my body my choice



Hey guys! It’s Tamaki. I got a nose piercing about a couple years ago. My family and friend’s colorful reaction was interesting, so today I will share about the things and thoughts this little silver stud brought to me.


So let’s go over how I got it. I usually visit my father’s side of the family/relatives in New Zealand with my family, but I was there alone a couple years ago. We were thinking of ways to surprise my family in Japan. Tattoos are forever, and a tongue piercing seemed painful (plus I had an impression that it might chip my teeth). So we settled with the idea of getting myself a nose piercing. I’m not sure why we were only talking silvers and inks when there are many other things to do in NZ like bungee jumping from the Sky Tower or horseback riding or rafting. Maybe thinking about common things in NZ which is uncommon in Japan led us to those things. I haven't seen many people with a nose piercing in Japan, and I knew I wouldn't muster up the courage to do this by myself. So I did it and went back to Japan. My family in NZ didn't really react much.


My family in Japan were surprised though. My parents were glad I didn't get a tattoo. Apparently they don't want me to get one. My sister kept looking at it and mumbled on about how she can’t believe I actually did something like that. Many of my friends were also surprised; some envious, some not so impressed. When my friends mentioned I “look rough around the edges” or I “look slutty,” it didn't exactly make me feel good. But some of my friends talked about how they’ve always wanted to get one, too. I told them they should get one if they want, but they just said no, explaining it will affect their part time jobs or job hunting. And yes, that is true. I had to quit my job because of their strict rule about store/employee image, and finding new jobs weren’'t easy. Every place that I applied said the same thing; "the customers will have the wrong impression of this space"; “a nose piercing will scare off the elderly" etc. which I can understand. Seeing it for the first time might be shocking to some. But these images can be false sometimes. I mean, I am not scary or intimidating just because of a few holes in my body. Now I work at a guest house and a clothing store, but due to company policy, I have to cover up the stud with foundation and concealer when working at the clothing store.


I am really curious about what you guys think of body piercings. Maybe some of you think it’s antisocial or far from the norm, or don't understand why some people choose to get it. For me, I haven't changed before and after getting a nose piercing. I am still me. I didn't suddenly become “rough around the edges” or “slutty.” If negative images on body piercing disappear someday, maybe we might be able to see colorful hair or unique clothes, or piercings/tattoos in various workplaces. I don't know about you but to me that would be interesting to witness. And maybe more people will try new things or live more easily. What do you think? Let me know!

Images by Tamaki & Mariho

English Edited by Lisa