Why Are Piercings So Popular?

Ellie Mitchell, First Year Journalism Student

Body modifications have been popular since the 80’s, while gaining special attention in the 90’s by celebrities wanting to break stereotypes. Piercings have been especially popular since the 90’s, and are now making their way into a lot of young people’s lives. 

People between the ages of 13-26 are shown to have more piercings than any of the older generations. While nose piercings and ear piercings are popular among the population, it’s really the type of piercings that’s interesting. 

Body jewelry has a long history that dates back hundreds of years. A lot of piercings come from ancient indigenous cultures. From septum piercings to expanded earlobes, body modifications were the highlight of wealth and beauty. 

Some people choose to get them for religious or cultural reasons; carrying on the legacy of their ancestors through piercings, tattoos, clothing or hair. Others may choose to get piercings for the sole reason that it looks good on them. 

Although body piercings may look scary or intimidating on someone, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they are. A lot of people will associate piercings and body modifications with bad people and that isn’t always true. Some of the nicest people you meet could have stretched ears and a hundred facial piercings. 

(Image provided by Onyx Barnhill)

One student at YC, sophomore Onyx Barnhill, has quite a few piercings. They talked about the types of piercings they have, as well as what their parents think about them. “I have a side nose one and my septum done.”

Barnhill expressed how their mom likes them but their grandparents don’t. “My mom likes them but my grandparents don’t. That’s like touchy for them.”

When asked if they face judgement or admiration on the way that they look, Barnhill said that they don’t get a lot of judgement because masks usually cover up the nose piercings that they have. “No, not so far. I’ve just gotten compliments, but also with masks nobody sees my piercings anyway.”

Another YC student, senior Kailani Soberon, has many piercings as well. They explained that they face judgement on their piercings when they talk to people about job interviews. They said that people usually tell them that they would need to hide them. 

Soberon stated that they get a lot of comments on their septum piercing, where people compare them to a cow. (Septum loops are common among bulls) When asked if they regret any of the piercings they have gotten, Soberon said no and that they love them. 

(Image provided by Kailani Soberon)

Soberon talked about the older generation and why they don’t accept body modifications as much. They said, “I think they’re just intimidated by teenagers expressing themselves.” Soberon even said that they want more piercings in the future.

Many other students at YC have piercings. From navel piercings, to septum piercings, to simple ear piercings, body jewelry has been one of the biggest trends for teenagers in school. Whether it be a fashion statement or to rebel against parents, piercings have made their way into the lives of young adults almost permanently.