Body piercing, in its simple definition is puncturing a part of your body to create an opening in which jewelry may be worn. However, many more complications seem to appear behind this act, the various reasons people chose to do it and reactions of their family and surroundings.  

Some people choose to pierce for religious or spiritual reasons, while others pierce for self-expression, sexual pleasure, to conform to their culture or to rebel against it. Therefore, discovering some different models from our culture about their opinions and sharing their experiences was inspiring.

Shereen Zaarour, 23, Lebanon, used to have a piercing in her eyebrow,” I did it first because it gives character to the face, an aggressive look by expression and attitude”. When she was asked about the reaction of her family, she explains” My mom always used to say she loves it, but never accepted the fact I have it, it was like she loved it but not for her or for her daughter”.

Claudia Shoukeir, 26, a Palestinian living in Qatar tells us how the idea of having a piercing started with her, “The first time I saw a tongue piercing I was at school and thought it looked very pretty and wanted one myself”.

About 4 years later I got one and I felt that it helped portray my usually shyer, hidden, playful nature, I felt like a new me it was very refreshing honestly”, then she adds “ One more thing I like about a piercing is that it’s not permanent like a tattoo because by nature I like change”.




Stephanie Challita, 23, Lebanon is a more tempting example due to the 13 piercings she has, “I have 2 belly rings, a tongue ring, a nose ring, a lip ring, a nipple ring on each nipple, and the rest are on my ears”.  She says body piercing gets her certain rush and pleasure, “I consider it a way of body expression, everyone says something through the way they look”.

As for the reaction of her parents about that big number of piercings, “Well my mom first knows about all my piercings, and she has no problem with that, maybe she doesn’t like the idea that much but she really respects that it’s my body and I’m free to do whatever I want”. But then she stops for an instant and says, “Actually there’s just the part on my nipples she didn’t know about at first because I didn’t dare to tell, or actually I said why should I, but then she discovered them once she noticed them through my t-shirts”.

Jamil Abu Taeeg, 20, Jordan, who has a piercing in the middle of his lower lip, somehow has a different reason for having a piercing although he agrees that it is a way of expression, “I did it for many reasons, but mostly because it reminds me that some times in life you go through painful and difficult moments that seem to never have an ending”.

Nathalie Jocko, 29, Lebanon disagrees with all the reasons mentioned above, “They think it shows how much open minded and cool they are, but I’m open minded and I’m classy and I don’t need a tattoo or piercing to look cool”.

Shereen agrees that some who don’t know you and don’t like it would have the same idea as Nathalie, “They would look at you as if you were nothing, as if you were cheap or disgusting, especially old people or parents, they wouldn’t want you to be close to their kids in any way because they think you are a bad influence”.

However, she says that those who know you well would accept you the way you are, “they would understand that you did it because you like it”.

She believes the true reason behind that is an internal problem this person has and she specializes girls who try to show out the piercings they have on their bodies, “Those girls have lack of attention, they want to do anything to be unique, they are just too confused in their life and complicated and I feel sorry for them”.

Claudia explains that she was also prone to many similar reactions even from the big family members, “Thankfully when others tried to imply anything my family were backing me up when I explained my reasons for getting it and I felt much supported, them not liking it is still a factor though”.

Jamil himself describes the weird looks and angry stares he gets from people, or the feeling that people are talking behind your back, “but

honestly I don’t care”.

Jean Claude, 43, who has a piercing shop In Virgin Beirut, explains more about fashion trends and what parts of bodies he pierces mostly and to know whether it has side effects on the body or not.

Girls and guys tend to pierce different parts of their bodies, there is no specific place, but I can tell upon what I do that girls mostly tend to pierce their belly and guys go towards eyebrows and tongues more”.

Jean Claude ensures that all kinds of piercings are not dangerous at all, “It depends on the person who has the piercing and how much he takes care of it, especially in the first week where they should put the medical piercing for at least 10 days before changing it”.

He then adds, “They should use Petaden, a medicine to keep it clean and away from infections”.

Now back to what we have started with, we can come up with a common conclusion that piercing the body is to follow the fashion trends for part of the people, and some others have different reasons.  Nevertheless, as soon as we accept that the decision to beautify one’s body is deeply a personal issue, then it becomes more obvious that such a decision couldn’t be subject to anybody’s critical pressure.