Please upgrade your browser for the best Refinery29 experience. Read more.
When I was in college, I went abroad and got a cartilage ring. It was a rebellious thing to do (for me) (at the time). In fact, since my mother is the type to go pale-faced at the mere thought of me getting a tattoo, that little piercing was the edgiest thing I could get away with without being disowned.
Some time passed, and though I loved this little souvenir that surely commemorated my ability to make decisions on my own, it wasn't quite enough. I liked the idea of more earrings, and I liked the look of them even more. So, I went back and got a second hole. Then, a third. Then, a second hole in my other ear. This time, it wasn't about doing something "crazy" — earrings are, after all, as impermanent as the holes that close when you remove them. It was about getting a little more adorned.
It seems the fashion set is collectively leaning in this direction, too. More and more, I've noticed the arm party being replaced by the piercing party: creative collections of earrings, cartilage rings, nose rings, ear cuffs, and beyond — all fit to suit solely the wearer's face. Yes, this assemblage of jewelry may be slightly more long-lasting than bangles or wristlets, but it's just as easy to change up, and just as much an expression of its owner's style. Ahead, we've scoured Instagram for a variety of piercings that make statements in fashionable ways (and, maybe rebellious ways, too).