Even though numerous people outside of indigenous cultures have been wearing lip plates for at least a decade, it’s still a misunderstood and often maligned modification. I had a chance to talk to Neil Thomas about his lip plate, which began its life as a simple and unassuming 14ga labret seven years ago, and a lot of vinyl tape wrapping later, is now about 35mm (1 3/8″), just shy of his end goal of 45mm, where he plans on staying for a while. Because of the weight (and size) of the jewelry, he wears the plate down all the time, other than taking out a few hours a night and oiling the area, and to clean it with unscented anti-bacterial soap.
You may be surprised to hear that in addition to his “Scratch1000″ eBay store, Neil works with the public as a barber-stylist and a musician/promoter. His bosses have been supportive over the years, and the public has a broad range of responses — some people are curious with the typical “does that hurt”, others have no opinion, others think it’s cool, and of course there are those that think it’s gross. He says, “Treat people the way you would want to be treated and I believe people will be more understanding towards you. Most people close to me accept me for who I am and what I do. I’ve always just went for what I wanted to do. I still respect the few that are against it. If that’s the way they are, so be it.”
Neil adds, “I always figured if I could get away with it I would just keep going. I have always been a fan of culture and uniqueness. I’ve always been just me, in the punk scene or the Jamaican music scene. Two things that that keep me going.”
He also tells me that he’s always loved the way it looked on all kinds of different people, so let me also share a picture of the amazing Muga Suástica of Marcolino Moura in Bahia, Brazil. His lip is 50mm (2″) in this photo, but he tells me he doesn’t plan on stopping any time soon.
It’s the weekend — and a long weekend here in Canada — so I hope you can permit me to post a couple of silly YouTube videos. The first one I want to share with you is of our old friend Rafa Mendes, who you probably know has a ginormous lip plate. If you’ve ever watched videos of indigenous cultures that wear large lip plates eating and drinking, you know that they sometimes integrate their lip discs into the activity, using them as bowls and such from time to time. Rafa takes a trip down that road and uses his to blow soap bubbles in this clip.
I’ve got to post a thumbnail of that as well because it’s just so charming. The size of your lip disc may not determine the size of your wedding dowry any more, but it does at least determine how much fun you’re going to have entertaining the little kids at the the wedding you’re invited to!
The other video is maybe a bit more controversial, and for the obvious reasons you’d assume when I tell you it’s filed in the “Dildo” category. That’s because it’s my friend from Dildo Tattoo Studio (dildostudio.gr) in Greece having some maniacal fun doing a “piercer challenge” at the shop to test their piercing kung fu… That’s right… BLINDFOLDED PIERCING. They tell me that the next challenge is a blindfolded eyebrow piercing. I hope they’re kidding — the only time I want to see a needle in the eyeball is when it’s injecting ink.
Ok, I mostly hope they’re kidding.
And before you get all stick-up-your-ass cranky about this, these are all friends just goofing around together. It’s harmless fun. Or I should say “low harm fun”. Either way, it makes me happy to see people having fun.
If it were not for his very modern looking glasses, I might be doing my best right now to convince you that Peter Csirmaz got his piercings in the late 1800s or something. Unfortunately I’m just not that good at photoshopping… Zoom in if you can’t tell by the pixels.
Everybody has seen fun pictures of people showing off their teeth through the holes of immense labrets. Now, that’s a great goofy trick if you’re happy with your megalabret and are pleased to pop it back in after the gag photo is snapped, but it’s not so great if you wish you didn’t have that gaping hole in your lip. To refresh your memory as to what I’m talking about, here’s a funny picture of Jared Karnes showing what he does “when people are already being overly dramatic about it” — although most of the time if he’s not wearing jewelry you can barely see the hole, as you can see from the subtle slit on the left side of the image.
Luckily closing these big labrets is not a complex matter as long as the lip has not been stretched dramatically (which would make it more like the reconstruction of a stretched lobe and would almost certainly require a complicated surgery). Here’s one done by Roni Lachowicz, showing the “before” photo, a picture a week later after the stitches were removed, and a fully healed photo a few months later. Since many people naturally have a scar in that location without ever having had a piercing (can someone explain to me why?), it’s unlikely to make much of an impression, especially if hidden under facial hair. Zoom it of course (and most of the other images too).
Speaking of Roni, it’s been a little while since I’ve posted one of the industry’s most striking individuals, so let me give you some eye candy. If memory serves, her eye tattoos are self done, which always impresses the hell out of me. Which reminds me that I should mention that my eye hurts a lot today. I have a bad headache, brought on by central apnea most likely, but it’s manifesting with a great deal of eye pain. I don’t know if it’s real or psychosomatic, but it’s something worth being aware of — real or not, people considering eye tattoos should be aware that even five years later, it can still ache badly from time to time!
And finally — and I know I have really started to drift away from my original subject — I wanted to share one more piece of Roni’s recent work, a great looking tiny little star implant on the flat of the ear. It’s about two weeks old in this photo, so you can see a bit of dry skin over the incision. If this picture was taken even a few days later, you’d have no idea how this implant was inserted, because the incision is so nicely tucked underneath the fold of the helix.
I’m loving how well IAM:twostep’s piercings all work together. The fact that it all matches is just icing on the cake and him being a handsome devil doesn’t hurt either. I especially dig the big cartilage paired with the lobes.
Can you believe it’s been a year since I last posted a photo of Jenya? Last time there were a number of comments about Jenya’s weight loss due to health problems. Well he’s doing a lot better, and has the beard to prove it.