For Art’s SakeMan has since made great progress in his quest for self realization. Advances in education, the arts and in the sciences of human behavior has allowed human beings to aspire for more lofty objectives in life. The age of discovery gave man better access to his inner thoughts, giving him unfettered opportunities in art, self-expression and outward behavior.
Self expression has never been so open. Art is as diverse and ground-breaking as ever. Poetry has widened its range from surreal to the superficially abstract. Music has breached new boundaries. For a great number of people, there is a unique and curious way of expressing themselves. One of the most popular medium is through the body piercing.
Body piercing traces its history with the tattoo. Interestingly across many cultures across Asia, Africa and South America, tattooing and body piercing has almost the same popularity and relevance. Just like tattoos, piercing signify someone’s position in the community. Body piercing is usually coupled with a rare metal, and so it also shows wealth, power and prestige. In some cultures, the metals seemingly implanted into the skin are also believed to possess powers that either magnifies one’s physical strength but also to ward off bad spirits.
In modern pop culture, body piercing as seen as an accessory, a medium to highlight a body part or as aesthetics, just like jewelry or fashionable clothes. A metal used for piercing – gold, silver, stainless steel or platinum – also signifies wealth. Just like the old days, body piercing is a medium for distinction and inclusion into social circles and lifestyle cliques.
It is painful, one of its kind and special medium of self-expression. One that raises eyebrows more than it elicits applause. However, its growing popularity cannot be denied. It is also very dangerous if not done properly.
Advances in technology have made body piercing salons embrace at least the basic tenets of sanitation and hygiene. However, there are still many who consider the risk and coarseness of the process as part of the expression. One must be careful to choose the salons, and as it will mean life and death. Infections cause by dirty equipment and shabby procedures are the more common effects of body piercing. The use of piercing guns is one false belief in this area. Many believe the gun is the cleaner way of doing piercing, but it is actually the exact opposite. Piercing guns with its mechanical and electronic components could not be sterilized and so the risk of bacteria thriving in the gun and infecting the next person it touches are very high indeed.
The body’s allergic reaction to metal and jewelry is also one concern so one must be careful in choosing. Experts say only implant grade metals should be used or at least 18-karat gold. Stainless steel, titanium, silver, platinum and even Teflon can also be used. However, the bigger, more pressing problem is the transmission of disease, especially HIV.
Body piercing, controversial it may seem to a purist is here to stay. It is important that the youth be educated on its risks, so they can make educated decisions. More importantly they should be encouraged to think for themselves, if they really personally want a body piercing, and not just to please others.
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