Elisa M.

I have three younger sisters and we are all best friends. We are very close in age and are really more peers than anything else. Over the years we have done everything together: high school, puberty, college, dating, marriage, jobs, etc. My youngest sister (by 5 years) was always a bit quieted by her three louder sisters and it took a while for her to develop her own sense of self as a result. I have always been the sister with tattoos and piercings and it surprised me when she followed in my footsteps! She is working on her first tattoo and in the meantime has started to explore her body through piercing. We both have had body image issues and this is a way that her and I have bonded and been creative in our self-love, self-esteem, and self-care. We had been talking about doing a sister piercing for a while and one day she told me she was going to get her septum pierced. I did not believe her – I thought she was all talk, as she only had her ears pierced at this point. Well lo and behold she came over to my house one day with a ring in her septum! I was a bit shocked but so proud that she followed her own heart and sense of self. I never thought I would have this reaction but I said “I WANT ONE TOO!”

We gathered our things and we went right back to the piercer. As I sat there waiting to get mine done, I too felt a sense of self-love and self-acceptance. My image has been hard for me and coming to terms with how I want to look has been a process that consumed my college years. After I got mine done, I felt happy and settled. Most people who do not struggle with their bodies do not appreciate this sentiment but it is something that my sister and I still share. We did salt soaks together. We hid it from our mom together! We bought jewelry together! I recently moved across the country and I miss my sisters every single day. I think of them often and the love we share. When I look in the mirror, the septum reminds me of family and in being open to new fun things. It symbolizes so much more to me than just decoration. Long live the septum!