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the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

the official student-produced news site for Saint Stephen's Episcopal School

the Gauntlet

The point of piercing

Why some people think the pain of getting a body art is worth it
Sarabeth Wester
Imagining Freddy Falcon with a piercing. Art by Sarabeth Wester

The first time I got piercings, I only meant to get my ears pierced. However, when my friend who was piercing me showed me all her jewelry and the different piercings that were possible, I knew I wanted something more unique. So, I chose to get a nose ring. Since then, I’ve gotten five more ear piercings, and even though I can’t really go any further because of the dress code at school, I already know what ones I want in the future.

If you’ve never gotten a piercing or tattoo, you might wonder why a person would go through pain and the process of it just for something that many see as “trashy” or “tasteless.” In an article by James McElroy called “The effect of facial piercing on perceptions of job applicants,” he cites a survey stating that 42% of managers said that they would have a lower opinion of a person due to body art, and 82% of business people said they would not hire anyone with visible facial piercings or tattoos. 

If these studies show that there is such a negative stigma surrounding piercings out there in the world, then why do so many people have them?

Many people may choose to get body art to set themselves apart from others. Since, piercings aren’t something that all people have, when you get one, you’re willingly distancing yourself from the standard. Further, the more piercings you get, the more unique you will look from others, meaning to get a piercing you can’t be afraid of looking different.

While some may just get body art to look more interesting, many tattoos and piercings are actually selected to symbolize something. 

For example, English teacher Mark Santa Maria chose to get tattoos related to his favorite book, Moby Dick. 

According to Santa Maria, his collection of tattoos are, “all connected to Moby Dick,” symbolizing how much the book means to him. 

 “I would say at this point it’s definitely a part of my identity,” Santa Maria said.

By putting art related to the book permanently on his body, his love for the story has transcended being just an interest, and become a part of who he is.

In my experience, wearing piercings has started to feel more natural than having a bare face. Although others might say things like, “you’ll regret this decision in the future,” I don’t regret it at all because my piercings feel like a part of me.


Despite the pain and stigma, getting body art can be very rewarding for your personal development. They can show you what’s important enough to have on your body forever. Apart from just looking cool, tattoos and piercings can actually improve your sense of self.

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About the Contributors
Grey Klein
Grey Klein, Staff Writer
Grey Klein is a Senior in his first year writing for the Gauntlet. His hobbies include skateboarding and getting money. His favorite musicians are Young Thug, Sahbabii, and Chief Keef. Recently he has been listening to a lot of Gucci Mane.
Sarabeth Wester
Sarabeth Wester, Creative Director/Artist
Sarabeth Wester is a senior on The Gauntlet with four years under her belt of hard work in the newsroom as our Creative Director. Her favorite color is purple, she has a cat and a dog who she loves dearly, and she plays video games in her free time - her favorite being Fallout 4 even with it's imperfections. Her favorite movies are Days of Thunder, Top Gun, and Wall-E - she believes everyone should watch them at least once.  

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  • Mr. TrampleasureOct 30, 2023 at 5:18 pm

    Just so long as you don’t think employers should not be able to discriminate against people with body art. Race, gender (including non-traditional types of gender), ethnicity, etc are thing we cannot change voluntarily change. If a boss doesn’t like your body art, I don’t think the courts should defend you. Businesses can implement a dress code, and visible body art may be part of that code. I know many people who are required to remove piercings before coming to work, and that seems fair to me.