As "old-fogey" as it sounds, piercing creates a wound and it’s important to treat it with care. Coolnurse.com has great tips on how to choose someone to do the piercing (don’t let your friends do it!) and how to care for it afterwards.
Of course it’s not just about the hole. It’s about the jewelry. Studs work well on noses and tongues but barbells, from those that blink to those that change colors like 70’s mood rings, are definitely best-sellers. Since self-expression is the goal, there are endless choices in body jewelry styles (check out labret flatbacks and fishtails) and materials including acrylic, sterling silver, gold, titanium and organics such as bone, wood and stone.
Piercing has been around in other cultures for centuries. In ancient Egypt, eyebrow and belly piercings were a sign of royalty. In Africa, piercings of the nose, lip and ears were seen as a girl’s right of passage. In the U.S., the recent trend to move beyond the earlobes and include other body parts first became trendy on the East and West coasts in the late 70’s, mainly in Southern California. But now piercing is everywhere. And we do mean everywhere.
For the whole hole story check out: In the Flesh: The Cultural Politics of Body Modification (Palgrave Macmillan, 2003) by Victoria Pitts.