Thursday, June 23, 2011

Goodbye Norma Jean

Over the weekend I made a major decision: it was time to do away with my Monroe piercing (although apparently mine was technically a Madonna piercing, but whatever). The reason is that I'd started to notice a wrinkle that the piercing was causing; the tug of the post when I talked and smiled was creating a vertical line from the piercing to the upper margin of my lip, which doesn't follow the natural creases that talking and smiling produce on their own. I knew that in another year or so the crease would start to look odd and unnatural among my other lines, so I figured if I took the piercing out now I could stop, and maybe even reverse, the damage. I'd had the piercing for almost 6 years.

Getting your face pierced is an odd thing, because unlike the ears or nose, there's a lot of active tissue there that has to reconcile itself with a foreign object being placed in its midst. As it turns out, the face doesn't really appreciate having a metal rod rammed through it. It reacts initially with fairly exaggerated swelling, so much so that an extra long post has to be put in at first to accommodate the bulging tissue. When things finally settle down, the real healing can begin.

A pierced face heals begrudgingly, slowly admitting defeat and shrinking back to its normal dimensions, though it remains ready at the attack for several months, always prepared to spring forth into violent rebellion at the slightest disruption. Finally after about 6 months it seems to become resigned to its fate, and almost never protests after that. The back of the piercing settles into the soft tissue in the back of the lip, and it's nearly a part of you. Nearly.

Once the offending object is removed however, the face seems to regain its confidence, as well as a renewed sense of diplomacy. It nary makes a fuss, preferring to write the whole thing off as a minor misunderstanding. It's as if it's saying, "Well, thank heavens you've come to your senses. Let's put that little episode behind us." Not 24 hours after I removed the metal post, I could no longer squirt water out of the hole it left behind (a talent I'm somewhat sad to lose); 2 days in I could barely feel the depression that the back of the post left on the inside of my lip; after 4 days even the hole on the outside is starting to close in on itself. Soon it will resemble what it was meant to mimic in the first place: a beauty mark, albeit a very small one.

I loved the look of the piercing but I knew from the start that its time was limited. I have a few more outfit photos to post from before I took it out, but you may have a tough time discerning the first photos where it's gone. Unless you see me up close, it has always been a fairly subtle accessory.

There's one person I know will celebrate the departure of my Monroe piercing: my mom. Moms never seem to love any modification of their offspring's physical being, I find. I suppose they feel that when they made their sons and daughters, they were already perfect.

Top: Asos
Belt: Oscar de la Renta
Bangles: Amrita Singh
Skirt: Anthropologie
Tights: Hue
Shoes: BCBGirls


HollyElise said...

On the mom note? I had my nose pierced about 6 years ago, and this spring 2 of my sisters got theirs done too while I was home visiting. And then? My MOM got hers done too!
XD So awesome.

LPC said...

I love the color of your top. I have never even noticed the piercing:). Web resolution...

Audi said...

HollyElise: Your mom ROCKS.

Michelle said...

I love those shoes!

Do you feel naked without your piercing?
I recently removed all of mine because after 12+ years my body started to reject them (??!!). I do miss some of them

Shybiker said...

I wasn't aware you had a piercing; I guess I never looked close enough.

Your comment about moms reminded me of a funny experience. Back in the late 1970s (when earrings were not common among boys), I pierced my left ear. Because I had long hair, it wasn't immediately obvious. I was sitting with my family at the dinner-table when my mother suddenly saw it. She got up and screamed, "Why did you do this to me?!!"

Megan G said...

I noticed your piercing every once in awhile. I always consider piercings and tattoos to be a 'personal' accessory. Something done for yourself. You'll always have the tiny reminder of it even though it's gone.

My mom is in favor of Bodymod stuff. She's constantly supported my consideration of getting a tattoo - even offering to help me find a place/pay, but I haven't really come to terms with what I want and where.

I love the beige/nude shades you're wearing today. The belt and black details are perfect for keeping the sweet soft ruffles a bit edgy.

Audi said...

Michelle: I'd heard that the body rejecting piercings can happen. I also have my navel pierced (it's about 11 years old now), and so far so good, but I expect it won't be around forever either. I don't really notice the Monroe being gone, I think because I frequently forgot it was there anyway.

Shybiker: Classic story! Sounds like something my mom would say.

Chelsea said...

what a very lovely and poetic farewell to your monroe piercing. you rocked it fabulously!

Healthy and Homemade said...

I feel like one day my belly button piercing will have to go. When I see my bare naval it looks alien to me though! Is it weird not looking the same as you always have for years now? I'm sure you face is happier to have the metal gone =P

Fashion Addict said...

My father is the same and would never let me get any part of my body pierced. He's like, "Don't poke holes in your body!!!" haha, so I know what you mean when you say your mother was happy.

Cel said...

My septum is actually pierced, and for two years I rocked it, while tucking it up at work. Then last winter I switched the piece out for a small retainer, since well, metal hanging out of your nose is A) cold and B) collects snot. 'Nuff said. But when I went to bring it out again in the spring, I thought it looked funny! I still have it, but keep it tucked in at all times now. That healing process was intense and I'm not ready to throw that away just yet hah.

Mia said...

Adieu to your piercing! I love the stories that this post is bringing out in the comments.

I only have my lobes and the helix of my right ear pierced. Honestly, I'd like to get more, but my ears had a really hard time healing from even the lobe piercings (the first time it was done, after maybe a year I took the earrings out over the weekend and the holes healed up in less than two days) and the helix was a big pain, so I'm going to have to leave well enough alone.

Also, this is a fab outfit. I love how you mix soft and edgy in your looks, and this is a great example of that.

Anonymous said...

I can't imagine a more fitting tribute to your ex-Monroe! Or Madonna, as the case may be.

Bonnie said...

I love neutral outfits. They are almost all that I wear. That way, I can punch it up with awesome accessories and be all BAM! Look at my accessories.
Twitter: @GlamKitten88

Michelle said...

Farewell to the monroe piercing! They're so pretty, though I don't know that I'd get one myself. I have my nose pierced but probably won't get anything else done - the healing process on my nose was AWFUL (it took over six months for it to fully heal, possibly because I originally got it done with a stud so that it would be easier to hide & that thing caught on everything!). I do love my nose piercing quite a bit though, I think I'd rather give up one of my tattoos than give it up.

My mom seems to have a grudgingly neutral stance on my body mods. Except for the blue hair, which I think she's actually grown to like. We have talked about me & her & my sister getting tattoos together at some point, I want to make that happen!

Mom said...

I love this soft, pretty look on you, what a cute outfit. Farewell to the piercing - you're right, you were perfect without it! And by the way, I must ROCK too because I have pierced ears!

Audi said...

Mom: You rock for all sorts of reasons, but I'm afraid your pierced ears don't really qualify as body modifications. Now if you want to start talking about getting matching tattoos, that's another story... ;-)

Sheila said...

What a lovely soft outfit (I love the black nails with it!). The colours are perfect.

I always forgot about your Monroe, but seeing a crease develop is as good a reason as any to remove it - sadly, aging catches up with us all! :)

I had a funny comment about my new tattoo on my blog: someone gently reminded me to enjoy it while I had it, and how will it look in 30 years? Gee, I'll be 73 by then...I think my tattoo will be the least of my worries!

Margaret said...

I love your all-over chiffon ensemble. It's my favorite fabric! Plus with the creamy hues, I like it even more :)

I have only my earlobes pierced. Funny story: I fainted at Claire's when I first got them pierced, for a complete 3 minutes. My mom thought I was dead because my face was so white!

Audi said...

Sheila: Haha -- I know, I always think that's such a ridiculous comment. Of course they'll look wrinkly, but so will everything else! And if I don't care what people think of them now, why would I care then?

Margaret: 3 minutes?!? And the earlobes don't even hurt. I would strongly suggest never getting your face pierced. ;-)