It has been on my mind for a while that maybe it’s time to take out some of the piercings in my face, and as I’m turning forty in a couple of days, I thought now would be a good time to do so! Over the years two other piercings have fallen by the wayside – I took out my belly-button ring when I was pregnant with Jude as it was getting in the way, and (rightly so) I felt my days of showing off my tummy in a crop top were over. Then about four years ago the ball on the end of my tongue piercing came off, and as I didn’t know what size to replace it with, I just took it out. Now don’t get me wrong; I’m a firm believer in wearing whatever the f**k you want, regardless of age, but there are a couple of reasons that have led me to think that it’s time for a change….
I have noticed more recently that I think my piercings are getting in the way of getting to know new people. To put it frankly, they put people off. This never used to worry me – I just felt that if they can’t see past the piercings, then they aren’t the sort of people I want to know anyway. However, I’ve been in a few social situations lately where I’ve noticed that people look at me, and then they don’t want to talk to me, and then I feel lonely. I think I’m a smiley, friendly, approachable sort of person who’s pretty good at hiding her fear of social situations, so I’ve come to the conclusion that the piercings are the problem. I completely forget they’re there. When I look in the mirror, I just see me; I don’t see the rings and studs, and I forget that’s the first impression everyone else has. Occasionally I spot a look of disapproval, sometimes disgust, and at first I don’t understand why; and then I remember the piercings and conclude that’s the issue.
I do understand them to a certain extent. To be honest, when I see a crowd of people wearing a navy and white Breton striped top with skinny jeans tucked into knee-length boots ; it’s not surprising that they’re not immediately inclined to think we’d have a lot in common; but this is where age is the problem. I see the women around me get older and their style gets more and more boring, and certainly they all merge into wearing pretty much the same thing. I never for one minute think that just because a woman I meet is wearing the same old uniform of the striped top and jeans that we’re not going to get on! (If I felt that way I’d have no friends at all!) I suppose what I’m trying to say, in a very roundabout way, is that for having piercings at the age of forty, I stand out for being different a lot more than I did ten or twenty years ago, and therefore at a glance at my face, they don’t think I’m friend material. A row of three lip rings is just too far out of their comfort zone.
Contrary to what I’m sure my Mum believed, I didn’t get the piercings in the first place to send out some sort of message. I don’t have a particular desire to look different; edgy; emo; goth; or anything else. I got them for the simple reason that I liked them! I saw other people with them; I liked them, and so I got them! And this is what bothers me the most. I’m not entirely sure I like them as much any more. And that makes me feel old. And that makes me think I should keep the piercings so that I don’t feel old. But that would just be silly. So I should probably take them out. Don’t you think?
Eventually I came to the conclusion that I’m going to compromise for now and see how I get on. I’m going to leave in the stud I wear in my right nostril, but take out the hoop on the left. It bugs me that the piercing isn’t symmetrical – it feels a bit too low on my nose! So I’m going to see how I feel without it in for a while. I’m hoping that I’ve had it pierced for long enough that it won’t heal up straight away and I can always put it back in if I’d like it back! The lip piercings are the main ones that I’m not sure of any more. I think if I didn’t see myself back so much in the editing of my YouTube videos, I probably wouldn’t have thought much about it, and just left them alone. I still like the centre lip ring. I’ve decided to keep that one for now. However the two at each side of my lower lip are a bit chunky – the hoops are quite thick and the ball join too prominent, so for now I’m going to try swapping them for small studs. In the past I haven’t got on very well with studs in my lip – the inside rubs on my teeth; but I’ve bought myself a set from Claires Accessories which have a flat plastic bit to go on the inside. I’ll see how it goes. If it turns out I don’t get on with the studs, I may take those two piercings out altogether. As for my ears – I’m not going to take out any of them; in fact, I’d quite like to get some more holes put in to make up for the lack of others elsewhere on my face!
I’ve filmed a video to go with this blog post, and if you’d like updates as to how I proceed with or without piercings, please subscribe to my YouTube channel and watch my vlogs! Please let me know if you’ve had facial piercings and if / why you decided to take them out; I’d be really interested to know. Also please be honest and let me know if piercings affect your first impressions of someone. And do you think, if I decide to keep my piercings, I’m just trying too hard to be young and cool?! Tell me your thoughts!