This second piercing on my ear feels like a tiny rebellion. All my life, being Filipino, there is a sense of maintaining status quo and being the quintessential Filipino girl. We don’t shake things up. We’re not “edgy” or “angsty”. We are sweet and giving and lighthearted. Well, I am, I think. But I’m many other things, too. Being the good, dutiful girl your family always needs doesn’t allow for those other aspects to shine.
My first earrings were pierced into my ears when I was three months old. I had no choice. But you’re expected to keep it at that limit for the rest of your life. I have a boyfriend who has always disliked my mental flirtation with multiple piercings. He associates my one pair of piercings with “purity”. I’m not quite sure what he means by that, but it has nothing to do with me; that is all in his head and I finally decided I’ma do me. Nonetheless, he respects it and doesn’t grimace (too much) whenever he sees it.
My second piercing feels like an homage to my music taste, a world where musicians and artists ornament their skin with vivid tattoos and piercings prolifically. It’s like with this second piercing now, I’m saying “hey, I belong to your world now” or “my externals are starting to match my internals”. And that feels good.
Nowhere am I close to looking like I belong on the cover of NME magazine or anything. In fact, I probably look no different from far away—dark hair, short, a grin on my face… But this little piece of penetrated real estate on my ear feels like progress, like I marched the streets in a parade, with the soldiers of Expectation and Tradition stoically standing at the very end… And I reached out to them, put a flower on their guns, and won. My very own minuscule revolution.