Humans of Community ft. Piercings
Five CHS students share the stories behind their body art
Community High School is full of nose rings, cartilage piercings, and all different kinds of body art. Piercings let people modify their appearance by choosing certain kinds of piercings to express themselves. Whether it’s a trendy stud or a belly button ring, students represent their style by doing what they think looks good.
Ellie Vandermark, a senior at CHS, has a total of nine piercings and does not plan on stopping there. Vandermark got her first nose piercing with her mom, a week before they went to the 2018 Women’s March in DC. She wanted something she could look at and have as a way to remember the event in Washington. Her mom was uncertain about Vandermark’s new piercing at first, but now adores it and wants a nose ring herself.
“I like piercings in the way that you can customize yourself, and no one else can really have a say in it,” Vandermark said. “It’s something that’s all you, and that decision to get it has to be all you.”
When you turn 18, you get have the freedom to do any body modification without a parent’s consent, so a couple days after her 18th birthday, Vandermark went to Gamma Piercing to get her orbital conch on her left ear and her second nose piercing. She’d seen lots of pictures of conch piercings and thought it was a good first step into cartilage piercings.
When she came home with two new piercings, her mom was a bit shocked and thought it was too much. Vandermark’s mom still respects that she is an adult and that it’s her decision to look how she wants. However, her mom did say she thought the double nose piercing was an overkill.
“Go to a piercer who you trust and have researched, Vandermark said. “Make sure their rough draft point of where they are going to insert the needle is where you’d like it to be, because it hurts if they try to adjust it after the needle goes through.”
Ruby Holyszko, a junior at CHS, knew it was time to do something different in her life. With a hollow needle and her friends in the room for support, Holyszko pierced her own septum. She was nervous about the risk of infection, or doing the piercing wrong and possibly bleeding out, but it was a successful self-piercing with hardly any blood.
Holyszko leaned toward the choice of a septum piercing rather than one on the side of her nose because unique. She doesn’t try to stand out with her piercings, but instead has it for a deeper meaning. It was the day after her mom passed away that she decided to do the piercing. Holyszko had just faced death and was ready to start on a new path. Her mom was not a fan of facial piercings and wouldn’t have loved Holyszko’s new look, but would’ve put on a smile and laughed about it anyway.
“There was something about this one that was really special to me,” Holyszko said.
Kaili Brooks’ mom picked up a lighter, sterilized a needle, then shoved it through her nine-year-old’s ear. Surprisingly, this wasn’t Brooks’ first piercing experience. She got her first regular ear lobe piercing at Claire’s when she was five, and when she was twelve-years old, she got her first nose piercing. Her mom has done a lot of her piercings, but always made Brooks do some research before getting the piercing she wants. After Brooks discovered the only thing she needed to do to take care of it was not to touch the piercing, her mom agreed and her piercing count grew from there.
Currently, Brooks’ favorite piercings are all of her ear piercings. She loves how you can get more of a variety out of them than you could with a nose piercing; you can mix and match and decorate yourself in any type of jewelry you like.
There were a couple deciding factors in Bruno Vazquez’ decision to get his ears pierced. His older brother, who he looked up to, had his ears pierced, and his girlfriend at the time was urging him to get his ears pierced as well. She kept telling him how good he would look with pierced ears. He finally committed and got them done his sophomore year.
The earrings are all about style for Vazquez. He puts in different color earrings based on what he’s wearing that day to match his outfit. His favorite earrings to wear are his white pair.