The nose ring is given by a husband to his wife when they are married, and the size of the ring signifies the family’s wealth. It represents financial security for the woman in the event that she is no longer supported by her husband. Other types of body piercings are conventional in a number of Eastern cultures.
The more traditional majority of the U.S. population still does not accept non-earlobe piercing. However, this doesn’t stop the 23% of 18- to 29-year-old Americans who have other types of body piercings. Many individuals see piercing as a form of self-expression; and body piercing, like tattoos, have become an art form practiced by piercing and tattoo artists.
If you are passionate about expression through body art and want to learn how to body pierce, there are body piercing apprenticeship programs. You will be taught by professionals important skills and information such as body piercing types and techniques used for different areas of the body, safe and hygienic practices, and more.