Once tribal, then punk, the ring worn on the nostril or septum is becoming more democratic. This does not prevent it from being controversial. We take a look at this piercing which is seen like a nose in the middle of the face.
It is difficult to define precisely where this practice comes from, and for good reason: the nose would be the second most pierced part of the body in the world, after the ears. If septum piercing was very popular in ancient South American civilizations (Incas and Aztecs, in particular), the nostril piercing evokes South Asian countries, such as India where large decorated gold rings adorn women’s nostrils during traditional ceremonies, but also Africa, with the Zulu civilization. Depending on the case, the nose ring may have a warlike, religious, social or purely aesthetic connotation.
The nose ring arrives in the West
It was only in the 1990s that the punk scene imported this piercing (among others) into Europe and the United States. And one thing led to another, the nose ring went from punk… to trendy. For several years now, stars, models and fashionistas have been wearing it as a fashion accessory in its own right, both on stage and in the city.
No surprise that the exuberant Katy Perry adds a punk touch to her pop look by wearing a ring in her nostril. But nasal piercing is also a place in the middle of wiser, even devilishly glamorous looks. We remember Scarlett Johansson, who surprised Hollywood in 2013 by displaying a jewel on her septum, or the model and singer Pixie Geldof, who blurred the codes in 2011 by combining a nostril ring with a very chic bun and glamorous make-up.
Since then, the nose ring has become more democratic, and has become one of the most popular piercings for young women. On Instagram, the hashtag #nosering (nose ring) has more than one million publications. The figure speaks for itself: it is a long time ago when nasal piercing was a marginal practice. However, like all other piercings performed elsewhere than on the ears, the least we can say is that the ring in the nose is far from being unanimously accepted.
The nose ring: cool or awful?
Where, out of habit, no one is moved by pierced lobes, there is still a tendency to grind their teeth at the thought of a needle passing through the nostril or nasal septum. The aesthetics of piercing is not to everyone’s liking either. The fault, no doubt, in it’s in the central place on the face. Where earrings frame the face, the nasal piercing is seen – literally – like the nose in the middle of the face. Of course, with the democratization of this piercing, the offer of jewellery increases and diversifies. If, a few years ago, the steel ring or horseshoe were almost the only options, today there are all kinds of jewellery, from the most massive to the most delicate, in noble materials such as gold or silver, decorated with fine decorations or precious stones. As a result, whether you love it or hate it, you have to admit that nasal piercing is no longer the prerogative of punks. In all its forms, it can now be combined with very different styles… and it is not about to disappear.