It'll never fly: Piercings

So much for the body being a temple. From nostrils to nipples, ears to eyebrows, no patch of flesh seems safe from invasion in the name of self-expression.

Last Updated: 09 Oct 2013

Piercings hurt (it is illegal to have an anaesthetic injection for them), can take up to a year to heal, and bring the risk of hepatitis, HIV and potentially fatal bacterial infections. Pass a bar through your tongue and you'll be unable to talk or eat for a while; modify your genitalia and even walking (never mind other activities) will be uncomfortable. Yet piercing has become ever more popular and is now a respectable business, governed by the GMB-affiliated Tattoo and Piercing Industry Union. It goes back 30,000 years: Australian Aboriginals, ancient Egyptians, American Indians, gladiators and even royals all did it, motivated by everything from mysticism to status. Today, teenagers stick rings and barbells through their flesh just to be like Christina Aguilera and Britney Spears. And even extreme piercings are no longer reserved for rebellious punks or hardcore sado-masochists - who's to say that smarmy sales rep isn't secretly sporting a Prince Albert inside his Paul Smith strides? Piercings cost about £25 a pop and are usually easily reversible, and only 27% of studios seem to require clients to be sober. So if you're a risk-taker or think a strategically placed piece of jewellery will spice things up, this trend is for you too.

Find this article useful?

Get more great articles like this in your inbox every lunchtime

What Lego robots can teach us about motivating teams

People crave meaningful work, yet managers can so easily make it all seem futile.

What went wrong at Debenhams?

There are lessons in the high street store's sorry story.

How to find the right mentor or executive coach

One minute briefing: McDonald’s UK CEO Paul Pomroy.

What you don't want to copy from Silicon Valley

Workplace Evolution podcast: Twitter's former EMEA chief Bruce Daisley on Saturday emails, biased recruitment and...

Research: How the most effective CEOs spend their time

Do you prefer the big, cross-functional meeting or the one-to-one catch-up?

6 rules for leading a remote team

Our C-suite panel share their distilled wisdom.