Holes in your head

A few months ago, my column on tattoos spawned several comments from readers who felt body art is a sign of attention-seeking. It will be interesting to see if this type of body modification garners a similar reaction.

But like it or not, piercing has become a mainstream expression of self and style for both men and women.

When I was a teen in the ‘80s, it was common for girls to have their earlobes pierced at least once and often twice. For those unfamiliar with the history of body piercing, this was not always the case.

Piercing has been practised all over the world since ancient times. Even mummies have been found with earrings.

During the age of exploration many sailors donned an earring, and male aristocrats in the 16th century wore them to signal wealth. It was not uncommon for women in the 1800s to have pierced nipples.

Piercing has fallen in and out of favour over the centuries, and has since became popular again in western culture over the later half of the 20th century to present.

By far the most common placement for piercings is on the ears. In addition to the lobes, you can also have holes punched through your tragus, rook, helix, conch, or other areas of the cartilage.

You probably had no idea there were so many names for parts of your ears.

Piercings on the nose, lips, eyebrows, and navel have also become popular, as well as...ummm...nether-regions I’d rather not imagine getting pierced.

Last year, I started noticing images of sparkly hoops through the innermost ear fold, called the daith, popping up on Instagram and style blogs. I thought the look was really attractive, so I recently gathered my nerves to have it done.

I visited a professional piercer who used a bit of numbing gel and a hollow needle to punch through the cartilage. Then a simple titanium hoop, which has natural antibacterial and antimicrobial properties, was inserted.

It was pretty sore for a few days, but thanks to frequent saline soaks it is healing nicely.

If you are considering adding any holes to your body, I would highly recommend seeing a professional piercer and thoroughly discussing your ideas.

Each piercing location has its own advantages and issues, such as varying healing times and types of jewelry that can be worn. But with all new piercings, following proper post-care hygiene is of utmost importance to avoid infection or scarring.

As for the bling, there are many specialty body jewelry shops for choosing your adornments.

Culture Craze recently moved from a kiosk to a large store location in Orchard Park mall, signalling the growing popularity of body jewelry.

Bodyartforms.com is an online store based in California that carries every conceivable type of body jewel, in every type of material from glass to surgical steel to gold.

One of the most fun parts of shopping at Body Art Forms is the opportunity to create custom jewelry. For example, you can pre-order titanium, Industrial-strength brand earrings in a variety of metal and gemstone colours.

I kept with classic clear zirconias on a silver-coloured hoop for my future daith earring, but you could choose pink gems with blue opals on purple-tinted titanium, or any other unique combination.

For a luxe look in real diamonds and 18 karat gold, MariaTash.com is the go-to. Known as the “piercer of the stars”, Maria Tash boasts a roster of celebrity clientele and creates stunning body jewelry for each type of piercing.

As another indication of the increasing popularity of piercing, traditional jewellers are now getting into the market.

“Canada’s Tiffany” and a favourite of Meghan Markle’s, Birks has just launched its Iconic earrings line featuring small huggie hoops, studs and cuffs sold singly so you can create an asymmetrical look. Shop in-store in Vancouver or online at maisonbirks.com.

Even if you aren’t interested in adding any new holes, this body jewelry look featuring small hoops layered with delicate studs is all the current rage.

And what I appreciate most is that these baubles are comfortable to sleep in, so there is no fuss putting in different earrings each day.

Curate your own unique set for round-the-clock style.


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About the Author

Marla is best known for her 19-year career in the local charitable sector as a fund development and marketing manager with the Okanagan Regional Library, United Way, UBC Okanagan, and Kelowna Community Resources. 

In 2014, Marla and her husband decided to take a break from the work world, and, four years, later they are still enjoying Okanagan summers, winters in Mexico, and extensive travel. 

Marla has had a life-long passion for fashion, designing her own graduation dress and formal gown for the 1990 Miss Interior competition before age 20.

In 2014, she was named one of nine Style Ambassadors for a year-long marketing campaign at Orchard Park Mall. Her motto is “Life is short...you might as well go through it looking good."

If you have a style question or topic you’d like Marla to cover in this column, contact her at [email protected]

The views expressed are strictly those of the author and not necessarily those of Castanet. Castanet does not warrant the contents.

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