I've been the Body Art Editor for almost eight years now, and if there's one topic that's been hot with body art readers all that time, it's got to be pierced noses. It's the number one topic I get email about, and as I've branched out to writing on other sites, it's proven itself a topic that just won't quit. For nearly a decade, interest in this particular piercing just has shown no signs of waning yet.
The interest in nose rings has truly penetrated the mainstream, and it's the number one body modification that teens and parents are clashing about. And it turns out it's probably the number one or number two body modification that employees and workers clash about. I get a lot of email from people asking how they can hide or downplay a nose piercing (in short, you can't) so that they can continue to have some job where the piercing isn't allowed.
I've got polls up and running at some of the various sites where I have content, and it's clear that although the employer side of the argument is digging in and making sure there are clear rules, public opinion has shifted from nose rings being shocking, or edgy, to downright normal.
Over at Squidoo.com, over 14,000 people have responded to a poll asking why they came to that particular lens, and just over 49% were looking to get their noses pierced. A further 30% said they already had a nose piercing. Just under 2% identified themselves as parents of a piercing-craving teen. If you look at the pierced and the wanna-be pierced, that's 70% who are into the idea. Further down that same lens is a section where people can sound off either pro or con to nose piercing. When you look at the just-over 200 comments, there are only thirty-nine commenters who have chosen to support the idea that employers have the right to make employees take out nose piercings.
Over on HubPages, a poll that asks if people think employers are over-reacting when they make employees take out nose rings has had nearly 8,000 people respond to it and the results are similar in response. 92% of the respondents think nose piercings are no big deal, with only 8% feeling they are unprofessional in appearance.
So, with all this public support, when will the nose piercing pendulum really swing over to the side of acceptance? My guess is no more than twenty years. When I was in high school, about twenty-five years ago, black nail polish was shocking and unseemly, the stuff of punk rockers. Now that the particular generation who shocked by wearing it then have become parents and consumers, it's an acceptable fashion statement. When the teens and twenty-somethings of today become managers and business owners, they're going to be fine with employees wearing nose rings as they'll have been wearing their own nose rings for a few decades.