The Power Of Piercings

Eniko Mihalik, Vogue Italia
Guinevere Van Seenus by Karim Sadli, iD Magazine
Guinevere Van Seenus by Cedric Buchet, M Magazine
Guinevere Van Seenus
Guinevere Van Seenus
Meghan Collison by Yasunari Kikuma, Schon Magazine
Tasha Tilberg in John Galliano
Stella Tennant, W Magazine
Stella Tennant by Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia
Stella Tennant by Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia
Kolfinna Kristofersdottir by Boo George, ID Magazine
Kristen McMenamy by Duella & Henzi, ID Magazine
Kristen McMenamy by Steven Meisel, Vogue Italia 1992
Kristen McMenamy by Tim Walker, W Magazine
Leigh Bowery by Nick Knight, 1985
Leigh Bowery
Maison Martin Margiela, SS13
Mariacarla Boscono by Willy Vanderperre, Dazed Magazine
Mariacarla Boscono by Willy Vanderperre, Dazed Magazine
McQueen Womenswear, F12
Joan Smalls, "Yonce" Video
Janet Jackson, "Runaway" Video
Hedvig Palm by Patrick Demarchelier, Vogue UK
Catherine McNeil
Gisele Bundchen
FKA Twigs, ID Magazine
FKA Twigs
Undercover, F11
Christy Turlington by Irving Penn, Vogue 1994
Christy Turlington in Jean Paul Gaultier, 1994
Michele Lamy by Steven Meisel, Vogue Paris
Christy Turlington
Daria Werbowy by Cass Bird, Elle France
Daria Werbowy by David Sims, Vogue Paris
Daria Werbowy by Mikael Jansson
Daria Werbowy by Nico, Marie Claire France
By Ryan McGinley
Daria Werbowy, Vogue Paris
Ekaterina Kiseleva
Eniko Mihalik by Christian Anwander, M Magazine
Catherine McNeil
Catherine McNeil by Collier Schorr, ID Magazine
Catherine McNeil
Candice Swanepoel
Candice Swanepoel
Cameron Russell & Heather Marks
by Peter Lindbergh, Vogue Italia, 1997
Ash Stymest
Anja Rubik, iD Magazine
Agyness Deyn by Mert & Marcus, Love Magazine
Abbey Lee Kershaw
Omahyra Mota, Another Magazine

From the moment the Claire's employee at my hometown Texan mall stapled a $10 "diamond" into my ear, I was hooked on piercings. I became obsessed with rotating my studs between iridescent dolphins (from 1997—which I still have) and cartoon character heads (which have since passed on). Now that I live in New York, I'm an avid fan of NY Adorned, specifically J. Colby Smith who's pierced some visible and some not-so-visible parts of my body. My steadily growing collection of piercings has become equated with my personal identity. Because when you've found the right ones, you never feel like you're missing anything—even when you're wearing nothing.

—Ali Michael

Follow Ali on Instagram, @ali_michael, or visit her website.

Let’s Talk About It! JOIN IN
  • Victoria

    Any good resources for body jewelry?

    • llama

      i have purchased a LOT of jewelry from

      orders have always arrived quickly, and they have a good variety of products in terms of price range and quality

  • kamo12

    Anyone have a daith or rook piercing that can comment on how the healing process was, and whether you can sleep on that side comfortably? I had double helix piercings done a year ago and loooove them (tiny gold rings) however they did not joke around when they said it would take 9 months to fully heal.

    • Meg White

      I have both! I'll preface this with saying that all of my piercings have healed pretty quickly -- my helix was fully healed in around 3 months. And the only aftercare I do is warm sea salt soaks twice a day while healing (per my piercer's rec. But really that only lasts for a month or so before I'm down to once a day then as needed.)
      My rook healed in a little over 4 months with pretty much no issues -- I healed it with a surgical steal threadless barbell in it. I got it on the side I rarely sleep on, so that wasn't an issue. BUT I did get my hair caught in it once while it was healing, didn't realize and that hurt pretty bad.
      I've had my daith for 5 months or so and I haven't had an issue with it since February. I don't want to jinx it, but it's getting close to fully healed. But it is in deeper cartilage than my rook and I have a gem cluster in the ring, so it's sort of on the heavy side so it would move a bit (which isn't great for the healing process.) I mainly sleep on that side and couldn't for a week or so.
      Sorry for the novel, but I hope this helped!

  • thunderlegz

    How do you know if you should [I think I really wanna] get your septum pierced? My face shape is like Ceila Weston's.

  • therealblonde

    I LOVE NY Adorned and Colby - I have two ear piercings by him, the jewelry is so beautiful and delicate.

  • Amanda Meowmix is where I get almost all of my jewelry! I say almost, because there are some Etsy shops that have very unique stuff that I cannot pass up.

    • llama

      i just replied to Victoria upthread about bodyartforms! they are the best!

  • thunderlegz

    !!!!!! I just might? Omg jeepers wilikers-can you tell me how much it hurt? Are there chic and subtle options? I may have to just go for it! xo xo

    • Gina Carpellotti

      Go for it. A good piercer will find the soft, fleshy part of your septum (just below the cartiledge), and it should be quick and rather painless.

      For the record, my eyes and nose are very sensitive, and my eyes didn't water at all when I got my septum pierced.

      Also, Maria Tash's jewellry is stunning.

    • Meg White

      My eyes watered a little bit, but I think that had more to do with me having allergies when I got it pierced. It didn't hurt at all, though as proper placement is just through a thin bit of skin.

      If you're going to be flipping it up, I'd go with a surgical steel retainer (like a staple.) I don't have anything fancy, since I was a broke college kid when I got it and now I never wear it down.

      But I still find myself checking out septum chains (on etsy) and various pieces from Body Vision Los Angeles (I'm slowly switching most of my jewelry to pieces by them.) The key is making sure whatever you get fits your nose and a good piercer can definitely help with that.

  • Heather

    I got my navel pierced back in '93 when this all began. Now I am close to 40 (abs still flat) and I always wonder if it's time to remove it. There is nothing else cheesy about me, but that piercing (it's a tiny u-shaped rose gold ring with diamonds) could be construed as passé. Thoughts?

    • potluck

      I got my navel pierced that same year. Four years later, I was at the gym and saw it in the mirror and it struck me as ultra cheesy. Went into a stall, removed it, and never looked back. The downside is that I still have a hole that's visible all these years later.

    • Inkygrl

      47 and still have mine...kept it thru 3 pregnancies too!

    • Gina Carpellotti

      If you love it, keep it.

      I'm 48 and have gained a good amount of weight since getting my navel done at 22, and the only reason I think about removing it is because the piercing isn't straight. Who gives a fig about age and weight?

  • llama

    man, i used to be way into piercings. i even pierced my own septum (which is insane). today i only have 3, and one of them is a secret that not many are privy to, but it still makes me happy. it's like a relic from my misspent youth

  • Amanda Satchwell

    Scheduled my first appointment with J. Colby Smith this month! Very excited. Only have my ears done--did them myself in 5th grade after watching LiLo on the "Parent Trap". Who would have known her rebellion would spark my own so early on in both our lives?

  • Inkygrl

    I had I Monroe piercing briefly which I LOVED but unfortunately it irritated my gums and I had to take it out. Would re-do it in a second if there were a way...anyone have any idea?


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