Measure Twice, Pierce Once

This is what happens when you use a barbell with small beads that’s also too short. But it was worth it because the piercer that did this charges $10 less than the guy down the street with experience and an APP membership. Right? Always accept the lowest bid when your life — or at least your beautiful face — is on the line. Yeah, there’s some great advice. Now I think I’m going to go out and get the cheapest haircut I can find.

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About Shannon Larratt

Shannon Larratt is the founder of BME (1994) and its former editor and publisher. After a four year hiatus between 2008 and 2012, Shannon is back adding his commentary to ModBlog. It should be noted that any comments in these entries are the opinion of Shannon Larratt and may or may not be shared by LLC or the other staff or members of BME. Entry text Copyright © Shannon Larratt. Reproduced under license by LLC. Pictures may be copyright to their respective owners. You can also find Shannon at Zentastic or on Facebook.

48 thoughts on “Measure Twice, Pierce Once

  1. The problem, Shannon, is that the people who need to hear your message about crappy piercers are not the ones who read Modblog.

    If we could get MTV to run this sort of message, maybe. Most people who get pierced do it as a fashion decision rather than anything deeper.

  2. oh gosh that looks painful.

    :true story:
    i was in the super market the other day and random clerk asked me to pierce him. wtf??? i’m no professional.

  3. instigator: do you have stats to back up that most people get pierced as a fashion decision? Im not trying to be a smartass (most of the time i am, when not accompanied by a disclaimer) but has anyone done research on this? if not……i think i smell my masters thesis in the nearish future…..

    and – i LOVE stencils! but vandalism is mean! someones gotta wash that off! and its usually people from my social class that have to do that work…..

  4. Urk. Now that looks painful. Well, less so than much of the stuff posted here, but most of that is, y’know, consensual. :)

    Poor dude.

  5. This is just sad. What’s even sadder is that it happens way, WAY too often. I hear about issues like this on a very regular basis.

    And I’m with instigator – the people who need to see this probably aren’t going to.

  6. yep . that is one crappy piercing .

    You want to say that if i havent got an APP diploma that i’m a crappy piercer :) ?

  7. i hope the recipient has contacted to the APP to find out if they are really a memebr or just a fraud. i wish you were able to let us know what shop this was done at.

  8. bad piercer aside, you gotta wonder about the guy that doesn’t notice somethings wrong till the balls embedded that far in their face. some peoples kids…. *shakes head*

  9. yeah, something along the lines of consolidated skateboards’ “don’t do it” sticker/stencil campaign would rock

  10. I think I agree with Shannon on the stencils. Sure it’s vandalism, but it’s for the greater good. And in general I’d expect students/teens to do the cleaning cos they have to do community service. So it’s really giving them something to do. That being said, I think it’d be better community service to give them the stencils and run around sparying them on.

  11. Eh, I would say these risks are pretty out in the open (whether accompanied by mass hysteria/media-styled scare tactics or not), but I think people putting forth the effort to research ANY decision is the greater problem here.

    After all, the first hit on Google when you search for “body piercing” is BME’s main piercing gallery/experience page.

    And hey, the cheapest haircuts are the best haircuts. Get your friends to do it for you. (Too bad I made that same leap to body piercing in my younger days…”Hey, he’s not THAT drunk! It’s fine.” Hahaha.)

  12. Eh I totally go for the cheapest haircut I can find. But hair doesn’t scar and it grows back. I can also trim it myself if I don’t like the way parts lay.
    Piercings? I do not go for cheap.

  13. it also takes a lot of idiocy on the part of the individual not to notice that something’s wrong. that’s at least several weeks into the “hey does this look funny” stage.

  14. That really sucks. I am amazed at the power of denial. You see this thing sink into your face, but convince yourself that it will still be ok.

  15. How can there still be shops that allow such shitty piercers to work there!?
    And the guy kind of deserves it, because at some point he would have had to have looked at it and gone, “well, maybe this isn’t healing to well, I should take it out”…Yet he still left it in..ahh, this frustrates me.

  16. That’s creepy. What really makes me cringe is that I know that’s going to have to get cut out of that person. How does a person not noticing it sinking into their skin? It’s on their FACE!

  17. Christ, yeah I gotta agree the person wearing this has gotta be a little on the dumb side. I mean it’s not like the damn thing scabbed over the bead over night. Had this person been cleaning it regularly they must have noticed… hey this bead seems to be MISSING.

    I recently switched the jewelry in my nose for this very reason, the nostril screw I was wearing was starting to sink into my nose, so I swopped it out before I had a nice golf ball sunk into my face. But hey, I guess taking care of your piercings isn’t punk rawk eh?

  18. I think part of the problem may be that people are just not putting enough research into it before they actually get it done. The first time I got my cartlidge pierced I was 14 and didn’t know any better. I had a friend talk me into going to the only tattoo shop in town to get it pierced with a needle rather than a gun. NO aftercare was explained to me. My mother was allowed to give her permission OVER THE PHONE.

    After about a month, my entire ear was swollen to the point that I couldn’t take out the piercing myself. I had to have my dad do it. I refused to let the piercing close because I thought I was cool with it. I put the earring back in.

    That’s when I found bme and started to clean my piercing properly.

    I think that the reason these things happen and that people allow them to happen is for the same reason I refused to just let mine go. It’s a form of denial. You don’t want to let the piercing go.

    After that I did a lot of research into my piercings before I got them done. After I became really comfortable with a piercer, I felt I had a little more freedom in what I was getting done because I knew it was being handled as professionally as possible.

    I think it would be awesome if there was some sort of indicator telling you that a place is bad, but I also think that some people really need to learn that lesson. Find a good piercer, someone you can trust because it’s your health that will ultimately be affected. I was lucky that I didn’t get a serious infection.

    I think a lot of people just want a piercing and think that there really is no difference between piercers. Piercings have become a lot more mainstream than they were even just a few years ago.

  19. Jay- That reminds me of the punk rules of piercing, does anyone remember whose page that is on? Those were hilarious.

  20. Yeah, thats exactly why I researched through friends when we got my girlfriends nose pierced. She is highly allergic to certain metals and we needed someone that we could call and also just wanted her to be comfortable. While we were talking with the piercer (Scott at the Alley in Chicago), I looked out the window across the street at a “tobacco” shop that also offered body piercings…I think we made the right choice. I know who will be putting the new holes in my face. The guy with 14+ years experience and lots of good press.

  21. I’d like to pretend that the top bead has been removed in this picture, and that the crater that remains is the result of the bead pushing on it, and NOT burrowing deep inside.

    *cringes, pouts, dies*

  22. The sad thing is that we get stuff like this all the time, but they have no problem paying a lot for haircuts, clothing etc. I’ve seen too many people in $100+ pants get pissed off at the price, and say they are going down the street.

  23. When I was 11, I had my ears pierced (with a gun and those crappy short studs) and had something like this happen litterally overnight. I woke up in the morning with the bead imbeded deep in my ear.
    I really do feel that there is a lot of denial when people see this sort of thing start to happen, they don’t pay much attention to it until it turns freakishly bad.
    Reminds me of the Simpsons when they lose the pig on a spit and homers running behind it “it’s just a little wet, it’s still good; it’s just a little airborne, it’s still good”

  24. Everyday at work I’m amazed at how much people don’t understand the most simple things about body piercing. They’ll ask ‘so how did they manage to get the gun right in there?’ talking about my septum, and actually shudder when I say I got pierced with a needle.

    But then I remember that not everyone takes an interest in the process, they just want the end result, regardless of how little they know about it.

    Oh and literally dozens of people have told me I look hideous because of my ears (which are at 7/8″) and that I’ve ruined myself…which to me, shows unbelievable rudeness. It’s beside the point but it makes me grumpy!

  25. that looks like what happened to my naval piercing… was my first one…………and i had to remove it and treat with antibiotic ointment……………….can you recommend someone in the little rock arkansas usa area who is good? the guy who did me used too small a ring (the balls were rubbing on both sides) and pierced too much inside my naval ( I had a sore from the lower ball on the inside of my naval) I really want a belly ring but am scared to have same experience………..thanks to all who respond

  26. But does the piercee even know the APP exists?

    People are so uninformed when it comes to things like this… I know two people who’ve had things like this happen. I keep telling them that the shop they’re going to is very shady, yet they insist.

    On one occasion they put a taper through my buddies eyebrow so he could get a blue barbell through. It was the only blue one in the shop… but it was obviously for bellybuttons. The convinced him that it would fit after the taper and that he’d have no problems with it… just to make a $20 sale. It’s so sick. He lost the peircing and now has a huge keliod. :( Shames people.. shames.

  27. but sometimes its the exact opposite. the inexperienced piercer charges sky high prices and claims to use more professional and “high tech” piercing equipment with high quality piercing needles from france with serial nuimbers on them.
    US $250 for a horizontal tongue piercing for example?

  28. Owwwie.. god, I hope you can get that thing out. That must be painful as all get out. It’s a horrible way to learn a lesson, too. :(

  29. something similar happened to a girl at my university; i almost fell over with horror because not only were they significantly cheaper(cheap wouldn’t be the word), they were dingy, didn’t give her aftercare instructions and they were racist to boot. i felt so bad for her because it was her first experience with getting a piercing and bullshit is what she got.

  30. Just as a defence of the person who this pics is of, I had an eyebrow piercing done a while ago by a trainee at what used to be considered a good place to go (it’s got new owners and is seriously crappy now). However, they clearly didn’t put a long enough bar in. I started noticing a bump near the top ball that was clearly full of lymph. I went to another piercer for advice as soon as I noticed it, as they original piercers was a bit of a way away, and she said it looked like the bar was probably a bit too short, but it may still just be swollen so to just keep an eye on it and go back if there were any problems. Anyway, two days later I woke up and the top ball had sunk into the piercing like in that picture overnight and I had to push it back out, so I went back straight away and had it changed to a longer bar. All of that was within about a week of getting the piercing done, and the first few days were problem free.

    So the person with the piercing may not be as dumb as people are making out. They didn’t necessarily just leave it for ages.

  31. that looks so painful, ah!
    in the end, the cheap piercing and removal of cheap piercing will cost more than a non-cheap piercing done by a professional, anyway.

  32. Hahaha.. I had that happen to 4 holes in my ear lobes, which were pierced with a gun. I was young and didn’t know why they were taking so long to heal. I swear they were throbbing for at least a year before they finally healed. not to mention all the trouble I had with school constantly making me take them out.

    I now don’t even wear ear rings in my lobes. I prefer just wearing my nose stud and bellybutton bar :3

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