What’s More Metal Than… Metal? – Musical Culture’s Influence on Facial Piercings

by Alexander Baran
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To say that the piercing and modification community has always been tied heavily into corresponding musical styles and genres is an understatement. Going back 25 to 30 years, it was the early punks and metalheads that first started experimenting with stretching to higher gauges and adding metal piercings in common nature as a fashion statement. It really hit around the mid 90’s, when suddenly, bands had stretched ears and their septums, eyebrows, and noses pierced.

Of course as it became a popular accessory to help set a band apart as less “mainstream,” body jewelry also became common amongst fans. Fast forward to today - whatever we consider to be newer and more up to date idea’s of which piercings are cutting edge, the look of bands having particular kinds of piercings of course influences the fan base.

A perfect example of this over the last few years has been “Snake Bites.” This refers to a pair of piercings on the lower lip, one on each side. As much as the darker more brooding “emo” music of the early 2000’s bred dark ,swoopy bangs, eyeliner, and a more popular spread of plugs; The “scene” genre has made facial piercings extremely common throughout their fan base. Snake bites, monroes, medusa’s and nose rings have all come to be a visible tie-in with the trend.

The Monroe is a piercing on the upper lip, off the the side of the nose, named after the immortally beautiful Marilyn Monroe and her signature mole that was in the same location.  The Medusa is another upper lip piercing, placed in the center of the indent directly below your septum.

Speaking of the septum, that brings me to the jewelry that, while still fringe, is becoming more and more popular. Five years ago, the septum was easily part of the group of much less common places to get some metal put in your face; it’s these recent trends that have helped to increase it’s popularity. Some of the still much less common piercings I speak of include nostril and lip plugs, bridges and facial dermals.

Granted, as the current norm keeps expanding, what is now less common becomes commonplace before long. Bands like Brokencyde, Pierce The Veil, and Attack Attack! are helping to make the once out of place piercings more and more a part of the style of the genre.

Where once having a tattoo or a piercing marked you as an individual who had made their decision to be marked separately from society and to live in a different standard setting, it has grown to be part of that society.  As much as social norms will always exist and make the opposite style stand out, alternative music has evolved it’s style along with it, resulting in the constant increase in popularity and normality of new and interesting ways to pierce our faces.

by Alexander Baran

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