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Skeletons Out Of Wardrobes, or A Story Of A Nose Stud

My first impressions of being absolutely fascinated and speechless with a sight of a pierced human flesh date back to my very early age. Further on it gradually developed in something like a mania: each time I saw someone having more than one pair of regular earrings it just sent shivers down my spine. Particularly assuming the fact that I was born and passed my first 7 years in the Soviet Union where piercings were a norm only for women in a quantity of one hole per ear. All the rest was considered either a barbaric heritage or a pernicious influence of the West.

Cultural and social boundaries were one thing; the other was my mom. Later when I grew up and the phenomenon of piercing became already quite spread around here each time someone mentioned any kind of body modification, my mummy went hysteric. My second hole in right earlobe was welcomed in quite a cool manner; the other three caused a row. At the age of 16 I decided I'd go bold and pierce my nostril. Half an hour after it was done mum saw it and nearly got a heart attack. Wearing it on was out of question anyway. I made several attempts of repiercing my nostril again afterwards, but each time took the stud out nearly immediately. It was not only the fear of mum's possible nervous breakdown; I was really anxious it does not suit my nose, my face, my appearance, my style, I was thinking constantly people would think wrong of me and stare at my nose all the time.

But the itch of getting pierced was still there. It is now quite difficult to say, what I did not pierce. Gradually I realized that even if I'd decide one day to really have and keep a piercing I'd never go to a piercing parlour. I learned to regulate pressure and pain, I know the sweet spots of my body, I new well that for me piercing is a process rather than a ½ second bee sting. I'd never let anyone else do that for me but myself. Eventually a vision of what piercing is for me, formed: something private, intimate and hidden. All the piercings I've had before were hidden: upper (now retired) and lower navel, both nipples and some genital stuff. That was at once my personal treasure and a thing to worry about. The serious academic and traditional society I belong to would definitely consider this a perversion – at least I thought they would. My hidden joy was at the same time a thing of shame.

The final itch came last Sunday. Standing in my bathroom in front of a mirror I thought: O'kay, if I'll have a tiny stud in my nose – so what? Shall this be not me anymore? Shall colleagues and friends change their attitude to me immediately? Half of them will not even notice that – they are old and blind as rats. Very wise and respectable rats =) (I work in the field of cultural heritage preservation, and half of my colleagues are 60+) I found myself preparing a sterile syringe needle and an antiseptic solution in no time. Piercing itself took me something like a minute – I don't push the needle through, I slowly guide it through all the layers of tissues paying attention to holding it at a needed angle. Once having the needle through my left nostril (I chose the left one since there was a tiny mark from previous attempts, so that I didn't even need to mark the place) I took the nose stud with a small clear gem and soaked it in the antiseptic for several seconds. I've been keeping this stud for a while with my other piercing jewelery – I bought it some time ago with a hope I might need it on.

Getting it inside the hole was kind of trouble. This crooked part slid in perfectly but wouldn't find the way out for good five minutes. When I finally got it in which was quite painful I realized it sits so well that I'm not getting it out in any way. So this time I was quite determined to keep it. The worst part was convincing myself it looks good on me and that I don't look stupid with this small but visible sparkle on my nose. The first judge was my husband: before we met he didn't like piercings at all and for the first year we spent together he hoped I'd remove mine one day. Now he's got used to all the metal in my body. So, when I asked him how did he like my new nose he said plainly: One piercing more, one piercing less – who cares now? I love you anyway.

To my huge surprise my mom stayed calm when she saw the stud through my nostril. She just told me I'll now have a hole in my nose for the rest of my life and won't be able to hide it (who told her I was going to remove it?) Frankly speaking I suspect she even likes it – but will surely never say this aloud. My sister told me a day later that she absolutely loves it and thinks I'm a jerk to keep thinking all the time about whether it suits me.

But the biggest surprise I found in myself after all. Walking around with my barely visible, but still – visible facial piercing (I've changed my stud with a clear gem to a one with a tiny silver ball, so now the bling from the stone doesn't get into my eye every now and then) I feel so much at ease now. It's like a feeling that I don't have to hide things about me now. It's like saying it out aloud: yes, that's the way I am, like it or not. And I'm not going to alter myself to your expectations. It's a fantastic feeling of freedom, feeling of stepping out of this cage of "cans" and "can'ts". And this is not the cage someone else put me in – I've been building it myself all these years. With some help, of course. I'm barely going to add anything to my nostril piercing in future – maybe only another nostril stud: I just adore paired nostrils. But that's not the point. The main thing is I freed myself, wearing this tiny stud I confessed to myself: yes, this is me. And I'm no longer ashamed or afraid of it.

I remember a phrase from one of the experiences I've read on BME: I feel more like me now. It's now that I've realized what this really means.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 24 April 2008
in Nose Piercing

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Artist: myself
Studio: my+bathroom
Location: St.+Petersburg%2C+Russia

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