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Pierce Your Body

YO! Youth Outlook Multimedia, News Feature/ Video, Video: Angelica Arreola/Ann Bassette, Photo: Walter Lopez, Text: Angelica Arreola Posted: Mar 14, 2010

Facial Piercings from New America Media on Vimeo.

The first time I got my lip pierced, I was 15. I went to a local spot on 16th and Mission with my two best friends. They didnt ask me for my ID. All they wanted to know is if I was 18."

Dude who was going to pierce my lip took me back to a tiny room that had a chair and a huge mirror. Before I sat down, he gave me some blue liquid to rinse out my mouth. I was nervous but I didnt want to show it. Dude held my lip with a clamp, and I watched him pierce my skin with a thick, long needle. It seemed like slow motion, and just like that, it was over.

It didnt even hurt. I took it out a month later because I lost the stud and never put it back in.

The reason I got my lip done was I because I thought it would make me stand out, and it did at the time. A month later, I noticed more and more chicks and even dudes were getting their lips pierced at my school. Now, it seems like everywhere I turn everybody has got something on their face pierced. Nothing is off limits, anything goes, and its socially accepted.

Piercings are ways to express yourself, just like clothes or the way you choose to do your hair or make up. These days, getting a piercing isnt just a fashion statement. Its a way to show your individuality. More teens and young adults are pushing social boundaries by getting facial piercings, and now its trendy and mainstream.

I encourage people to express themselves in a way thats individual to them, says Joel, 29, who has a septum piercing. They shoved a piece of metal through my nose and, yes, it hurt, he admits. Joel thinks if youre worried about the pain, youre not ready for the piercing.

Amy, a 20-year-old Latina from San Francisco, nibbles on her hoop as she reveals that her lip ring was the quickest out of the three facial piercings she has.

The piercing that hurt the most was actually my tongue," says Amy. She had it re-pierced twice. It was twitching a lot," she says. Amy also has a tiny diamond stud, called a Monroe, as in Marilyn Monroe, above her lip.

Im a trendsetter, says Cam, 28, who has a metal ball in his bottom lip that he got last year on Haight Street. This Lakeview native also has an implant near the corner of his left eye. I can switch the color anytime I want to match up with my lip piercing," says Cam. The dermal was a little more complicated to get than his lip. They stuck a needle into his skin and screwed it into his face. "It was bleeding like I was crying, thats why I call it a teardrop," Cam explains. To keep each piercing clean, Cam gargled warm sea salt. I had a black eye for about a week. Aint even gonna lie. It hurt," he admits.

Teffy Baby, 22, went to a piercing shop to change his lip ring but decided on the spot to get his neck implant in the middle of his star tattoo. It only hurt when it got wet [in the shower]. I didnt know it would stiff up," Teffy says.

Assemblywoman Fiona Ma (D-San Francisco) is concerned with the health risks and wants to ban body piercing and tattoos in California for those 18 and under, even those with parental consent.

Its a pretty reversible decision to get pierced, says Joel. Im supportive of very young people getting pierced over very young people getting tattooed.

Here are some piercing names and their locations on your body:

Nose bull ring: nasal septum

Above nose: Bridge

Left or right side above lip: Monroe

Middle upper lip: Lip frenulum aka medusa

Madison piercing: a horizontal piercing located just above the collarbone, at the base of the neck.

Vertical Tragus: in front of the ear through the tragus.

Nape piercing: located on the back of the neck.

Neck piercing: located on the side of the neck, also called Vampire Bites

Hip piercing: located on the pelvis near the hips bones.

Hand web piercing- located in the webbing between any of the fingers on the hand.

Sternum piercing: located vertically or horizontally on the sternum.

Wrist piercing: located on or near the wrist, generally on the upper side.

Stomach piercing: anywhere on stomach but is usually close to the navel

Ear piercings: Tragus, Antitragus, Snug, Daith, Conch, Helix, Rook, Industrial

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