Today is International Body Piercing Day, a holiday first officially founded in 2011 to promote body mod education and safety for both piercers and their clients. On this day we also celebrate the art form of modification, its history, and the individuals who have shaped that history. It’s no accident that this chosen date is also the birthday of famous modification artist Jim Ward, who is often considered to be the father of modern piercing, having developed many tools and techniques that are still in use today within the industry.
In 1978, Jim opened the first true piercing parlor in the continental US, the Gauntlet, in West Hollywood. During the following decades he would teach many of the most celebrated piercers in the country, hone several techniques that formed the foundation of basic piercing principals, and become widely accepted as the inventor of the modern ball captive ring.
Many modification artists in the United States and around the world have begun to formally recognize Body Piercing Day by providing lectures or demonstrations, offering free piercing classes, or giving discounted services on the day itself or during the weekend that follows it. Online communities have also sprung up around this stellar, unconventional holiday, where users discuss piercing history and share recent piercings that they’ve given or received. Today is also a perfect day for purchasing new body jewelry, as Summer has just officially begun and healthy seasonal changes are often recommended, particularly for those piercings that have been stretched.