Nose Rings

Being sick for a week now has made me realize that I took for granted two very dear senses: smelling and tasting, neither of which I’ve been able to do in seven days. If I’d have known that Chuy’s Combo #4 was going to be the last thing I tasted in 2012, I would have relished it more. I also realize that although the decongestants, antihistamines, zinc lozenges, Airborne powders, neti pots, steam baths, shots of Tabasco, 147 wasabi peas, and one hot rum toddy have put not a dent in this sickness, at least I have Kleenex and/or Puffs to contend with the sniffles. After blowing your nose nonstop, the skin on your nostrils begins to get raw and dry up and flake off. The only thing that could have made it more painful would have been a nose ring.

I suppose if you have a nose ring, you could take it in and out at your leisure, but my question is: why ever put it in at all? And no, earrings are not the same thing. The holes in my ears do not aid in respiration. They do not have cause to ooze with fluids, such as noses do. I have always felt that one should draw as little attention to the nose as possible. Don’t pick it in public, wipe it carefully on the DL, don’t attach things to it that reflect light and consequently may cause a stranger to think you need a handkerchief. And don’t tell me that it doesn’t hurt, like those of you who say tattoos don’t hurt. Don’t wear that like a badge of honor. It is precisely because that nasal tissue is so sensitive that rings were placed inside bull’s noses in the first place, to make them compliant and easily led when someone yanked the ring. To boot, only the bulls who are handled OFTEN require such rings. By that logic, does wearing a nose ring imply a man or woman is handled often as well? Does it imply they will be used to breed repeatedly or be displayed at livestock shows?

Every generation has its trends. You get your nose ring, so you’re part of the group, the group that rebels against conservative values. The group that allows you to display your individuality and raise your flag of noncomformity, to the extent that you all agree on what exactly the new conformity is. It’s the same idea every decade: ducktails and leather jackets in 50s greaser culture, tie-dyed shirts and long hair and bellbottoms for hippies, mohawks and punk rock. So now we’re in the nose ring phase? This is what’s edgy? Are young adults doing this more out of a desire to showcase traditions of Indian and Asian culture or because they saw Miley Cyrus wearing a nose stud?

Maybe the level of risk is what makes it cool? Just humor the fuddy-duddy, because I don’t get it. I’ve never been a fan of infection, permanent scarring, or getting my clothes caught on my facial accessories and having them yanked off in a bloody mess. It seems less about individuality and more like the exact opposite: to reveal yourself as a sheep able to follow trends and mimic celebrity. Baaaaa. All well and good then; at least it’s easily undone. Better to go through a phase without obvious permanent mutilation. Reference the booming tattoo removal industry. The lovely Megan Fox has almost entirely removed the Marilyn Monroe tat with which she so identified in her youth. Fifty/Fiddy Cent says his motive for tat removal is to encourage his acting career and prevent hours in the makeup chair. And then of course, there will always be love gone wrong. Johnny Depps disappearing his Winonas, Angelina Jolie disappearing her Billy Bobs. We have all been young and passionate and believed THIS IS THE ONE, THIS IS FOREVER, or I WILL NEVER GET TIRED OF SEEING THAT CHINESE SYMBOL ON MY CHEST (which, as it turns out, meant something entirely different). But of course we do. Nothing has that sort of staying power, unless it’s along the lines of U.S.M.C. I won’t wear those Gap jeans from 1999, so I sure as heck wouldn’t want to carry around ink from then. But again, I am not a Millenial.

Beauty is in the eye of the beholder, right? I behold nose rings as icky, plain and simple. But thank God we live in a free society, full of choices, where we can do to our skin as we like, be it permanent or temporary. Blessed are we to have many different ideas of beauty–although. let’s be frank–many women still want to look like Jennifer Aniston, even if she is in her 40s. And you don’t see her rocking a nose ring

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