David Beckham had one. Justin Bieber had one. And the chances are at some point you, Sir, have also had one. And I bet yours caused you a whole lot of trouble with your parents.
No gentlemen, I’m not talking about a debacle with leaked nude internet pictures (you should have known better.) I’m talking about piercings. And I’m here to help you navigate these murky waters. Because it’s 2016 and how is anyone supposed to know what’s appropriate and what’s not when it comes to body modifications. I don’t think Debretts even know where to stand on the increasing amount of ways people can prod, pierce and colour their body with metal and ink.
But not to worry. I for one predict that tattoos are about to go out of fashion and 80% of the population shall be left regretting the 15 pieces of body art they ‘invested’ in last year. And as for piercings, we may well have reached a peak with that too. If any of you saw Alexander McQueen’s London Collections: Men show last week you will probably know what I mean…
In the meantime, I’m not going to try and stop you from joining the cultural revolution and upsetting your poor parents. You can do with your body as you so wish. But if you would like some gentle guidance, that I can help with.
So if you’ve just left your city job to join a startup and are wondering whether reinstate the piercing you got on the Kho San Road on your gap year will help you complete your transition from Suit to Hipster, but want to find out what some of the fairer sex think first, read on…
Many a great man has had an ear piercing and pulled it off with style. “I’m au fait with ear piercings,” says landscape gardener Rachel. “In fact I think they make for a bit of a statement (slightly effeminate, but confident enough in their masculinity it doesn’t bother them).” If you want one, and have the confidence to get one, get one.
If you’re tempted to get one, something small and inoffensive is the safest way to go. “Earlobe. Little hoop. HOT,” says 30-year-old party planner Katherine quite simply. “I think I probably thought a diamond was cool back in my youth,” she elaborates. “But back then I was hanging out in Marbella too much.”
Women seem to dislike nose piercings on men as much as men do on women – I for one have an ex-boyfriend who said he’d break up with me if I ever got one. Ex being the operative word. 22-year-old Rachel has an idea why she doesn’t like them on men: “For some reason I get the vibe that if a boy has one he is rather into himself or too self-aware…”
Boy band alert. “Eyebrow piercings make me think of J from 5ive! Or Abs for that matter… So no, not kosher for me….” That’s a no from Rachel then. “I thought eyebrow piercings were really cool when I was 15, but please not now,” agrees Katherine, “unless you are some seriously esteemed snowboarder or surfer – but only if you’re at world champion level.”
Regardless of whether these are a good look or not (they are not), they are terribly bad for the enamel on your teeth gentlemen. So best to avoid please.
One woman I asked goes as far as saying they’re a no, full stop. “Wow this is a tough one for me, I really don’t care for piercings on men at all,” says 29-year old A&R manager Maggie. “I can’t really think of any place that it could be appropriate, especially not on the tongue! I don’t even want to see it in an ear. Yes call me old fashioned – but it’s just not for me.”
As for all the other types of body piercing, gentlemen, well that’s entirely up to you. And the poor girl who has to look at them every time you take your clothes off.
(Main photo: planetf1 // Inset: Pinterest)