Influences on Body Art
We have all come across them on the streets or at the mall and our reactions and thoughts have
been more or less negative. We think to ourselves “how are they able to get a job looking like that?”, or
“that must be unpractical and painful!”. Permanent body art marks the skin in ways which most would
consider painful, yet today body piercings have become increasingly popular. The most common
piercings are popular for the reason that they have been performed and worn successfully by many
people , though more unique forms of piercing have been added to the traditional ones.
What are the reasons behind the popularity of piercings, and what are the possible effects of going
overboard with body piercings? In order to understand the motivations behind people's decisions to
adopt body piercings it is important to dig deeper into their world.
Today body piercings are considered mostly unattractive and a religious, a sexual or a
rebellious statement. But body piercings are not a new phenomena, it is a known fact that they have
been around for thousands of years. Throughout the human history, people have practiced piercings for
different reasons. For some they were attractive and a way to enhance sexual stimuli while for others it
was a statement of power and wealth or a way to terrify others.
The Egyptians were known for their ear piercings and in fact only the pharaoh himself could
have his navel pierced. Piercings are even mentioned in the Bible. According to the Old Testament,
body jewelry was considered a mark of beauty and wealth. Aztecs, Maya and American Indians have
all practiced body piercings as part of their rituals. Later on sailors became known for their gold or
brass ear piercings on one ear. It was believed that piercing one ear would enhance the long-distance
sight. Closer to the modern age the “hippies” re-introduced the body piercings to...