Home Culture & Society African Culture & Society Body Piercings and What They Mean

Body Piercings and What They Mean

Body Piercings and What They Mean

Body piercing has been common since the beginning of time, therefore I thought it would be fun to discuss some of the meanings of body piercings. Body piercings can have diverse connotations depending on where you live and your particular views or preferences. Let’s see some of the most common meanings and reasons for body piercings.

Body Piercings and their Meanings

Believe me, when I say body piercing isn’t so complicated. The significance or meaning doesn’t have to be deep but here are common reasons people get pierced. Here are the general reasons you can find why people get pierced;

1. They are a form of art

Body piercing is seen as a form of art. That is something I only recently discovered! I knew tattoos were considered body art, but I never considered piercings to be a sort of body art! There are some uncommon spots where individuals are having piercings, as well as some inventive and even weird designs for body piercing. Almost every kind or color of earring or body jewelry can be used for body piercing nowadays.

2. They are an outlet for self-expression

Many young individuals nowadays like getting body piercings since it allows them to express themselves. Our age struggles with being unique and having your own sense of direction, and getting body piercings appears to be a means of expressing your feelings, opinions, or sense of personal taste.

3. They express sensuality

Piercings on the body can also be erotic. A belly button piercing represents sexual attractiveness or elicits sexual advances from the lady who wore it. Most ladies enjoy them because they are pretty nowadays, but when women first began piercing their belly buttons, it was a show of sensuality! Interesting!

4. They have religious significance

Some faiths require body piercing. The majority of them, but not all, are tribal or pagan faiths. If you research various faiths in the Middle East and Asia, you will discover that, while not all religions REQUIRE a piercing, many individuals who practice these religions will all pierce particular portions of their bodies to symbolize togetherness and bonding.

5. Cultural Significance

Because of their culture, some people receive or already have body piercings. Nose piercings are very common in India, especially among women. Some African cultures pierce and even extend their lips! If you follow tradition, a body piercing might be very valuable to you depending on your culture and where you are from!

6. They are stylish and trendy

One of the most prevalent purposes of body piercings is to be current or to be fashionable! For teenagers, it might be due to social pressure, but it also has a lot to do with fitting in and being accepted. I know pierced ears are a matter of fashion and personal preference! I love wearing cute earrings.

7. To set a new record

It may sound strange, but some people get body piercings in order to set or break world records! Sometimes the piercings are just temporary, but if you look up world record statistics, you will find astounding numbers of men and women all around the world who have held the record for the most body piercings!

If you choose this option, know that temporary piercings may leave scars or markings that will not fade.

8. The Feeling

While many individuals acquire body piercings because they want to be fashionable and ‘in’ right now, or because it is a tradition, many others get them because they enjoy the sensation. They enjoy having the needle go through their skin since it is something special and personal to them!

9. They look interesting

Admit it, body piercings may look really nice and are something that a lot of people are afraid of! Body piercings are a form of self-expression, but they also look cool.

10. As a rebelling outlet

If you weren’t permitted to have body piercings as a teen but are desperate to annoy your parents, the first thing you’ll do when you leave the house is get something pierced. Being a rebel is something that many people identify with, and this is unquestionably one of the better meanings of body piercings!

11. For flip sake

Finally, another reason to get your body pierced is just for flip’s sake, it’s not a normal thing so why the hell not? It’s always unique whether you have the piercings up and down your back or your nose or ears.



Cultural Implications of Body Piercings in Africa

The earliest known human with piercings was a mummified body discovered in the Austrian Glacier around 5000 years ago.

  • They are very symbolic in many cultures. Piercings had numerous spiritual and moral connotations for Egyptians, many of whom had piercings on various areas of their bodies, most famously Tutankhamun, who is represented with piercings.
  • A piercing is a symbol of maturity in many civilizations, including certain Western societies today. When a kid reaches puberty, their ears are pierced as a symbol of adulthood and to mark this transition from childhood. Many people in today’s culture select a piercing to mark their transition at the age of 18, a symbolic statement that they are now free to do anything they want with their body without the need for permission from a parent or guardian.
  • Piercings, particularly piercings in the ear, were used to protect oneself from dark energies or evil in various African civilizations. It was considered that bad spirits could enter human bodies via the ears, but by wearing metal around the earlobe, individuals could keep them out.
  • In terms of the actual act of being pierced, a tiny amount of blood is normally discharged at the time. This bloodletting is extremely symbolic of letting go of the past and welcoming in the new.
  • Egyptians, Africans, Indians, and Maoris, use Piercings to identify each individual’s position within a group, providing a fast and easy way to determine ranks. And also where each person fits into a larger socioeconomic system.

Spiritual Implications of Specific Body Piercings in African History

In African cultures, body piercings have a rich history and often hold cultural and spiritual significance. The meaning of piercings can vary from tribe to tribe, but some common interpretations include:

  • Ear piercings: Symbolize a rite of passage into adulthood, or indicate social status or wealth.
  • Lip piercings: Represent beauty, strength, and bravery, and are often associated with coming-of-age rituals or marital status.
  • Nostril piercings: Signify a connection to the spiritual world or can be used to symbolize wealth or beauty.
  • Navel piercings: Express beauty and sensuality, and can also be used to symbolize fertility.

It’s important to note that these meanings can vary greatly depending on the specific culture and region in Africa.

As you can see, there are several meanings for body piercings, as well as numerous motivations to acquire a body piercing. Do you have any piercings on your body? Please share your reasons for obtaining a body piercing or why you may want one in the future in the comments section