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The bar underneath my skin.

I always doubted whether I could pull off a surface piercing. They seemed something only the 'hardcore' piercing enthusiasts could get away with, and I honestly didn't think I could heal one. But over time, as I browsed BME month after month, accumulating piercing after piercing and reading experience after experience, I fell in love with anti-eyebrow piercings. I spent the next month or so pinching my cheek every so often, pondering this piercing possibility. It seemed a crazy idea, me, with a surface piercing? On my face? Visible scarring if it rejected?

But after reading every experience I could get my hands on, I decided. I trooped along to Joe's Tattoo Studio, money in pocket. I was nervous, of course, but at least I didn't do my amazing vomiting trick this time (story for another time, perhaps?) and I arrived at the studio in one piece. I walked in and asked for Marty. Joe's has these stairs, they're evil, they're very steep, which means once you're up there, you're stuck, you're not backing out now. So on wobbling legs, I climbed the stairs.

Once in the room, I told Marty I wanted either venoms or an anti-eyebrow. I was wavering between the two. Finally, I decided on the anti-eyebrow (I grind my teeth in my sleep, I figured venoms wouldn't be the smartest idea) and away we went. Marty marked two dots, entrance and exit, and then scooped my skin up in the clamps. Needle in – needle out. Didn't hurt any more than my lip piercings. Marty then threaded the PTFE bar and I chose some balls to go on the end. I chose the smallest ones – but they still stand out against my (very) pale skin. He popped the PTFE bar in – which is always the most painful bit, the jewellery insertion – and I was done. I paid £25, he gave me a fiver off, (maybe because I'm there so often?) and that was that.

I subscribe to the LITHO (leave it the hell alone) school of aftercare. Not because I'm lazy (well, not entirely) but because I figure my body can handle itself without me dripping salt water into it. There was a little bit of blood pooled around the balls when I got home and looked at it in the bathroom mirror, but other than that, it looked awesome. I could see the bar underneath my skin, it was a weird feeling.

I went to bed, and at that point, I realised that I'd got the piercing on the side I sleep on, my right side. In one of my famous moments of blonde-ness, I'd forgotten. Sighing at my immense stupidity, I lay down and cupped my hand under the piercing, so, hopefully I wouldn't lie on it and irritate it.

It seemed to have worked, because when I woke up the next morning, I felt no pain. Actually, surprisingly, this has been my least painful piercing. I stumbled downstairs in my usual alert morning state (haha) and looked in the mirror.

I believe "Gah" was the first word out of my mouth. I looked like I'd been punched in the face. It was so bruised, I couldn't believe it. I went downstairs and took some Ibuprofen. My mum glanced at me, and said "Hannah, do you realise your piercing's bruised?" I nodded. People kept pointing it out all day, as if I couldn't have noticed.

The bruising stayed for the best part of a week. I guess the clamps were too tight, and I know that eyebrow piercings are prone to bruising, so maybe it's the same thing?

I debuted the piercing back at college to a mix of revulsion and wonder. "Can I touch it?" I was asked, to which I replied no, except to one person, who prodded it, and instantly jumped backwards. "It's under your skin!" He exclaimed. I looked at him. "That's so gross!" He continued.

I became a kind of walking freak show, in the nicest way possible. I'd walk around with friends and then they'd pull people over and say, "Look, she's got her cheek pierced!" After the first few times, I didn't bother to mutter "anti-eyebrow", but just smiled and nodded along to their questions. I'd have figured it would have gotten old after a couple of weeks, but even after that, people still couldn't quite get their heads around it. They'd also tell me about other people they knew with "out-there" piercings, as though we could form some elite club or something.

Right now, it's about two-and-a-half/three months since I've had it done, and it's still hanging in there. The edges are a bit red, and it still crusts slightly. I've been back to Marty, and he said its fine and advised a hot compress. I really hope I can heal this piercing, I adore how it looks; it feels different from my other piercings (septum, three lip piercings and my stretched ears) because it is more visible, more unique and more decorative. I really like having just the one anti-eyebrow, though people sometimes suggest I get the other one pierced, I shake my head. I'm not quite sure why, I always thought of myself as symmetry-girl, but apparently not. I guess, like the rest of me, my piercings need to be a bit off-centre too.


submitted by: Anonymous
on: 07 Jan. 2006
in Eyebrow Piercing

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Artist: Marty
Studio: Joe%27s+Tattoo+Studio
Location: Great+Yarmouth%2C+UK

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