MTV VMA Stars: Modified Style Inspiration Through The Years

MTV VMA's Stars: Modified Style Inspiration Through The Years

The VMA’s are known every year for shocking and entertaining the masses. From controversy to fashion, people all over the world tune in to see what kind of fabulous their favorite celebrities will bring to the red carpet each year.

We’ve compiled a brief list of a few favorite modified celebrities for your viewing pleasure.



We’re dubbing Rihanna our new favorite queen. Outside of her amazing talent, the girl’s got body mods we just can’t get enough of! Tattoos, multiple ear piercings, her septum and the newest addition to her collection seems to be a nipple piercing. Her laid back style (if you caught her all pink outfit on the VMA’s last night) with a twist makes us feel all kinds of cozy, but this girl can do sexy bad ass just as well. Fashion #goals… anyone?


Britney Spears

Britney Spears

Isn’t it great to see Britney back after all these years?! And looking absolutely great, we must add. Britney’s past VMA looks have proved to be shocking and wonderful. Think belly piercings, belly chains, and tons of sparkling gems. Even her older and more sophisticated style still boasts an “I’ve got it, I’m gonna flaunt it” attitude. It’s no coincidence that she’s inspired some pierced and proud babe’s out there.


Christina Aguilera

Christina Aguilera

Christina’s piercings may be a thing of the past, but no one’s going to forget that easily. Tongue piercing, loads of ear piercings, nose, lip… phew! Also known to rock the nipple ring, Christina took is a step further. Scandal broke out around her intimate piercing at one point. What’s more inspirational than being a woman who’s not afraid to get a little bit “Dirrty”!? (Sadly, she’s since then removed nearly all of her mods, but we still love her for them nonetheless.) PS – Colorful clip-in extensions. That’s some style inspiration we still stand behind!


Dave Navarro

Dave Navarro

Let’s take a second to appreciate the body modified dudes of celebrity culture. Stretched lobes, earrings, tattoos. He’s also in on the nipple piercing trend, too! It may not be much of a stretch (pun intended) when you consider his grunge rock brethren, but proving that piercings and tattoos can be a well respected part of mainstream culture for men is iconic.


Amber Rose

Amber Rose

And we’re back to the bad ass females. Amber’s no stranger to controversy, and her bold nipple piercings are the perfect compliment to her give no f*#%s attitude. Her celeb spotlight is often drowned out by lovers past (Kanye and Wiz Khalifa), but we think it’s great to point out Amber’s strength! Women empowering other women, and doing it with style that screams confidence and pride? We’re on board.


Who are your favorite pierced celebrities?

The New Girl Next Door – Piercings and Tattoos in Beauty Pageants

modified beauty queens

The world is changing. Piercings and tattoos have had a bad reputation for being something that’s “masculine,” “not wholesome,” or just too harsh and distracting for a delicate female form. Those archetypes and misnomers have now been smashed. The girl next door that you see walking across a pageant runway is now a little bit more decorated. This year’s Miss America pageant made headlines when Theresa Vail, Miss Kansas, walked across the stage with the first ever large, visible tattoo. In her blog Theresa wrote “Should I win Miss America because I have tattoos? Of course not, BUT I should not be discredited for having them either. This is 2013. We are not in the dark ages…”

And she’s right; tattoos and piercings are prevalent and popular in our culture. You see piercings and tattoos on men and women from every walk of life. A wholesome image can now include body modification. Tattoos and piercings can be very girly and complimenting to a woman’s soft image. Theresa has the Serenity Prayer on her left side, and a military insignia to represent her time in the service, and I think it’s absolutely beautiful. She proudly walked across that stage during the swimsuit competition with all of her ink displayed. This year’s Miss Montana also has a tattoo, (a cross and text on her foot) but it was not visible.

tattooed Miss America contestant Theresa Vail and her proudly tattooed moment

            There was a similar stir way back in 1997 when the first belly piercing was displayed on the Miss America stage by Jill Renee Cummings, then Miss Vermont. She proudly wore a silver belly ring with her two piece bikini. She stated that she had her belly button piercing long before she ever decided to get into beauty pageants and that it was a part of her. That attitude is definitely to be commended; it can be hard to be the first person to break through social taboos and barriers, especially on such a large stage.

Little girls look up to Miss America contestants, and it is paramount that they see the importance of individuality and being true to themselves. Theresa Vail has said in her blog “I’m all about breaking stereotypes. Everybody thinks of Miss America as this girl on a pedestal. I want her to come down from that. She is just a normal girl.” Even so, many contestants are directed to take out their belly piercings and multiple earrings in order to conform and not distract.

belly piercings at the Miss America pageantformer Miss America contestants bare their belly rings

              As a modern woman (who has piercings and tattoos)  I think it’s better to stand out than fade into the background.  Isn’t that the point?  I imagine that there are a lot more girls who covered up their tattoos with makeup and removed their piercings to walk across the stage, but the trail has been blazed. Hopefully next year we will see more openly modified contestants. Girls need role models who are real people, who are not afraid to break stereotypes and be themselves for all the world to see.

Celebrity Modification Fixation – All About Ears

celebrity ear modifications

The image of a celebrity is glamorous and fantastic. Constant photos on every form of social and print media keep us up to date on what is going on with our favorites. Celebrities are role models and trendsetters. They express themselves with their style and body modifications. Famous people with stretched ears, multiple ear piercings, and ear tattoos are much more common now than ever before.

There are many attractive male celebrities with awesome stretched lobes. Besides the plethora of Warped Tour punkers who sport plugs, here are a few famous hotties with larger than life lobes:

Brandon Boyd from Incubus has beautiful ink and lobes stretched to 1 inch; he is a big fan of natural wood plugs. Dubstep artist Skrillex (Sonny Moore) is famous for his sick drops, asymmetrical hair cut, piercings, and of course his ½ inch stretched lobes (that he often fills with white or black saddle plugs). Chester Bennington from the band Linkin Park also has beautiful tattoos and ½ inch stretched lobes; he is often seen wearing basic black saddle plugs or gem tunnel plugs.  American Idol winner Adam Lambert has 2 gauge plugs. Travie McCoy from Gym Class Heroes has awesome tattoos, piercings, and 3/4 inch plugs. Davey Havoc from AFI has tats and stretched lobes which he likes to wear large, blingy gem plugs in. Lil Wayne has various tattoos, piercings, and 00 gauge plugs (the more bling the better as far as he’s concerned).

male celebrities with stretched lobe piercingsDavey Havoc, Lil Wayne, and Chester Bennington – stretched lobes

While there are less female celebrities with stretched lobes there certainly are a lot with multiple ear lobe and cartilage piercings. Actress Scarlett Johansson has several ear piercings and has been spotted with small tapers and eyelets in her lobes and has her tragus pierced. Rihanna has multiple ear piercings including her tragus too. Christina Aguilera is known for her love of body modification, including several ear and cartilage piercings. Other hot female celebrities with cartilage piercings are Shakira, Kate Hudson, Lindsay Lohan, Taylor Momsen, Jessica Alba, Carrie Underwood, Demi Lovato, Sienna Miller, and Julia Stiles. Katy Perry, Miley Cyrus, Pink, and supermodel Kate Moss also don multiple ear piercings. Nicole Richie, Perrie Edwards (from the British band Little Mix), and actress Shannon Elizabeth all have tragus piercings to accent their style.

female celebrities with ear cartilage piercingsScarlett Johansson, Taylor Momsen, and Miley Cyrus – cartilage piercings

Another way to accentuate your ears is with ink! Ear and behind the ear tattoos are very popular right now because they can be both subtle and bold. An ear tattoo can be easily covered up for that important family function or job interview. This trend is very popular among young female celebrities and trendsetters. Rihanna has a star tattoo in her left ear and a fancy X shaped symbol behind her right ear. Miley Cyrus has the word “Love” tattooed on her inner ear. Demi Lovato has a beautiful turquoise feather tattoo behind her ear. Carmen Electra has the letter K behind her ear, and Adele also went for an initial with the letter A behind her ear. Joss Stone has flowers, Lyndsy Fonseca has a moon and star, and actress Gemma Arterton has wings. Symbols like birds, stars, flowers, butterflies, and initials are very popular and discreet. It is always best to get a tattoo that represents you and not to copy someone else’s just for aesthetic purposes.

celebrities with tattooing on or near their earsDemi Lovato, Rihanna, and Gemma Arterton – ear tattoos

Multiple ear piercings, stretched lobes, and ear tattoos are very popular among young celebrities, causing a trend of modifying our own bodies to transform ourselves to superstar status.  Do your research and find the look that suits your own personal style the best. Be unique, be original, and be yourself. Body modification, no matter how bold or subtle, transforms your look and your life.

Piercing the International Music Charts – Little Mix

modified UK girl group Little Mix

Little Mix: Big Attitude. Little Mix is a girl group from the UK that won The X Factor in 2012. They have a number 1 single, and are on the verge of international super stardom. Some people are touting them as the next Spice Girls, and those are literally some big shoes to fill. They are perfect, looking like they just walked off Tumblr. Much like the Spice Girls, each girl has a unique persona and attitude of her own. They’re silly, fun, young, and just plain fabulous. Jesy Nelson, Jade Thirlwall, Leigh-Anne Pinnock, and Perrie Edwards make up this fresh new pop band, which is energetic and fantastic.

The girls of Little Mix are great role models for young girls (Little Mixers); they often talk about body image and loving who you are. Especially Jesy Nelson, who has been criticized for her curvaceous body, speaks out against cyber bullying. Jesy flaunts her beautiful body and pierced navel. The fact that anyone would say anything about this girl’s body is beyond me because she is beautiful. It’s wonderful to see a real girl like Jesy standing up and saying it is not ok to judge others based on their physical attributes or their size. Jesy is also famous for her full hair and forever flawless makeup. I think she has the perfect nose for a nose piercing (hint, hint). Her look consists of simple double gem belly rings, large cocktail rings, drop chain earrings with spikes, combat boots, black or dark clothing, curve hugging dresses and shorts, the occasional bikini, chains, leather, and fun graphic t-shirts and leggings. Jesy’s body jewelry style is elegant and blingy, something that will really catch the sun on the beach.

Jesy and her belly piercing

Jade Thirlwall is a beautiful and youthful tomboy of sorts. Her style is a good mix of masculine inspired looks mixed with delicate femininity. Although she does not have her belly button pierced (yet) I think it would look fabulous on her, and if anyone should have facial piercings in this group I can see her with them. She would look amazing with a set of snakebites.  Jade has long flowing mermaid hair; it has been several colors including red, bright blue, and purple. Her style is slightly boyish but always flattering. Light colored skinny jeans with a cut-off graphic midriff baring t-shit, her signature big hair bows, simple gold hoop earrings, crop tops with suspenders and short shorts, and for shoes creepers and Chuck Taylors. She has appropriately quoted the line “Too fly to care” on a custom crop t-shirt, which suits the personality of not only Jade, but the entire group. Jade’s jewelry style is fun and flirty, anything with bows or graphics such as cherries or wings.

Jade and her alternative hair

Lee Ann Pinnock puts an urban spin on her feminine yet still boyish look. I love when she rocks the intricately braided do; it looks absolutely fantastic on her. She often wears baggy pants and tight crop tops that expose her beautifully pierced belly button. I think her look is reminiscent of 1990s Salt n Pepa or TLC chic. Lee Ann also has a tattoo spanning across her right shoulder. It’s a line of sheet music with butterflies. For accessories she is often seen with a big gold chain, gold hoop earrings, and a splash of red lipstick. (She would look fabulous with multiple facial piercings filled with gold jewelry.) Lee Ann’s body jewelry style is gold and bright, neon embellished jewelry that stands out. Musical note jewelry would compliment her tattoo.

LeeAnn and her cute tattoo

Perrie Edwards is the Mixer with the most buzz around her. Perrie is dating the sexy Zayn Malik from One Directon , who himself has stretched lobes and tattoos. He even has a tattoo dedicated to his girlfriend. Perrie recently made big news on Twitter and Tumblr with her brand new nape and nostril piercing. She also has her tragus and lobes pierced. She rocks a basic surgical steel ball captive ring in her tragus, a basic silver surface bar in her nape piercing, and a simple diamond solitaire nose ring. I think she would look absolutely amazing with a Monroe piercing; I wonder if she would ever consider it?

Perrie and her nape piercing

Perrie has had a plethora of colorful hairstyles including bleach blonde hair, blonde and red ombre, purple, and faded lavender. On her feet she rocks combat boots (New Rocks), Chuck Taylors, and Jeffrey Campbell shoes. For her wardrobe acid wash denim jumpers or overalls, bright sun dresses, leather and lace, pastels, super hero-esque costumes, studded everything,  rosary jewelry, graphic t-shirts, fringe, babydoll collars, brimmed hats, and sunglasses. Perrie’s body jewelry style is girly and rebellious. Think skulls with flowers or bows, matte black with lavender or pink accents, and don’t forget the spikes.

Perrie and her many shades

Little Mix is currently huge in the UK but I think that it is just a matter of time before these sweet girls become a household name worldwide. As cute as they are hip, the girls of Little Mix are a great spearhead for acceptance of all bodies and body modification in pop culture. They are a perfect example of alternative style bleeding into the mainstream. DNA is their next album and it will hit American stores on May 28th. Since the UK seems to find out about good things before we do, I recommend checking them out.

the girls of Little Mix

Perrie Style: My hair is dyed blonde with pink on the tips and my friend Nico sports lavender locks.

my fun pink doNico's cute lavender locks

Celebrity Piercings – Girl Meets Body Piercing

Danielle Fishel as Topanga from Boy Meets World

I was highly interested when I saw the name Topanga trending on Twitter the other day. So many wonderful images flooded into my mind… oh sweet nostalgia. Being a child in the nineties I loved Boy Meets World, I mean who didn’t? That show taught me a lot about, well a lot of things. Danielle Fishel, the actress who played Topanga Lawrence, was a trendsetter and an icon for girls in my generation. She was intelligent and mature. Every girl wanted to be just like her, and her cover shot and spread in the April issue of Maxim proves that not much has changed. Even now I still want to be just like her. The only difference is now Danielle Fishel is not the same wholesome little girl she used to be. Now 31, she is all grown up: sexy, toned, and proudly showing off her beautiful belly button piercing.

Danielle Fishel in the 90s and right now

Danielle sports a simple, sophisticated white gold, diamond belly ring in her Maxim shoot. She proves that body piercings look beautiful on people of all ages, not that 31 is old by any means, just that she has been sporting the piercing since she was a teen. Sophisticated and elegant jewelry makes any piercings’ transition into adulthood a little bit smoother and it’s very easy to update your look to reflect your age. A more professional approach to body modification styling involves basic steel, silver, or gold jewelry with petite rhinestones or diamonds. This subtle, yet still noticeable, look is fantastic with any professional or casual attire.

Danielle Fishel and her cute belly piercing

Danielle has been dealing with the topic of body piercing since very early in her career. Before her Boy Meets World success, she also appeared briefly on the popular television show Full House. She played Jennifer, one of the girls who pressured Stephanie Tanner into getting her ears pierced. I remember this episode very clearly. It advocated going to a professional to get your piercings done. That’s a very important message, and many teenagers and young adults unsuccessfully attempt at-home body modification. In the show, even though she begged, Stephanie was told she couldn’t get pierced. She then went behind her father’s back and allowed her friend to pierce her ears. Shortly after doing the piercing her ears became badly infected. The moral is that self piercing can lead to infection and other serious health risks. It is so progressive and awesome when television shows deal with real issues that real kids and teenagers face. I didn’t have my ears pierced yet at that point in my life. I remember having the “piercing” talk with my parents shortly after seeing that episode. Thankfully, I was lucky enough to have parents who supported my decision to get my ears pierced; they took me to a professional, and thus began my addiction.

I also remember watching Danielle on TRL (Total Request Live) back in the late nineties. Quickly into the interview she stuck her tongue out to prove that the rumors about her having a tongue piercing were un-true. She had mentioned in a teen magazine that she did in fact want to get her tongue pierced, but had not gone forward with it. In that same interview she revealed that she did in fact have her belly button pierced and had a small tattoo on her back. Again, this was one of the first times that I remember seeing a star, especially a girl, talking openly about their body modifications. TRL and the media at large would eventually be filled with pop stars that advocated acceptance of body modification in pop culture, and innovated the industry’s standards of beauty. Besides Danielle, other stars like Beyonce Knowles, Christina Aguilera, Jessica Alba, and Brittney Spears showed off their belly piercings for the world to see. Every magazine had at least one sweet and stunning girl showing off her midriff bling. These superstars inspired millions of girls worldwide to get their navels pierced. When wholesome girls began promoting body piercing in such a fashion it helped to make all piercings less taboo and more acceptable for an everyday person to partake in the trend. “Well, if she has it pierced it can’t be that bad” was a statement that many of my friend’s parents uttered. This was an epic win for my generation. Body piercing was no longer seen as a deviant behavior that was only meant for prisoners and bikers.

Watching old episodes of Boy Meets World is like looking into a time capsule from my youth. I tuned in every single Friday for TGIF. I am excited about Girl Meets World, the new show starring Danielle Fishel and Ben Savage (Cory Matthews).  It’s very rare to be able to see a character’s development from child to parent,and now the tables will be turned and they’ll be dealing with the same (and different) issues that their own parents had to deal with. I know personally, I look forward to the day that my future children ask for their first piercing or tattoo. I’m definitely going to make sure that they are safe and smart about their decisions.

90s television show Boy Meets World

My hope is that Girl Meets World will still deal with real life coming of age stories, such as first love and body piercings, in the same educational, sincere, and optimistic way that the original series did. It is important for young kids and teenagers to have positive role models who are going through the same real life changes as them. It is also just as significant for people who are now mature adults to realize that your piercings can grow up with you and translate to a more sophisticated style. Danielle Fishel is a timeless beauty who has successfully transcended time and remained relevant in a highly saturated culture because she is relatable, genuine, and it doesn’t hurt that her adorable pierced belly looks better than it ever has.

Wearing Rings in the Ring – Pierced Professional Wrestlers

piercings and tattoos in professional wrestling

Modern professional wrestling is all about the spectacle. It’s the ultimate display of power. The glitz, the drama, and the action are what keep people across the world intrigued and obsessed with this sport. Wrestlers are flamboyant and wear flashy costumes to stand out from the crowd and intimidate their opponents. Body modification goes hand in hand with the professional wrestling culture. A majority of wrestlers, both male and female, have visible tattoos. There are a lot of professional wrestlers who are also pierced or have other body modifications.

This may seem dangerous, because piercings can be accidentally ripped or pulled while performing. Exposed nipple and belly piercings would be most in danger during a match. However, these characters live life on the edge and laugh at the idea of pain. Piercings and tattoos add to the tough personas and promote individuality.

Female wrestlers are inspirational knock outs. They are a great example of strong women excelling in a (formerly) male dominated sport. Common piercings for female wrestlers are belly button, tongue, and lip. The two piece, midriff showing costumes are practically made for showing off a navel piercing. Female professional wrestling is more than just a cat fight. They’re multifaceted athletes, performers, musicians, and just plain fabulous.  Many of the Divas also do swimsuit and fashion modeling to show off their fit bodies and beautiful modifications.

modified wrestling Divas

Angeline Love is a five time TNA champion and has her belly button, ears, and lip pierced. Sofia Cortez has a belly piercing and tattoos. Britani Knight has a belly ring and her lip pierced. Her mother, professional wrestler Sweet Saraya Knight, has her lip and belly pierced as well. I think it’s so cool that this mother-daughter wrestling duo have the same piercings. I wish my mom was that accepting of body modification.

female modified wrestling stars

Lita is the lead singer of The Luchagors as well as a former WWE Diva; she has tattoos, multiple ear piercings, and a double tongue piercing. Ashley Massaro is most famous for wrestling but also has appeared on “Survivor: China” and was featured in Playboy.  She has tattoos, multiple ear piercings, snakebites, and also had her Monroe done at one time. Christina Von Eerie is in two different punk bands (Spit and Puke), and has a lip piercing and multiple tattoos.  These girls have a wild, punk rock style and would all look awesome in spiked body jewelry. Colorful spiked horseshoes look amazing in a variety of piercings and they’re a cheap way to make sure your body jewelry always matches the color of your mohawk.

famous female wrestlers with pierced belly buttons

Michelle McCool was a middle school teacher before turning to wrestling; she has a belly button piercing. Imagine seeing your middle school teacher in a wrestling ring? So awesome! Velvet Sky has tattoos and her belly button pierced and Jeannie Kim has her belly button pierced too. Other professional female wrestlers with piercings: Jazz has an eyebrow piercing, and Lufisto, Eve, Gail Kim, Emma, and Jessie McKay all have their belly buttons pierced.

Belly rings are very popular among female wrestlers. During matches it’s best to wear belly rings that are small and close to the body, to help prevent them from getting caught. For facial jewelry, push in studs and anything bioplast is recommended, again to prevent catching. Retainers are also available for those who want to play it safe while participating in high impact sports.

Some of my favorite photos of these amazing women are not when they are in the ring. Obviously they have a little bit more freedom with what they can wear in their belly piercings in a photoshoot than in the wrestling ring. While modeling bikinis, sparkly nautical belly rings look fantastic. Clear, dangly, crystal belly rings also look amazing on sun kissed tan skin. Body jewelry with neon balls is very beach ready too.

Now for the boys! Here is a sampling of some of the famous (and infamous) pierced male professional wrestlers:

WWE stars with piercings and tattoos

CM Punk is a straightedge, which is a subculture that doesn’t partake in drugs and alcohol. He has tons of tattoos plus his lower lip, ears, and tongue pierced. Shannon Moore is a punk rocker who owns his own tattoo parlor, wears his hair in a mohawk, and has his septum and ears pierced. Jeff Hardy is famous for being on a tag team with his brother Matt. He has tattoos and his lip and ears pierced. All of these boys are pictured wearing basic steel jewelry in their piercings. I have noticed this trend in a lot of the pierced manly men that I know. Generally they only wear basic steel or black jewelry.

wrestling stars with body piercings

Jesse Neal was in the Navy before wrestling. He has tribal tattoos and his tongue, ears, and labret pierced. A-Train (also known as Prince Albert) is a giant of a man who is obviously not afraid of pain. He was one of the founders of the Pierced Pals tag team wrestling group. A-Train has tribal tattoos and his nose, septum, three lip, multiple ear, cheeks, nipples, and tongue pierced. Besides wrestling, R-Truth is a rapper who has tattoos, ear, lip, and a double eyebrow piercing. Other known pierced male wrestlers are Batista: ears, nose, and tongue piercing. Brock Lesnar: tongue piercing. Balls Mahoney: ears,eyebrow, and tongue piercings. Snitsky: tongue piercing. Eric Hartsburg: 3 lip piercings. Darren Drozdoff: tongue and other various piercings. And Lou Albano: ear and facial piercings (he often puts a rubber band through a surface piercing on his cheek).

I love wrestling. It is all about the show, so flashy and fantastic. It is obvious why individuals who are pierced and tattooed are attracted to this sport. Strength is more than a physical thing; it’s also being able to be yourself. It is awesome to see these pierced and tattooed role models on such a large scale.

(I am sure there are more pierced or formally pierced wrestlers out there that I am missing. If you know of any please fill me in by leaving a comment. )


Celebrity Piercing Trend – Nipple Rings

scandalous celebrity piercings

And the award for most visible body piercing goes to…

Rihanna! She “shocked” us all when she arrived at the Staples Center in LA for this year’s Grammy Awards in a very shear, red Alaia dress that showed off one of her body modifications. She however did not encounter a full on nip slip, just the outline of her nipple ring through the shear material on the top of the dress was enough to cause a sensation. The Grammys supposedly have a very strict dress code. We all know that rules are made to be broken, especially when “bad girl” celebrities like Rihanna are involved. Guests even received a memo that stated “Please be sure that buttocks and female breasts are adequately covered.” Also “Bare sides or under curvature of the breasts is also problematic. Please avoid sheer see-through clothing that could possibly expose female breast nipples.”

singer Rihanna at the 2013 Grammy Awards

Ri-Ri and her stylists must have missed that one, or perhaps they go by the “all press is good press” theory. On the red carpet her piercings became a hotter topic than her tumultuous relationship with Chris Brown. The singer has been photographed several times in revealing clothing that shows off her right nipple piercing. Rihanna’s bestie Katy Perry even tweeted about catching a glimpse of her piercing in the video for “California King Bed.” Rihanna is a wild child and I hope she never changes.

a scene from Rihanna's video

There are many other celebrities with nipple rings. Janet Jackson’s sun nipple shield was made famous during the 2004 Super bowl half time show. Justin Timberlake accidently exposed Janet’s piercing; it was a worldwide wardrobe malfunction.  Christina Aguilera has a nipple piercing on her right breast and has been photographed in shear outfits that reveal her nipple jewelry. She is said to have 11 additional piercings. Model and recording artist Amber Rose had both of her nipples pierced before taking them out for pregnancy. Nicole Richie has hers pierced as well. It is rumored that Richie once set off a security alarm at the Reno Airport because of her piercings.

celebrities with nipple piercings

Musician Dave Navarro (Jane’s Addiction) has a significant amount of body jewelry, including bling on his right nipple. The singer Pink has her nipple pierced also. The actual piercing was filmed backstage at one of her concerts  for her Live in Europe DVD. Other celebrities with known nipple piercings include Tommy Lee (Mötley Crüe) , basketball star Dennis Rodman, musician Lenny Kravitz, and Axl Rose (Guns and Roses). I am sure there are many, many more! Who else do you think has a nipple piercing? Who do you think would look good with one?

Body Modification – I Blame Barbie

pierced and tattooed Barbie doll

My fascination with piercing and body modification started very early in life.  Like most girls, I painted makeup on my dolls, chopped and dyed their hair, pierced them, and gave them all tattoos. I knew then that things could be modified and personalized, even the body. At the time I could do to my Barbie doll what I could not do to myself, I lived through her in a weird way. I knew that someday I would have colorful hair and piercings, and it is all her fault. Generations of girls have used their Barbie dolls to discover fashion and develop their own style. Barbie has become an icon and a role model. I remember spending endless hours changing her clothes and making up lives and personalities for all of my dolls.

tattooed Barbie dolls

Barbie is certainly an interesting character in pop culture. She is the “perfect” woman and is often judged for giving young girls a false idea of perfection and unrealistic expectations of what a woman should look like. The right hair, makeup, accessories, figure, friends, and boyfriend are all you need for a perfect plastic life.  It is illogical to think that anyone can measure up to those standards of beauty. There are some women who haven taken extreme measures, and gone through plastic surgery, to look like the doll.  If she was a real person she would break in half from the weight of her breasts. That to me is much more frightening than a woman with piercings and tattoos.

In 1999, Mattel released a Butterfly Art Barbie that came with a permanent tattoo on Barbie’s stomach and in 2009, there was  the infamous Totally Stylin’ Barbie. The fact that the doll came equipped with a “tattoo gun” is what bothered parents the most, although it’s really just used to put the tattoo stickers on. In 2011 the controversial Tokidoki Barbie was released. She has pink hair, stilettos, a cactus-covered pet, oh yea, and is covered in tattoos. Tokidoki’s tattoos are actually inked on. Her upper body is covered with exotic looking tattoos, including a large flower covering her chest and a tiger that curls up her neck. Some parents don’t think it appropriate for little girls to be playing with a tattoo covered Barbie. They say it’s sending the wrong message to their kids.

modern modified Barbie doll

There are other dolls on the market that sport piercings, tattoos, colorful hair and alternative fashion as well. Bratz, Monster High, and My Scene Dolls are all examples of this trend in toys. There is also a growing trend in collectable doll modification. Artists are adding body modifications and embellishments to dolls. There are countless DIY instructional videos and tutorials on how to modify your doll. You can learn everything from piercing a doll’s ears with a staple, to how to stretch it, to branding and tattooing your doll. Much more advanced and sophisticated than the “modifications” I was giving my dolls when I was young.

Hard Rock's Rock N Roll doll

The best toys reflect real life. All of my friends have piercings and tattoos, therefore their children will have pierced and tattooed parents. 1 in 4 Americans now have at least one tattoo. Tokidoki Barbie is just a reflection of a more accepting attitude toward body ink and alternative fashion in general. Body art and modification are not going anywhere, and the times are finally reflecting that.  Many children have parents with tattoos and piercings. Tattooed moms everywhere are applauding that it’s about time there’s a Barbie that looks like them. Piercings and tattoos are not a measure of character. I think that dolls that have body modification are a step in the right direction and a sign that the world is changing for the better. It is great to see positive examples of piercings and tattoos in children’s entertainment.  Tokidoki Barbie is a positive example for children not to judge, and reflects that regardless of what someone chooses to do with their skin, they are beautiful.

Hungry for Fashion – Why We Love Effie Trinket

A big thank you to the stylists on the new movie The Hunger Games for finally making fun and fearless alternative makeup, unnaturally gorgeous hair colors, and gems/piercings that are purposefully visible on the face fashionable in an entirely mainstream sort of way.  Hunger Games character Effie Trinket (brought to life by Elizabeth Banks) may be from a different generation, but we actually have a few things in common.  We both have fair skin, change our hair color almost every time we change clothes, and enjoy the feminine beauty of a strategically placed Swarovski crystal or two (or ten, haha.)

Effie Trinket and changing looks

The real story of Effie’s interesting makeup in the best photos that have been released by the Hunger Games team, is the cute little crystal on her cheek.  While I’m sure Elizabeth Banks didn’t go out and get herself a microdermal piercing for the role, the way it mimics one definitely seems intentional.

Hunger Games alternative makeup

And lets not forget that the Effie character’s alternative fashion sense has already sparked a noticeable rise in frosted violet wig sales, and, among other things, a Hunger Games inspired photo shoot starring alt fashion icon Audrey Kitching.  (For those of you who don’t know Miss Audrey by the way, she’s been a driving force in the resurgence of the Monroe piercing.)

Hunger Games inspired photo shoot

On a softer note, the stunning maquillage seen recurrently on Effie in the movie is actually quite reminiscent of the images seen in recent campaigns from some major luxury cosmetics superpowers, like Dior and Illamasqua.  This of course begs the everlasting question of gothic and alternative fashion: “does art imitate life, or does life imitate art?”

makeup from Illamasqua and Dior

I’d prefer to think that it’s a little bit of both.


Celebrity Piercing Trend – Dermals and Surface Piercing

As the body modification industry grows through the inventions, innovations, and creativity of its proponents and resident artists, dermal implants and surface piercing are headed into the mainstream.  And who better to give them that extra little push than our favorite sports stars and movie and music celebrities?

When pop superstar Lady Gaga unveiled her “subdermal implants” about one year ago on the Jay Leno Show, dermal implants and piercings were thrust into the spotlight.  Gaga is hardly the first celebrity to choose surface piercings or dermals to express herself creatively, but she did happen to be the most theatrical and high profile.  Although her “implants” which consisted of ridges on the forehead, cheekbones, and nose turned out to be nothing more than cleverly applied and convincing prosthetics, the world at large was suddenly taking notice of dermals.

Lady Gaga's faux subdermal implants

NFL player Stevie Johnson (wide receiver for the Buffalo Bills) has actually had a microdermal piercing for about two years in a very noticeable place: the cheek.  And he recently revealed that the piercing itself was a spur of the moment decision while vacationing in Vegas with a cousin, who also got pierced.  So how did most of us never notice until now?  In order to protect the piercing during rough and tumble game play, Stevie usually covers it with a band aid while on the field.

Stevie Johnson's cool microdermal cheek piercing

Another popular celebrity with less conventional piercings is lovely Italian actress Asia Argento.  Argento has a large surface piercing at the back of her neck, generally referred to as a nape piercing, and it too has recently caught media attention.  Some celebrities have even become famous through social networking for having microdermal and subdermal implants, like Pauly Unstoppable, who has several piercings, dermals, and stretch mods in his face and ears.

Asia Argento nape surface piercing