You don’t need an excuse these days. You might do it for purely aesthetic reasons. It could be a way to express your eternally non-conforming spirit. If you’ve already done it, you’re well on your way to celebrating International Body Piercing Day this June 28.
There was a time when you did it to ward off demons, show off social status or cover funeral costs. Yes, body piercing has been embedded in civilization’s history for more than 5,000 years.
How do we know? Some of the world’s oldest mummies sport ear piercings. The metal was thought to keep demons from sneaking into our souls through our ears. Pierced navels on living Egyptian pharaohs indicated their royal status. Credit the Aztecs and Mayans for tongue piercing. It was just one of their many forms of blood sacrifice.
Sensible sailors and daring pirates wore precious gem ear studs and gold hoops as a type of life insurance. In case of an untimely death at sea, the ear adornments would cover burial expenses back home. Eventually, what was once an ordinary practice somehow fell out of favor.
Still, body modification never went away entirely. You’re probably more familiar with Punk Rock than Jim Ward, but June 28 is also Mr. Ward’s birthday. He pioneered a private style of body piercing that we’ll leave to your imagination. Punks, of course, stuck safety pins through their ear lobes while creating a brief but loud chapter in musical history.
Today, people around the world do it. From lobes to lips to nostrils and on down, bodies proudly display an amazing assortment of bling. You don’t have to do it to have fun on International Body Piercing Day. Just join those who do it as we all celebrate this unique day of self-expression and artistic creativity.