Body Piercing = Trashy?

Just got back from a nice drive (to deposit a cheque into my overdrawn bank account so I can pay my phone bill) listening to songs from Willy and the Poor Boys on the radio… Ah CCR… If Rachel wasn't asleep I'd be listening to it still…

Anyway, so I'm reading yet another in this long stream of articles talking about banning or restricting body piercing and came across a classist comment that I can't say I'm fond of:

“Body piercing has been around for many years, but until about five years ago it didn't affect people on the right side of the tracks.”

Prof. Myrna Armstrong
Health Science Center / Texas Tech University

Following is the letter that I have sent to Myrna:

Subject: Body piercing is trashy?

I recently read Myrna Armstrong's comments in the Houston Chronicle, quoted from a NY Times article. On body piercing, she is quoted as saying, "Body piercing has been around for many years, but until about five years ago it didn't affect people on the right side of the tracks."

I believe this statement is prejudicial, and, more importantly, patently false.

One might be able to make the case that tattooing moved from being a "lower class" activity that is now being enjoyed by the masses, but it is simply not fair to characterize body piercing in this way. Historically, in the West, body piercing has been an "upper class" activity dating back hundreds of years. Over the past sixty or seventy years body piercing was popularized by wealthy gay men and then it gradually moved into the mainstream over the past fifteen years or so.

If anything, the social calibre of the people involved with body piercing is growing noticeably less as it moves toward a lowest common denominator -- in fact, this cultural shift in that market is causing some body piercers to leave the industry because of their dissolution with the clientele. I appreciate that you pointed out that people are generally involved in body piercing simply because they enjoy it rather than due to deviance, but I hope you'll consider a more accurate portrayal of the fascinating and lengthy historical context that body piercing falls into.

If you have any questions on this subject, or on body modification in general, I would be glad to assist.

Thank you,

Shannon Larratt

Anyway, if you're into porn, scroll down or just click here… Of course, if you do, you can pretty much guarantee this will affect you, right?

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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