I was at the dentist's office a year or so ago when I had my aha moment about the popularity of nostril piercings today. As I sat in the dentist's chair with my eyes fixed on the drop-tile ceiling, waiting for the hygienist to clean my teeth, a tech with a clipboard walked up and asked me a question. When I turned to answer her, the first thing I noticed was the beautiful little jeweled stud in her right nostril. I couldn't help but smile. A kindred spirit! Another professional like me with a nostril piercing! The sight surprised and delighted me. Until that moment, I'd never seen a medical professional with a facial piercing. I've worked in the body mod industry for awhile now, so there aren't any mods that shock me, but the context was new. It made me stop and think about the degree to which piercings have infiltrated the mainstream and how dress code policies now seem to treat nostril piercings the way they've historically treated ear piercings.
That incident at the dentist's office heightened my awareness of people with facial piercings. The more I looked around, the more piercings I saw. More often than not, nostril piercings seem to be the facial piercing of choice for professionals--particularly among women, but I've seen a few guys with them, too. I've also caught glimpses of tongue piercings, eyebrow piercings, lip piercings, scars from retired cheek piercings... all on professionals ranging from bank tellers to retail store managers to medical staff and beyond. Add to that all the cultures and subcultures that favor nostril piercings (Indian women, punks, musicians, etc.), and it's really quite astounding how popular nostril piercings are now.
Just a few years back, visible tattoos and piercings (besides ear piercings) were a no-no in most professional environments (at least in the western world), but times are changing fast. Although professional dress codes still often frown on eyebrow piercings and other facial piercings, it seems that nostril piercings are now widely acceptable in professional environments. What an awesome time we live in when you can sport a nostril piercing without being treated like a degenerate!
There are still people with old-school mentalities who frown at the site of nostril piercings and other facial piercings. I thought my dad was one of the most liberal, laid back guys in the world until I came home with my nostril pierced a few years back. I was blown away by how much it upset him. It's just a piercing! I can take it out at any time, let the hole close up, and no one would ever know I had it. It's not like I came home with "F**k You" tattooed across my forehead, but you would have thought I had if you'd seen my dad's reaction. He actually told me that I should remove it before our family vacation or my aunts and uncles would label me the "black sheep" of the family...over a nostril piercing! The funny thing is, pretty much everyone else in my family embraced it and said it was a "cute" addition to my meager collection of piercings. One of my aunts laid into my dad over his reaction and told him to "get with times", lol. (BTW, that's me in the picture to the right, just after I had my nostril pierced at The Studio at Painful Pleasures.)
You don't just have to take my word for how popular nostril piercings are now. Take a look at the stats:
- 19% of pierced women in the US have a nose piercing, and nostril piercings account for the majority of that percentage.
- 15% of pierced men in the US have nose piercings. Guys often favor septum piercings over nostril piercings, but many have their nostrils pierced, too.
The bottom line is that nostril piercings are way more common than you might have thought. So if you're in love with the idea of getting your nostril pierced, but you've been on the fence because you're worried about work or other people accepting it, GO FOR IT! Your dad might call you the "black sheep" of the family, but so what? Remember, it's just a piercing, and piercings aren't forever unless you want them to be. If you change your mind about it later, you can just take out your nose ring and move on with your life. Chances are, though, you'll love it as much as I love mine and thumb your pierced nose at the naysayers as you wear your cool new nose stud or ring with pride.
When you're ready to explore the insane number of cool nose rings, nostril screws and nose bones available, be sure to check out Painful Pleasures' Nose Rings section. You'll find a wide array of options that will make you love your nostril piercing even more. They also have labret studs that make great nose rings, giving you even more choices.