I am proud to say that I have always had a pretty weird sense of style. Starting around 8th grade, I thought it was really cool to have excessively long finger nails. So I’d never cut them, but sometimes they would break, and then I’d have some nails really long and some randomly short. It looked really weird. I think at one point I even got down to only one long finger nail– my ring finger– but still couldn’t bring myself to cut it because it felt like a waste of all that hard work I spent growing it. My mom was disgusted. She wasn’t worried so much about the aesthetics of it, but felt that my having long nails made me look like a princess who never did any work (Probably looked more like a gross teenager but okay).

Around this same time, I decided I was into piercings. I had a few ear piercings but nothing exciting. At one point, when I got in a fight with my parents, I went into my room and tried to pierce my bellybutton out of spite, but it hurt too bad so I stopped. Then, the summer before high school, I realized the piercing I wanted most was my eyebrow. Of course I had asked my parents if I could get it done but they said no.

One morning, I woke up, and I decided, today is the day. Today I am going to pierce my eyebrow. I was surprised by my own determination.  No one was home. I grabbed a safety pin and soaked it in hydrogen peroxide to disinfect it. In the bathroom mirror, I decided the left eyebrow was the one I wanted, and I put the safety pin up to the spot. Then I stuck it in. Pop! Through the first layer of skin. Pop! Back out at the top. Coming back out was the most painful part but it really didn’t hurt very badly. I closed the safety pin, shaking, and admired my reflection. I liked it!

Then came the worst part– waiting ’til my parents got home. I knew they were going to be sooo mad and I wanted to get it over with. But above all I was NOT going to take the safety pin out. Not after all that work. Finally, it seemed like HOURS later, they came back through the front door and I ran up to them.

“I pierced my eyebrow!”

They were, as expected, so pissed off! They started freaking out. I think I ran into my room to let them process it for a bit. Then I came out to talk to them again. I said, “I really really want to keep this because I love it!” My dad said, “I’m not dealing with this. Talk to your mom.” (his favorite phrase). My mom kept demanding that I remove the safety pin and I kept insisting that I would not.

“What will my friends think?” she said. “They’re going to be horrified!”

“That is so uncool to worry about your friends’ judgment. I don’t care what they think. Let me have my style!” I said.

After much back and forth she came up with a deal.

“You can keep the safety pin if you cut those stupid fingernails.”
“Noooo,” I cried. “I like those too!” But I cared much more about the eyebrow piercing so I agreed. I kept the safety pin in for a few months, then switched it to a regular eyebrow ring.

I realized that I did a kind of crappy job… it’s a little low on the brow, instead of equidistant above and below. I was so excited that I didn’t plan the placement very carefully. But I’ve never had the heart to remove or redo the piercing. It has now been exactly 10 years since that summer, and I’m still rocking it.

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