When I was 17, I got on a NJTransit bus to New York City and got my septum pierced on St. Marks, at a place that had no windows and didn’t ask for my ID. I wanted it because I loved the way it looked, and my mother wouldn’t let me get my nostril pierced until I turned 18. At the time, I wore heavy eye makeup and had two-tone hair and wore my studded belt sideways, so you could say it wasn’t all that unexpected for me to get it done.
I had the piercing in for about 6 years, only officially retiring it after I had to take it out when getting ACL surgery and ending up losing one of the beads. I had barely wore it down at that point, because I’d finally gotten my nostril ring and I just felt it was too much metal for not enough nose. There are times that I miss it, but mostly, I’m glad I let that part of me move on.
But recently, I’ve been seeing a trend that makes my heart ache a little bit. Elaborate, fraudulent clicker rings hanging from noses of wannabe-Instagram stars, dangling jewels and turquoise stones. The fake septum ring that fashion bloggers, street stylers, and musicians are wearing kind of completely bums me out. It’s just something I honestly cannot support. And, I think, rightfully so.
Listen, I wasn’t the most popular kid in my high school. The emo/scene kids in any school were never popular, and once I got my septum pierced and wore it around school without flipping it up, it solidified my freak status to all those around me that weren’t in on it. My teachers constantly wore concerned looks and I was the butt of many, many jokes..
Now, the same girls that called me a bull and made fun of me when we went on El Toro at Six Flags for a class trip, the ones that would yell that I had a booger in my nose whenever I walked by them, are the same girls that now clog up my Instagram feed with their fake clickers and bejeweled clip on rings. I would get bullied about my style, which yes, leaned more towards emo/goth than I would care to admit, but now it’s The Thing to take that ’90s goth style and make it your own, including a fake septum ring. And to me, that’s just not fair.
Yes, part of me is pulling the “I did it before it was cool” card, but more so, it’s about the fact that the style of a septum ring used to be reserved for the outcasts, the so-called “freaks,” me and my friends that would get bullied on a regular basis for liking a certain style. I feel completely unjustified that this fashion trend is the same one that I would consistently be ridiculed for, a choice that had nothing to do with these people.
I did not get my septum actually pierced for it to become a fashionable trend, I did it for the exact opposite reason (#angstyteen). There are articles upon articles about how a fake septum ring is the newest hot accessory, because making the decision to have a large piece of metal shoved through my nose cartilage was to score me more Internet points and give me of a shot at being on a street style blog. No, I was a rebellious teenager that wanted a piercing that I could hide from my mom.
Fake, fashionable septum rings are basically the new fake hipster glasses, something I know people are divided on ten years after it became a trend. But my advice? Don’t fake your way through fashion, because the people that have sacrificed something (like getting pierced or having terrible vision), will think you’re fake anyway.