Beauty Trends From History: Have You Ever Considered A Lip Piercing?

I am a total body modification wuss. No tattoos, no piercings – I don’t even have pierced ears. Which does not stop some boyfriends from buying me earrings. I’m sure that a healthy percentage of my readers are more ballsy about these things. But just like I look at pierced ears and think “ouch, no thanks.” I’m sure that even the most inked and pierced of you have the same type of reaction to more extreme body modifications. You know, like this:


You’re looking at a lip plate worn by a woman of the Mursi tribe of southwest Ethiopia. Lip plates remain de rigeur for women of the tribe, which numbers about 10,000 people. They are basically enormous lip piercings, with the largest measuring almost 5 inches across. Not every woman chooses to stretch her lip that far, but almost every female has her four lower middle teeth removed in childhood to accommodate the plate later on.

Again, ouch

Face tattoo? Ear gages? Suck it, adventurous people. I want to see you walking around Williamsburg like this before I’m taking you seriously.

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    • Samantha_Escobar

      I used to have my ears and septum stretched, though I sadly had to stop wearing my jewelry for medical reasons. It took me years to get to the sizes I wanted because stretching, like you discussed, is supposed to take a very long time and show a lot of patience. Plus, it didn’t remotely hurt when I did mine because I waited so long in between sizes (which is why I get kind of sassy at people when they tell me they “shoved their gaugez” in their ears, which is silly and terrible for your body).

      I’m really glad you wrote about this topic; it’s definitely one of the most interesting cultural traditions in the world! :)

    • kj

      Gotta say, I’m definitely not down with the teeth removing part of this process. Eek.

    • Honestwriter

      you ever mention the sources of your information or your pictures? Ever heard of copyright, my dear??? Just thinking… how would you like it, if we lifted your blogs?