The Horror Behind Nipple Piercings

The Horror Behind Nipple Piercings

Well, at least for yours truly.
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Fellow nipple wearers (AKA every human being), please observe:

Can't see anything particularly interesting? Look a little lower...not quite at the stomach but not at the neck, either.

Catch my drift?

We've all seen the following campaign:


Although I am a huge fan of this equality movement, I have some stuff to say about nipples. Not necessarily freeing them, but something else: piercing them.

I am in no way against getting your nipples pierced because back in January, I got mine done. My best friend and I drove down to Chitown Tattoo, my go-to tattoo and piercing parlor, to do something we thought was a right of passage, and of course, something totally badass. No one I know had theirs pierced. I had seen tons of nipples on Tumblr (because let's be real, who hasn't?!) that had beautiful bar bells pierced through them, and I instantly wanted them. They were taboo, and to be frank, I wanted to rock them through see-through shirts.

It was cool, rebellious, and it wasn't super subtle; it represented me.

After lying down in the chair at the tattoo parlor, my heart instantly revved up to a million beats a minute. I grabbed my best friend's hand and squeezed it until I thought my hand would fall off-- and I still had my shirt on!

By the time everything was over, I was (barely) alive, but I felt like I was going to pass out. After examining the new barbells literally inside my nipples, I went and sat on a chair while a black shadow and little stars clouded my head. I felt my stomach drop and my hands get sweaty. This wasn't fun.

I dashed to the bathroom, almost sure I was going to upchuck my Noodles and Company, but I just sat there in a daze of nausea. Finally, I came out, feeling relatively normal—still sore, but functional.

"Now, remember," the gorgeous piercing artist who had just gone to WWIII with my nipples said, "you're going to want to wash them with sea salt and warm water, or Dial soap."

I nodded, still in a daze, and followed her directions.

For the next couple weeks, I was happy with the way my nipples looked. I felt comfortable to show off my breasts without wearing a bra (even though I was getting slut shamed for it, but it didn't phase me). But as months passed (while I still washed it with Dial soap every day, and did the salt soak pretty often), my nipples started to look scarred and downright gross.

I'll keep cleaning them and it'll go away! Don't worry, I'll be fine.

Although I tried for months keeping that mindset, I finally had to take them out. They were becoming not only high maintenance, but deeply painful. When I would wear bras, the barbells would get caught on my undergarments and tear at my nipple causing it to sometimes bleed. I didn't have time for this; all I wanted was pretty nipples, was that too much to ask?

During the time I had my nipples pierced, there was some scarring because of the bleeding and infection, but I thought that after I took them out, washed them for a few days, it would all be good!


My nipples were discolored, scarred and even shaped differently.

I was upset with myself that I got these piercings that would cause me so much stress to a vital body part (can you say breastmilk?) just so my nipples would look "badass" through a shirt. I did some research and came across a blog written by a female doctor in Arizona who's been practicing medicine for over 30 years. In this article Dr. Christina talks about some of the risks I should have looked up before I was impulsive. Here are just two of the general health risks that Dr. Christina addresses:

a) Infection – This can occur due to poor hygiene during or after piercing procedure care. It could also be caused by the improper sterilization of the piercing equipment. Remember the infection can spread via the nipple ducts and get into the lymph nodes, which can not only cause an abscess (which is a collection of pus), but also allow the infection to get into your blood stream, which can make you extremely sick. Believe it or not, a person can develop an abscess up to 7 years after the piercing. An abscess can recur frequently and may require antibiotics and/or surgery. Some people choose to get a tetanus shot prior to getting a piercing as a precaution against any infection that may occur.

b) Nerve damage – Piercing can damage milk production ducts in the breast. It may also cause a problem later if the patient decides to breastfeed. The patient may also risk the loss of feeling in that area.

Disappointment filled my head as I scanned all my adorable tops that would be perfect to wear without a bra (and of course, my adorable nipple piercings). I had gone through all this pain, infection, and severe yuckiness all for the name of fashion (and not for sex as some people had thought; I could've really cared less about that).

I sat there standing outside my closet, and decided "F*ck it!" I was going to free the nipple without a nipple piercing, and I didn't care! I embraced my free, virgin breasts without any defiant body piercing, and it was still gonna be killer.

Don't get me wrong; if my nipples weren't so sensitive, I totally would still have mine in right now. Some of my friends have told me that I inspired them to get theirs pierced, and I love that! Like I said, it's a right of passage and screams, "YEAH GIRL! TAKE CONTROL OF THAT BODY! YOU SEXY AND YOU'RE GOING TO OWN THOSE NIPPLES BECAUSE YOU CAN!" Nipple piercing or no nipple piercing, you still can rock the #FreeTheNipple movement. Just remember to take care of yourself first and do your research before doing something impulsive. As young adults, it's hard to do, but hey, not everything we do can not have consequences, right?

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If You've Ever Been Called Overly-Emotional Or Too Sensitive, This Is For You

Despite what they have told you, it's a gift.
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Emotional: a word used often nowadays to insult someone for their sensitivity towards a multitude of things.

If you cry happy tears, you're emotional. If you express (even if it's in a healthy way) that something is bothering you, you're sensitive. If your hormones are in a funk and you just happen to be sad one day, you're emotional AND sensitive.

Let me tell you something that goes against everything people have probably ever told you. Being emotional and being sensitive are very, very good things. It's a gift. Your ability to empathize, sympathize, and sensitize yourself to your own situation and to others' situations is a true gift that many people don't possess, therefore many people do not understand.

Never let someone's negativity toward this gift of yours get you down. We are all guilty of bashing something that is unfamiliar to us: something that is different. But take pride in knowing God granted this special gift to you because He believes you will use it to make a difference someday, somehow.

This gift of yours was meant to be utilized. It would not be a part of you if you were not meant to use it. Because of this gift, you will change someone's life someday. You might be the only person that takes a little extra time to listen to someone's struggle when the rest of the world turns their backs.

In a world where a six-figure income is a significant determinant in the career someone pursues, you might be one of the few who decides to donate your time for no income at all. You might be the first friend someone thinks to call when they get good news, simply because they know you will be happy for them. You might be an incredible mother who takes too much time to nurture and raise beautiful children who will one day change the world.

To feel everything with every single part of your being is a truly wonderful thing. You love harder. You smile bigger. You feel more. What a beautiful thing! Could you imagine being the opposite of these things? Insensitive and emotionless?? Both are unhealthy, both aren't nearly as satisfying, and neither will get you anywhere worth going in life.

Imagine how much richer your life is because you love other's so hard. It might mean more heartache, but the reward is always worth the risk. Imagine how much richer your life is because you are overly appreciative of the beauty a simple sunset brings. Imagine how much richer your life is because you can be moved to tears by the lessons of someone else's story.

Embrace every part of who you are and be just that 100%. There will be people who criticize you for the size of your heart. Feel sorry for them. There are people who are dishonest. There are people who are manipulative. There are people who are downright malicious. And the one thing people say to put you down is "you feel too much." Hmm...

Sounds like more of a compliment to me. Just sayin'.

Cover Image Credit: We Heart It

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Buying New Clothes Every Month Has Been The Key To Helping Me Become Happy With My Body Again

Loving my body in new outfits has boosted my self image so much.

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Being body-positive has been really hard for me to do throughout 2019, despite there being an overwhelming surge in body-positivity around me, whether through my friends and family or YouTube. I look in the mirror and what I see is someone I want to make a jean size or two smaller like in the past. That being said, I've slowly been coming around to accepting the body I have now, instead of bashing it constantly. A key way I've come to accept the body I'm in now is through buying myself something new every month, like a new T-shirt or a pair of jeans or sneakers that help me see myself in a positive light. When I'm in a new outfit, I feel invincible. I don't think about how pudgy my stomach is, or about the hair I have growing in random places, like my neck or on my nose (yes, not just in, but ON too).

My bank account tends to suffer as of recently because of this, but it's worth it when I can genuinely feel good in what I am wearing every day. I like to wake up and think about how many outfits I can put together, ready to post my #OOTD for Snapchat without caring what anyone thinks. I've let social media dictate how I feel about myself more than I care to admit. I see how perfect all the models are in everything they're wearing from brands I know and love, yet when I try the same thing on, it's a whole different ugly story.

I don't enjoy trying things on to avoid the shame I feel when things don't fit me right, or if something that I thought would flatter me actually makes me look like a sack of potatoes. Instagram has really hurt my body image a lot — enough to make me delete it for a week after one post sent me spiraling. Going through those bumps made me finally realize it's not my fault if something doesn't fit. Sizes range depending on the item, it's the clothing items fault, not mine. Now that I see that, it's easier to brush off something not fitting me as it should. I know my size very well in the stores I frequent the most, so it's easier for me to pick out things I know will look good and not have to worry about the sizing issue.

Buying yourself something new is not something you should limit to every few months or longer. You shouldn't be afraid to go out of your comfort zone price wise every once and a while either. Coupons exist, stories always offer you them when you first sign up to receive emails and even texts. You can be crafty and still get a high price item for less. If you treat yourself to cheap things, you won't feel half as good as you want to. Granted, sticking to a limit is important but there's no shame in going over the limit every once and a while.

I love shopping as much as I love country music and writing short stories — a lot. Yes, I get yelled at almost every time I get something new. I need to save my money for important things, like for my sorority or for medical issues that could suddenly arise, or for utilities at my house next year off campus.

However, my mental well-being is not something I can ignore.

I can't push the good feelings aside to save 30 or 40 bucks a month. I don't want to feel as low as I've felt about myself anymore. I'm tired of feeling sad or angry at who I am, and I want to learn how to accept myself as I am. Buying myself something new, like clothes, is what offers a positive light to view myself under.

Whether you treat yourself to dinner at your favorite restaurant, or to face masks, or to a new movie when it comes out — don't be afraid to do it. Put yourself first and you'll realize your worth and how much you've been ignoring it in the face of poor confidence.

My confidence isn't back up to where it used to be, but it's getting there.

It may not be the most cash efficient method of self-love, but my body positivity is better than it was a few months ago. Aerie and American Eagle have really helped me become happier with my body, and I can't thank them enough for being more inclusive for people like me who are learning to love themselves again in a new body.

There is a light at the end of the tunnel for all of us hoping to promote our own body positivity, and it could all start with a simple purchase from your favorite store after you read this.

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