Archive for February, 2012
According to historic record and compiled modern statistics, piercing of the nostril is the second most prevalent piercing practiced globally, falling short only to piercing of the ear lobe. But did you know that there’s one area of the world where nose piercing has been mentioned even in sacred texts dating back over 3,000 years ago? That place is Asia, or more specifically, India.
Nose piercing, it is said, was brought to India by way of the Middle East, and is made mention of in the Vedas (vey-duhs), sacred texts adhered to by the Orthodox Hindus of the Indian subcontinent. The Vedas consist of four Samhitas (suhm-hi-tahs), or collections, and the oldest, the Rigveda (rig-vey-duh), contains the knowledge associated with the practice of traditional Indian medicine called Ayurveda (ah-yer-vey-duh). In Ayurveda, the piercing of a woman’s nose is commonly performed to help lessen the pains associated with childbirth.
In certain groups, this piercing may be performed on the eve of a woman’s wedding, having symbolic significance in accordance with the act of marriage and the associated onset of bearing children. Traditionally, large ornate nose jewelry will be worn, with a chain connecting the nose hoop to the ear or hair. The chain will then be removed by the woman’s husband on the night of the honeymoon.
Some Indian tribal cultures also dictate the piercing of both nostrils, as in the Tamil, Pashtun, and Pahari, and other cultural groups common to Southern India. Yet others, like the Apa Tani and those in Northeastern India may pierce one or both sides and subsequently stretch their nostril piercings, some to an inch or more in diameter. Septum piercing is common to particular ethnic groups throughout India as well, and also to the surrounding areas such as Nepal, Bhutan, Bangladesh, Burma, and even Pakistan.
Nose piercing has become extremely popular in Western culture since the 1970s, and some may be interested to know that the return of American and European youth who had ventured abroad to exotic lands like India, is largely responsible for this cultural anomaly.
Like many world holidays, Leap Day is celebrated in very different ways in different places, and with a tradition so old and so much a part of our lives, there are definitely some Leap Day facts and folklores that might surprise.
In the United States and the UK, Leap Day is February 29th in accordance with the 400 year cycle of the Gregorian calendar. In countries that adhere to the initial adoption of the day by its predecessor, the Julian calendar, Leap Day is actually February 24th. In still other countries, like those in the Middle East, Asia, and the Indian subcontinent, an entirely different type of calendar called a lunisolar calendar is used, and Leap Day doesn’t exist at all. In these places, Leap Year is observed through the addition to the calendar of a whole extra month!
The reason that we need to have a Leap Day at all, is actually scientific moreso than superstitious. As we all know, the Gregorian calendar common to most Western countries consists of 365 days each year. The problem with that though, is that it actually takes the earth about 365.24 days to complete a full revolution around the sun. So, in order to fix this anomaly so that we don’t fall behind in our measuring of time, we add an extra day every four years. Now, as you’ll notice, .24×4 doesn’t work out to a perfect 1, but rather to slightly less (.96). But don’t worry, because there’s actually a rule to accommodate that teensy overage (about .04) that’s unaccounted for. (This is where it gets a bit tricky.) To offset the build up in our 400 year Gregorian cycle of those little extra bits, an end-of-century year that isn’t evenly divisible by 400 won’t have a Leap Day. For example, 2000 has a leap day, but 1800, 1900, and 2100 don’t. That means that for every 400 year cycle, there are 97 Leap Days, rather than 100. That means that only about 1% of our time is unaccounted for. Pretty neat, huh?
So now let’s get to the fun part: the legends and traditions surrounding Leap Day. In Ireland and some other parts of the UK, it’s commonly accepted for a woman to make a marriage proposal to a man on Leap Day or during the entirety of Leap Year. There’s even a popular film about it called “Leap Year,” starring Amy Adams and Matthew Goode. The one thing the film gets wrong though about this tradition, (which is also celebrated to varying degrees in Scandinavia, France, and Germany), is that the man isn’t obligated to accept. In Denmark for example, a man who refuses a woman’s offer of marriage during leap year must buy her gloves, to cover the shame of her un-ringed finger. And in Ireland and Wales, the compensation varies widely by local custom, ranging from a kiss on the lips, cheeks, or ring finger, to a few Euro or Irish Pounds.
In the Mediterranean, marriage during a Leap Year is actually considered bad luck, and according to survey up to 20% of engaged couples in Greece will arrange or postpone their nuptials to avoid a Leap Year ceremony. The same may go for Leap Day birthdays amongst various cultures, although in most Western countries babies born on February 29th are considered blessed with luck.
For many people in the United States, Leap Day holds a special meaning. It’s an extra day that we’ve been given to do what we couldn’t accomplish during the rest of the year, or enjoy life to the fullest, remembering that every day is a gift. Just as with Friday the 13th, Halloween, equinoxes, or stacked dates (like 11/11/11), the mystery and superstition surrounding Leap Day may make several people more inclined to be pierced or tattooed on that day. This can be especially true for those looking to get a very first tattoo or piercing. But Leapsters beware; if the legal age for tattoos or piercings in your area is 16, and you’re planning to celebrate that particular milestone with a mod, you may have to wait until the day after your real birthday. One factor that will depend on the country or locality is what day a Leapling’s birthday will be legally celebrated via coming of age. In some places, like Hong Kong, the US, and most of the UK, the legal birthday is March 1st, while in others (like New Zealand and Republic of China), it’s February 28th.
There’s only one person known of who was both born and died on a Leap Day: Sir James Wilson, the Premier of Tasmania during the 1800s. Other famous persons who have been born on a Leap Day include actress Dinah Shore, baseball great Al Rosen, legendary burlesque performer Tempest Storm, motivational speaker Tony Robbins, and actor Antonio Sabato Jr.
“I’ve met so many new people and made a ton of new friends based on the game alone. One thing I love about the game is that you can be battling on the ice, even fighting. Then when the game is over, it is over and we all hang around and enjoy a cold beer together, it’s a lifestyle.”- Ernie Lowerre, BodyCandy team captain
The motto of the annual Buffalo Powder Keg Festival is “In Buffalo, we don’t fear winter… we revel in it.” Winter in Buffalo, New York is notorious for being bitter and white. Buffalo residents take pride in their ability to survive and band together to take on the winter months. We bundle up and party on! I have never witnessed such a sense of community and pride in one’s home town like I have in Buffalo. I am proud to call this my hometown. People do not hesitate to help their neighbors in need during the cold months. Whether it entails pushing someone’s car or shoveling a walkway, we know how to make the best of our climate and are stronger people (and neighbors) because of it.
This year, Buffalo has experienced a very unique winter indeed. Warm temperatures and rain have replaced snow, ice and freezing cold conditions . On February 11th and 12th, the third annual Buffalo Powder Keg Festival, part of the Buffalo Winterfest weekend, took place. BodyCandy’s sponsored hockey team competed in the Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament during the festival. Baby, it’s cold outside, but it was too little too late and the pond was not frozen. So what did we do? We took it to the streets and played street hockey instead! Team BodyCandy checked its way into the limelight and onto the front page of the Buffalo News! The 60-team tournament was less than half the size organizers had originally anticipated. Many teams pulled out, but it didn’t hinder the intensity of the participating hockey players. Ice or asphalt? Doesn’t matter! Brett Carlsen, a brand manager for Labatt Blue and organizer of the tournament, said the “love of hockey” and “bond between buddies and pals” is still going strong, regardless of the weather conditions.
The BodyCandy.com team consists of players who are truly passionate about the game of hockey and the camaraderie it entails. They play purely because they love it, not in search of fame or glamour that can be associated with professional sports. The team is relatively newly formed. It was put together from players who went through the Performax Hockey Adult Instructional program. Most of these players had never skated before 2010. The age range of our team is 19 – 50. No one on the team ever played together prior to the Instructional program. The team’s captain is optimistic about the growth of his team of misfits “We have been winning games now since the team is finally clicking. It takes a team about 2 years to really start to play well together and we are on the road to that now. We went from a losing season last summer to a fairly successful one this winter. We are currently in the playoffs.”
Team BodyCandy agrees that they all prefer Ice Hockey, but that the Street Hockey tournament was still an absolute blast! They had a great time and met a plethora of new players and teams that will become future opponents. Even though their tournament record was 0-3, team BodyCandy battled hard and is still on top of the world! It does not matter if you win or lose, it is the lessons you have learned while playing and the people you meet that matter the most. The team strives for greatness and will not stop learning the game that they love so dearly. They are only getting better and look forward to entering next year’s Labatt Blue Pond Hockey Tournament, among others. They have taken part in several other local hockey tournaments, including the East Aurora Pond Hockey Tournament, and will be playing in Buffalo Senior Invitational Hockey Tournament in May.
Team captain Ernie Lowerre shared his thoughts about hockey, the importance of the game in his life, and how he plans to share the game with his two sons. He started playing hockey at the age of 44 and doesn’t see himself stopping anytime soon. “My goal is to play and remain captain until both my sons are old enough to play on my team so we can have a forward line of myself on left wing, Zach on right and Max as center!” Ernie was one of the people who years ago said to the hockey parents “You people are crazy, how can you spend so much money and be at a cold ice rink at 6am to watch a bunch of kids skate?” He is one of those crazies now and does not regret a moment of it. “The people you meet (parents of other kids playing) become some of your best friends.”
Sports help children establish friendships and deeper connections. They learn how to become leaders and to value good sportsmanship. Self confidence, physical fitness, and a strong sense of work ethic can be the result of a love for sports. At an early age they are taught how to respect other people, especially their opponents. Team sports teach a child that putting their best effort forward is always much more important than winning. I know this first hand because my father also instilled a passion for sports in me. As a young girl I played softball, soccer, floor hockey, and basketball. It taught me about life, expanded my circle of friends, brought me a sense of pride and accomplishment, a great trophy collection, and most importantly helped form the woman I have become.
Another inspiring player on the BodyCandy hockey team is defense(wo)man Heather Bitgood. She is a student at the University of Buffalo and the only female player on the team (you go girl!). I am always intrigued when I see a woman excelling in a male dominated sport. Progressive women like Heather are great role models for young girls who want to break social expectations and smash gender stereotypes.
Women have gained much success in many male dominated spheres: in the business world, in government, and in the military. Yet, there is still a looming shadow over girls who want to compete with men in sports. It is unfortunate to see a system that feeds the flawed belief that females do not have as much endurance or drive as their male counterparts. Gender segregation in sports is still considered normal in our modern society. Everything in life should be based on skill level and dedication, not on any traditional hierarchy or social constraint.
No matter who you are it is important to not let what other people might say get to you. If they say something like, “You are not strong enough” just think: You’re probably stronger than all of them combined! Be yourself and respect your own talents. Team BodyCandy should inspire all of us to strive for success. They are a prime example of people from different walks of life working together towards a common goal. These players use hockey as a platform to enrich their lives and to motivate others.
The current BodyCandy team roster is:
Ernie Lowerre – Captain/Left Wing Tony Mrozik – Alt Captain/Defense
Alex Bielman – Right wing Heather Bitgood – Defense
Kevin Burton – Center Tom Doster – Left Wing
Frank Drechsel – Defense Mike Hart – Center
Steve Kling – Defense Zach McNaughton – Left Wing
Dave Pizarro – Defense Tyler Rzemek – Goalie
Nick Scaccia – Center Brian Schofield – Defense
Josh Smith – Right Wing Nick Thomas – Center & Alt Goalie
Tim Thomas – Right Wing/Defense Tim von der Empten – Right Wing
Joe Wisnoski – Defense
You can find information about the league at: http://www.performaxhockey.com/
There are a lot of employers who’ve begun to adjust to the changing social norm by allowing piercings and body art to remain in full view during the work day. Some of us aren’t lucky enough to work for one of those companies though, so when you want to head out for happy hour without wasting time by stopping at home to get ready, what do you do? Well, if you have one minute, you have no problem.
What You’ll Need:
clear bioplast shafts
clear and black replacement balls
stick, cream, or liquid cheek tint
black eye liner
Here’s what to do:
1. Start by tidying up your face really quick by splashing with cold water and patting away any oil from your t-zone with a dry paper towel.
2. To take your makeup from day to night, all you need is a little refresher and a bit more glow. Pat and blend some of the tint into your cheeks, the outer corner of your eyelids, your lips, and a little at your temples. Rosy pinks with a little opalescence or shimmer are fabulous for this.
3. Wear the clear body jewelry to work as a retainer. Then when you leave to go out, keep the clear shaft in and switch out the clear balls for the black ones. Now your piercings are visible, instantly put together, and they match whatever you wore.
4. Draw a thick line at your upper lashline with the black eyeliner (it doesn’t have to be perfect) and smudge with your finger.
Depending on how meticulously you apply your eyeliner and tint, the whole thing can be done in about 90 seconds. Now you’re ready to go!
Once upon time, in a far away land (called Hollywood), actors with piercings were a lot like fairy godmothers. We weren’t really sure that they existed, and those of us who thought they saw one only had a blurry photo or two and couldn’t prove it. But today, as more characters in film and literature are being written with piercings and tattoo art to reflect the changing social norm, modified movie actors and characters are finally coming into prominence. You can even track the change.
Although tattoo art has been seen amongst film characters of particular types earlier (sailors, mystics, societal outcasts), for the most part the real onset of both character and actor adapting body modifications didn’t begin until around the year 2000. One of the more notable examples of a character being reinvented for the modern era is Francis Dolarhyde, the title character in 2002′s Red Dragon. Originally seen on the big screen in the 1986 film adaptation of Thomas Harris’s novel of the same name, the Francis character is covered with an amazing dragon tattoo. His tattoo was later redesigned to a more modern monochrome version and features prominently in the 2002 movie version starring Ralph Fiennes.
Another film that lent its style to modern modification trending, adding to a growing fashion yearning for all things mystical and idiomatic was 2007′s 300, starring Scottish actor Girard Butler as the king of Sparta and Rodrigo Santoro as Persian god-king Xerxes. Along with stunning Grecian fashion and a barrage of pierced, tattooed, and implanted creatures, the character of Xerxes himself is shown with large, golden Middle Eastern style rings pierced through his nose, eyebrow, cheeks, and ear cartilage. This is a slight change from his original depiction in the Frank Miller comic book on which the film is based, as in the comics he also wears piercings in his bottom lip.
Perhaps the most prominent recent character to be shown with both piercings and tattoos is Stieg Larsson’s tough as nails female protagonist Lisbeth Salander of the Girl with the Dragon Tattoo. This character was first played on the big screen in 2009 by the lovely Noomi Rapace and then again just recently by Rooney Mara for the English version. (The original is in Swedish, as is its eponymous novel.) Both women got real piercings to play the role, including several in the ear cartilage and some in the nostril, septum, lip, eyebrow, and nipple. The Swedish original starring Rapace is even part of a trilogy; one movie for each of Larsson’s books, starting with Dragon Tattoo.
Other actors who have been pierced and tattooed, whether for a role or not, include Drew Barrymore, Johnny Depp, Ewan McGregor, Colin Farrell, Viggo Mortenson, Lenny Kravitz, Angelina Jolie, Keifer Sutherland, Asia Argento, Robert LaSardo, Eve Salvail, Katie Holmes, Leelee Sobieski, Scarlett Johansson, and countless others.
Kelsey from BodyCandy.com interviews the vivacious and fashionable Bridget McNally about her body modification journey that began when she was only 13. Bridget talks about her extensive array of piercings: including having ears currently stretched to ¾, a dermal implant on her wrist, pierced nostrils, conch, septum, belly ring, and various facial and ear piercings. She talks about her unnecessary piercing anxiety and how she actually has to be blindfolded by her piercer before getting poked.
BC- What piercings do you currently have?
Bridget- I have a dermal on my wrist, my ears are stretched to ¾ , and I have my nose pierced on either side.
BC- What was your first piercing?
Bridget- My first piercing (besides my regular ear lobes) was my conch when I was 15.
BC- What was your most recent piercing?
Bridget- I had my nose done last March, so I have had them for about a year now.
BC- Can you tell us about the ear stretching process? How long it took you to get there?
Bridget- It has been a very long journey, I started stretching my ears when I was 13. Its been about 9 years now.
BC-Slow and steady
Bridget-They have been really big, they were almost 2 inches, 1 ¾ at biggest and have been really small at ¾
BC- So do you find it easy to go bigger and smaller?
Bridget- Everybody is different. My ears shrink up a lot when I take out my plugs (but they will never shrink back to “normal sized lobes”).
BC- So what about your dermal? Did it hurt? How was that experience?
Bridget- It was actually my least painful piercing. I thought it was going to be terrible. But it was not hard at all.
BC- How did your piercer do the dermal implant?
Bridget- Every piercing shop is different, some places punch out your skin, my piercer took a scalpel and made a tiny incision and then took the dermal jewelry and shoved it in, it sounds painful but it was not bad at all.
BC- Why did you get both sides of your nose pierced?
Bridget- I like things to be symmetrical.
BC- Do you have any advice for people who want to get nose piercings, dermals, or stretch their lobes?
Bridget- My advice is that you can’t over anticipate. I have made myself cry before. You have to remember that it is not going to be that bad.
BC- Which piercing hurt the most?
Bridget - My septum.
BC- So you have had other piercings that you do not currently have in now. What other piercings have you had?
Bridget -Basically everything. One of my best friends from back home went through a phase where thought she was a piercer and used us as guinea pigs and would pierce us(my friends and I) all the time. I have had everything from things in my stomach and my belly button to like everything on my face imaginable and my ears.
BC- It is cool that you just do it for the experience and then decide to take them out shortly after. Like a trial period.
Bridget- (She laughs) Yea, I usually take them out after about one month.
BC- Do you have any other interesting piercing stories?
Bridget- The professional piercer who does my work now, back home in Syracuse NY, just puts a blindfold over my face while I am being pierced so I don’t get scared!
BC- Like you mentioned earlier, the anticipation is worse than the actual piercing.
Bridget- Pretty much
BC- Well you keep that blindfold on.
Who says Spring is all about sun-kissed? This season skin is in, pale skin that is. As education spreads concerning the damaging effects of UVA and UVB rays, now more than ever a soft, feminine, and natural complexion is as fit for fashion as it is for health. International fashion weeks have shown purposefully un-sunned models with dewy skin across the board at Antonio Marras in Milan, Unique in London, and Band of Outsiders in New York, along with dozens of others.
So how do you style facial piercings for a beautifully anti-tan complexion that makes use of your natural pallor? Glad you asked.
One of the most popular styles that’s putting the uber-pale look to outstanding use is modern vintage, which encompasses touches of gothic, rockabilly, and 60′s era glam. This fashion is easy and worry free to emulate because the most prevalent styling keeps piercings feminine and simple with polished black or stainless steel. For those with multiple piercings, a mix of hoop and ball stud styles keeps the overall look fresh while allowing pinup worthy skin to take center stage.
A more modern and youthful style that’s begun to also feature un-sunned skin prominently is rave. Rave mixes a hint of hippie with modern grunge and a dose of girliness. Think black leather and spikes mixed with vibrant rainbow coloring and a splash of eastern influence. If this sounds like you and you’d like to start the season sans spray tan, just go for clean white or clear gem studs like the ladies below.
And perhaps the most prevalent fair skin style yet comes in last but certainly not least: gothic punk. This look is extremely monochrome with only dashes of color and pattern here or there, so solid black jewelry is the way to go. For dark and lovely gothic styling, hoop style piercing jewelry is the thing of the moment, and skinny captive rings worn in the lip particularly beg for a natural lip as well as skin, letting eyes take center stage.
So fair skinned fashionistas, let’s hear some applause. Because right now, it’s definitely your fashion moment in (or out of) the sun.
Location: The nape of the neck (the back of the neck in the area between the hairline and the base of the neck.)
Alternate Names: Nape surface piercing, neck piercing
Piercing: The nape piercing is a surface piercing which will generally be performed with a hollow piercing needle. Punch and taper technique may also be used by more experienced piercers to create a perfectly shaped channel for the surface jewelry. This piercing normally takes slightly longer than a run of the mill cartilage piercing to perform as placement must be exact, and a surgical pen may be used to mark the entry and exit points.
Aftercare: As with most surface piercings, a nape piercing will likely take at least twelve weeks to heal. Sea salt soaks, hot compresses, and gentle cleanings with surgical grade soap or saline are often recommended. Due to location, extra care must be taken when changing clothing and grooming the hair so as not to swat or yank the piercing jewelry which may cause irritation.
Jewelry: Most piercers will use surface bars for this type of piercing, which are shaped like a staple to alleviate pressure on the skin. In many cases flexible barbells made out of tygon, bioplast, or PTFE have been successfully used as well. In the case of a surface barbell, the best option provided is a bar with longer arms to accommodate the initial swelling followed by a change out for jewelry with shorter arms after healing.
Prevalence: Amongst those under age 29, surface piercing is estimated to account for approximately two percent of overall piercings. Nape piercing itself has become particularly popular amongst young women, including famous Italian actress Asia Argento.
Septum piercing has recently been on a meteoric rise in popular Western culture, with the trend of smaller gauge septum piercings for women being fed largely through music culture and celebrity piercing publicity. For native and tribal cultures all over the world however, piercing of the septum denotes much more than a proper fashion sense, and has been in practice for hundreds, or even thousands of years. Stretching of the septum as well is prevalent and meaningful in these societies, and many ritualistic practices are still in existence today, like that of the Bundi tribe of Papua, New Guinea.
It was the various tribes of New Guinea and their commonly worn nose tusk made out of bore bone that popularized the traditional view of septum piercing as a tribal practice. Indeed if you’ve ever seen a photograph of a tribesman wearing feathers and shells with a bone through the septum, it is likely a native Indian from New Guinea.
Amongst the Bundi, the septum piercing is a social ritual for young men, representing their ascension into adulthood, and is usually performed around the late teens. The piercing itself is done by a tribal elder with small pieces of bat bone and tuberous sweet potato, and afterwards it may be stretched to accommodate pieces of tusk or bone plugs up to an inch in diameter. For many tribes indigenous to the same region of New Guinea, septum piercing may be done younger, along with ear piercing, nostril piercing, and stretching in various stages. Often the painting of the face or body and letting of blood that naturally occurs from the piercing are thought to represent the boy’s separation from the world of women in general and particularly from his mother.
Other New Guinea tribes that practice ritualistic piercing of the septum include the Kiman, the Kangi, and the Asmat.
When the zombie tattoo boy Rick Genest made his fashion debut as a model for Thierry Mugler in 2011, the piercing and tattoo community cheered in approval. For those who don’t know, Mr. Genest is covered in a monochrome full body tattoo that makes him look like the living dead and has very noticeable piercings in his septum and the bridge of his nose. Many will recognize him from his cameo in Lady Gaga’s hit music video for the tune “Born This Way,” an appearance masterminded by the same fashion director responsible for the Mugler campaign. But who could have anticipated with his rise to fashion fame as Mugler director Nicola Formichetti’s new muse, that a resulting trend would set the fashion world to finally become more appealing to the modified set?
This trend was only further confirmed with the styling of some ravishing runway models at the Jean Paul Gaultier Spring 2012 show in Paris. Here models with real tattoo art and piercings, including stretched ear lobes, were featured alongside unmodified models who had been styled to appear modified through the use of glued on gems and elaborate cuff style ear jewelry . Some clear piercing favorites throughout the show were the monroe (a piercing of the upper lip), the nose, and the ear cartilage.
And in a flash of sheer brilliance, the modification worthy fashion is still continuing through this month’s Fashion Weeks, as Dagmar debuted a collection in Stockholm that was inspired in part by Lisbeth Salander, the pierced, tattooed, and mohawked title character in The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo.
Not sure which direction the fashion world’s newfound love of all things edgy and alternative is going to take, but for now, you can’t help but sit back and enjoy the ride.
Photography sourced via WGSN