By Elise D. from Chapel Hill, NC

Elise Earring

I have waited 18 years to get my first piercing. This past weekend, I walked into my nearby piercing shop, Skin City Body Art, with my three best friends and we all pierced our ears. My piercing isn’t anything fancy, just a basic stud, but I’m so proud that I was finally able to convince myself to get it done.

When I was younger, I watched my older sisters add to their collections of piercings: they started out with a simple lobe piercing, then added several more, then cartilage piercing, and now my eldest sister has her eyebrow, lip, and belly-button all pierced. I love the look of the jewelry, but after hearing harrowing stories about infections and piercings gone wrong from friends, I was scared to get some myself. The needle, and really the whole process in general, particularly scared me.

However, this past weekend, I decided to go for it. I had been talking about it with my friends for months; two of my closest friends also haven’t had their ears pierced and wanted to take me to get them all done. At first I wasn’t sure; after going without earrings for so long, I wasn’t sure if I needed to mix up my style at all. But then the idea caught in my head and stuck. The body shop wasn’t too far away, and I wasn’t held back by anything. So I went ahead, gathered my friends, and we all picked out our first real earrings.

Now, I can’t wait to start trading out my ear studs for large hoops, or maybe even eventually trying for ear gauges. The fashion options are limitless, and I could embrace any style I want to: punk, fashionista, indie…there are earrings for all those genres. In particular, the idea of ear gauges interest me because they stand out so much. The different colors and styles are creative, and the idea of stretching your ear is both weird and cool: a definite fashion statement. I think I could pull it off if I wanted to. After all, I got over my fear of needles to go and get my ears pierced; who’s to say I can’t go for gauges as well?