PART III // Listen, be true to the mama’s boy aesthetic.
To close up my Body Art Series with Part Three lets reflect on the 3rd day of the Super Eventful year 2020 has become, I stumbled upon an inviting atmosphere. That seemed peculiar yet it definitely belonged in my late night stroll to the Museum of Modern Art for their UNIQLO Free Friday Nights. As my bestie and I strolled around Nolita we jumped to cute boutiques to different little storefronts the entire way to our impromptu Manhattan adventures. It led me to making an impulsive decision yet I’m still satisfied that I over came opposition in disfiguring myself.
The night before I had spent dinner with two of my best lady friends, we were at the Hudson Yards Equinox Hotel and enjoyed their restaurant Electric Lemon. One of the topics we discussed as we ate were our intentions not for just the year but for the new decade. It was a cute start to what we thought would be the year that would positively enhance our lives. The following morning with my girlfriend that slept over, we ran around the city aimlessly because we were still off for the holiday break. So we decided to hang out around Lower Manhattan where there’s always something to get into.
As we discovered new spots around the city there was this particular shop that caught my eyes because of their bright decor it had highlighter-yellow neon signage with white clean cabinetry. Once we entered the store we gathered that it was a piercing parlour but not like the dodgy ones that share a space with a tattoo shop. The name of the shop STUDS should have been the biggest indicator but I was thinking more along the lines of wlw relationships and most of the clients inside were ladies.
The boutique was buzzing with clans of tiny girl groups, some with their mothers and most girls were their with a few best friends. At the shop there were pamphlets that described the process to their healthy, free-gun piercing and if there were any concerns the staff was readily available to answer any doubts with love. Out of no where one of the front-counter reps quickly jolted towards me and announced that a last-minute cancellation came through. She then offered me the spot and convinced me that it was meant to be but I’m a full believer in divine intervention, so I ran with it too.
It may have been an unplanned day but the idea of getting a piercing has been floating around in my mind for quite some time. It had been months since I’ve randomly purchased some elegant dangly stoned earrings from a street vendor in SoHo and I got them in the hopes it would motivate me to pierce my ears. Yet, what was holding me back was the idea of being ostracised even further within my religious community because only cis-women are approved for one pair of earrings. When the cis-men are instructed to not disfigure yourself with tattoos or body piercings. Oops on both accounts but then again, my inherited Sāmoan culture cannot be labelled as a sin and my trans-identity saves me from the embarrassment of standing uncomfortably in the presence of my Creator.
To tell you the truth what was the actual reason that kept me in an unsure commitment was where to actually puncture my ears. In western culture it’s customary for the first piercing to be on the centre portion of your ear lobs but I’ve always noticed that most people had stretched out ear pierced-holes, which was a buzz kill. When I bought the SoHo earrings a few months prior I finally overcame what others would think of me, I just had to decide if I should get an upper-lobe piercing or the standard lobe. It was difficult to decide because I was leaning more towards the non-standard position because that entirely breaks the normal established first-piercing code but I also was apprehensive that it would look completely weird and tasteless.
The decisions had to be made quickly because the staff was on a strict appointment only schedule that didn’t allow enough time to fool around and be indecisive. Thankfully, I had my support system with me to help me pick out which implant grade —using surgical steel titanium and 14-karat gold— studs to debut as my newly added Body Art. Again, being true to the mama’s boy aesthetic I chose cute tiny little Peridot stones that corresponds to my stunning mother’s August birthstone.
The process was simple and less intimidating because the machine piercing gun was out of the equation and the idea of being invited into a private area away from unwanted glances soothed my anxiety. Throughout the entire appointment I was calm and joked a lot with my earscape artist. Sage was extremely acceptive in nature, caring in carefully giving specific instructions for cleaning and performed a perfectly straight puncture. It was painless and I got away with a pinching sensation that lasted two brief seconds.
Once I was finished with both lobes, Sage immediately assured me that the piercing placement turned out really cute. Better than she even expected as a professional so with that excitement I basically ran out of the store nearly forgetting to pay. During the healing process it took me a few extra weeks than normal because my skin is extremely bougie and even the hypoallergenic metals used weren’t completely non-allergenic. There wasn’t a way for me to hide my earrings when I attended the temple and nor did I want to hide them but not once have I experienced any passive aggression about it.
Surprisingly enough, not many people notice my earrings right away because of how it’s become so common for every gender and anyone to sport them. Will this be the last physical change to my body, perhaps not, but this final step has become a token to all that I have achieved. Especially, improving my self-esteem with making sacrifices and needed alterations to my body in order to understand that I have the ability to explore my full potential. Disrupting an entire culture that respects all aspects of sacred traditions but forgets the heavy component of western cultural influences that have brought a wedge between our strong vigilant community.
I guess, what I’m wanting to express is to do whatever the hell you want in life. There is no such thing as sin, it’s a human made concept that initiates poisons into the mind of a progressive person that eventually halts their will to evolve. As long as you’re truly happy and no harm has been done to yourself or others then keep finding that happiness. Welcome it to return frequently and make sure you create happier moments for others along the way.