Once Bitten: the New Aesthetics and Standards of Lip PiercingBy
One of the biggest trends in piercing in recent years has been the advent of new and interesting forms of lip piercing. From the rise of the use of circular lip jewelry, to the growing popularity of multiple lip piercings, it’s certainly no secret that the “bite” is taking a big bite out of alternative fashion. The first of the bite piercings to make a splash is undoubtedly the “snake bite” (pictured above); simple, sweet, and straight to the point matching labret piercings on each side of the lip. The opposite of this piercing, which has also slipped into the mainstream in the past few years, is the angel bite. This is another set of matching piercings on each side, but instead of the bottom lip they’re pierced over the top.
Next in the line-up, we have the “cyber bite piercing,” which has gained momentum (particularly in the indie music culture) along with the components that create it. The piercing that composes the bottom portion of a cyber set is of course the standard labret, but the top portion of this cute and interesting piercing is the lesser well known “medusa,” a piercing of the dent between the upper lip’s bow and the septum. Though generally applicable as seen here, the cyber bite piercing can also be created with any combination of vertical versions of these piercings, i.e. a vertical labret and a jestrum, the vertical version of a medusa piercing.
Other popular lip piercings that are becoming a youth fashion force are those that involve double piercings stacked closer together than seen in previous decades, like the “spider bite” piercing shown below. When the spider bite is located in the center of the lower lip a-la David Draiman from the rock band Disturbed, it then becomes a “dolphin bite” piercing, and when there are two sets it’s termed a “shark bite.”
And last but not least, we have the more recent developments in lip piercing like the “dahlia bite.” Shown below, the dahlia bite is an interesting and still fairly obscure set of lip piercings with an awkwardly macabre history. This little beauty (which is not without it charms, particularly when pierced on a lovely woman), takes it’s name from the infamous and gripping story of the Black Dahlia murder, an old Hollywood tragedy reimagined on the silver screen just a few short years ago. The piercing itself is a nod to the darker side of retro fashion, a trend which has recently exploded. Other less mainstream “bites” include the canine bite (a set of angel bites plus a set of snake bites), and the “T-rex bite.”
With so many new piercings coming about in the line of the mouth, almost every type of body jewelry is now being worn in the lips. Amongst the more widely seen and accepted pieces are circulars (horseshoes, ball captives, segment rings), ball studs, and lippy loops, which loop over the lip to give a standard piercing the look of a vertical.
Talk about lip service.