Piercing our various bits and pieces has a long history dating back thousands of years. Among the African tribes that pierce their nose, the size of the ring represents the size of the family's wealth. The status it denotes amongst Western piercers generally has more to do with announcing how cool you are and to state without words that you are indeed a unique being. But in both cases, the piercing also is a way that people mark a passage or honor an important change in their life.
Particularly in the tender "sweet spot" located slightly below the nasal cartilage and just above the bone of the nose. Septum piercing seems to be overwhelmingly male notes Body Modification Ezine (BME). Aggressive and virile, even, a septum ring "brings to mind the piercing of a bull" while straighter piercings can appear to "give the face added fangs, tusks, or horns...Metaphorically, you could say that a ring is controlled passion or that tusks or fangs would be an expression of unbridled passion."
The pain of the actual piercing along with the time it takes for the self-inflicted wound to recover embodies a ritualistic element that appeals to hip young thangs living in a world mostly devoid of meaningful rituals. "Like ritual activity such as prayer, marriage, baptism, etc," continues BME, "a piercing is an outward and physical sign of an inward and spiritual change...You can point to a wedding ring and say this signifies that I am married" in the almost the same way that you can point to a septum ring and say this signifies a time of great growth and struggle that indelibly defined who I have become."
For Rihanna's cover of September 2014 W shot by Mert Alas and Marcus Piggott, stylist Edward Enninful selected this 9K gold "Thorn" septum ring studded with diamonds by New Zealand's Meadowlark. The effect is striking, neo-tribal and fiercely feminine in that modern warrior-woman way that characterizes the fab femme fatales of the Apocalytical fashion tribe.* To read more of my posts about this tribe, click here.
- Lesley Scott
*NOTE: IF YOU WANT TO KNOW MORE ABOUT EACH FASHION TRIBE, START HERE.
Podcast music: Kevin MacLeod, Incompetech.com