First of all, I don’t feel like this is a fair question to ask, simply because everyone has a different pain tolerance level. For me, the needle being shoved through my nose did little more than make my eyes water. My cousin Clare, on the other hand, claimed that the pain was worse than child birth. It really just depends.
2. Why did you do it?
For a long time, I would just answer this question with a quick shrug and a “just because” and move on, but as of recently, that question has really started to bother me. Adults don’t ask why I paint my finger nails teal. They don’t ask why I wear socks with my Birkenstocks (which, let’s be honest, is a far trashier look than any nose ring will ever be). Nail polish, Birkenstocks and nose rings are all the same thing: a source of self-expression. But the nose ring is the only one that ever gets questioned.
I pierced it because I thought it would be cool. There’s nothing more to that explanation; no deeper emotional meaning. I was just a sophomore girl who wanted to do something out of the norm to make herself stand out.
But now I look at my nose ring as my ultimate form of expression. As far as physical features go, I would say it’s the one that defines me most. Even though there are many girls now with nose studs or rings, I still feel unique with mine.
3. Can you take it out?
There are two ways for me to answer this question:
The first is the answer that you’re really looking for: yes.
When I went back to Freaks On Broadway seven months after I pierced my nose to change the stud to a ring, Irene, the lady who pierced and changed my nose ring, told me that if I ever wanted to take the ring out, I could come back to Freaks and they would do it for me.
Apparently, you have to twist both sides of the ring so the little ball connecting them together pops out. So the answer is yes, I can take it out, but I haven’t tried it myself because I’m too nervous about losing the connecting silver ball.
The real answer, the one that you’re probably not looking for, is no.
I honestly can’t bring myself to take it out. This probably sounds like a cliche, but my nose ring has become a part of me, and I can’t picture myself without it. The only time I’ve ever considered taking it out was for East’s production of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream,” and that was only because the director asked me to. Even then, I was hesitant to remove it. Luckily for me, a nose ring happens to fit right in character with the Queens of the Amazons.
Look, I like my nose ring and I recognize that it’s an unconventional form of self-expression. If I ever decide to tattoo my eyebrows onto my face, then you can jump in and ask me these questions. Keep in mind the next time you see someone with a piercing or a tattoo they’ve probably heard the question you’re going to ask a million times. And chances are, whether you approve or not, they genuinely like the way they look.