Earlobes are classy, noses are not?
February 12, 2010 8:41 PM   Subscribe

Are nose piercings inherently trashy?

I want to get a subtle nose piercing but I'm having a lot of doubts about whether I'll look trashy or not. This has been an ongoing debate among my group of friends for months. Can a nose piercing be classy, or would it negatively impact other people's opinions of me?

If it matters, I'm a white college age female.
posted by pecknpah to Clothing, Beauty, & Fashion (90 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Are nose piercings inherently trashy?

People have different views about piercings, influenced by their ideas about beauty, spirituality, sexuality, and class. So the answer to your question is NO, they are not inherently trashy, neither are they inherently classy.

Trashy is in the eye of the beholder.

And if you don't like it, you can always take it out.
posted by hermitosis at 8:45 PM on February 12, 2010

Since you're asking, I'll admit that I have totally unfair negative preconceptions about white college-aged women with nose piercings.

This only extends to the little jewel type piercings though. If it's an actual ring, then it is just another piece of jewelry that can look good or bad depending on the person.
posted by 256 at 8:46 PM on February 12, 2010

I think a teeny tiny little metal stud isn't trashy. I had a friend get one and I didn't even notice for weeks. I think a ring or a rhinestone stud, or anything that really draws attention to itself is lame. You could just get it, and if you get negative reactions or whatever or just don't like it, you can take it out.
posted by greta simone at 8:47 PM on February 12, 2010

I don't see them as trashy but I do see them as being a little stereotypically exotic. I guess I associate them with India, so if a girl isn't someone who could pass as coming from that culture, it seems a little strange. But only as strange as, maybe, getting a kanji tattoo and not being Japanese, which is to say, not strange at all. For what it's worth, a good friend of mine dates a white 20-something girl with a subtle nose piercing; I think it's a little distracting when her stud catches the light, but my friend thinks it is incredibly attractive.

I would assume lots of other things before I went to "trashy" when seeing someone with a nose piercing. If you want to decorate yourself, you should do it however you see fit.
posted by Mizu at 8:50 PM on February 12, 2010 [3 favorites]

It's a generational thing, too. I don't like them, but then, I'm old.
posted by AsYouKnow Bob at 8:51 PM on February 12, 2010

I think it'd depend on your own personal definition of "trashy." I suspect mine differs wildly from yours, because I don't find nose piercings trashy in the least. I find nostril rings especially attractive.
posted by lekvar at 8:53 PM on February 12, 2010

Since you're asking, I'll admit that I have totally unfair positive preconceptions about white college-aged women with nose piercings.
posted by mreleganza at 8:57 PM on February 12, 2010 [7 favorites]

Depends on what defines trashy, I guess. I'm 38, and have worn nostril jewelry since I was 30, but only in my free time. The business world is not necessarily ready for it, though it depends on what you do, I suppose. I wore a good amount of fishing line in the early days.

There is something to be said for doing it when you have plenty of time to get it established before you have to start swapping out for practical purposes. It's not a hole that closes quickly once you get a year or so out.
posted by Lyn Never at 8:59 PM on February 12, 2010

I'm one of those people who will think you look at least a little bit trashy. Other people won't think that. No matter what you do to your appearance someone won't like it. If you want to get the piercing, get the piercing.
posted by Nattie at 8:59 PM on February 12, 2010

In and of itself, it can look classy and pretty hot (speaking as a guy), if we're talking about the subtle stud type that you sometimes don't even notice. Anything more, and it can be distracting and seem a bit extreme.

If you appear fairly conservative, then it adds a bit of personality and uniqueness. If you're already pretty out there (and I'm guessing you're not, given your slight insecurity), it's just another accessory. So either way, I don't really see how it'd come off as inherently trashy. And I also don't think it'd come off as jumping on a trend (well, unless everyone in your area is doing it).

And I can only guess, but I'd doubt that people's reaction to you would be visibly worse. Not sure if you'll suddenly become more aware of people glancing at your nose, though. But I say go for it. You're at the perfect age for such stylistic experiments.
posted by TheSecretDecoderRing at 8:59 PM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

Depends on the piercing, I'd guess... radical body piercing had one last hurrah in the early aughts with ear loops/plugs and big septum piercings, but it's really a creature of the mid-late '90s. Gold hoops through the nostril or septum are probably passé, but to my eye, the nose-stud is classic.

I went to school with an Indian woman in the early '90s who rocked a small silver nose-stud, but she also had a bindi and sari to go with (and chunky-heeled platform mary-janes) - and more recently I worked with a woman who wore business skirt-suits and also had a small diamond nose-stud, and she was blond and a junior executive in a pretty conservative industry. The look just worked for her. My current boss has two gold hoops through his left ear, and we're in a =real= conservative industry.

I'd go for subtlety over outré, as radical piercing is a Gen-X or hippie stoner thing these days... bright clashing colors and cosplay-meets-everyday are the new rebellion.
posted by Slap*Happy at 9:01 PM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Just don't wear a chain from your nostril to your ear and you'll be set.
posted by dfriedman at 9:01 PM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

Trashy? No. Gross? Yes.
posted by Justinian at 9:01 PM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

If I got one, it would definitely be a tiny stud.
posted by pecknpah at 9:03 PM on February 12, 2010

It's almost entirely generational. People my age (26) or younger don't care--pretty much totally neutral, unless it's aesthetically unpleasing.

People of my parents' generation, they tend to think it's a "statement" of some sort. Or they just don't like it. A few (mostly folks with kids who have piercings) have very little reaction to it.

(All from personal experience, btw. I have a 12 gauge ring in my left nostril. And I'm a white 26 year old male.)
posted by Netzapper at 9:07 PM on February 12, 2010

Tiny nose studs on college-age women are incredibly common. Trashy? Probably not. Cliche? Perhaps, depending on where you live.
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:08 PM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

They can look classy.

I knew someone once who had a teeny tiny stud. But it was so small it was hard to see what it was, and so it was a little weird.
posted by SLC Mom at 9:08 PM on February 12, 2010

Well, for what it's worth one of our HR people has a nostril stud. And she's the classiest and most professional thing that breathes, for serious.
posted by Neofelis at 9:09 PM on February 12, 2010

I have a diamond stud. I am a conservative dresser and a college professor in a traditionally conservative field. I have had no adverse reactions to it, and I circulate in non-academic places quite often, and very often for business. I wear it because for all the faults one can find with this position, I like jewelry of all kinds.
posted by oflinkey at 9:09 PM on February 12, 2010

I knew a girl who had a tiny ring in her septum, it was embarrassing to even look at.

Seconding dfreidman and Slap*Happy.
posted by Max Power at 9:12 PM on February 12, 2010

A good friend in college with a nose piercing did a study abroad in India, and all the little old Indian grandmothers thought she was a nice proper girl.
posted by leahwrenn at 9:13 PM on February 12, 2010 [7 favorites]

Nice little stud = cool.

Giant thing that reminds me alternately of metal snot hanging from your nose, or something you put on a bull = stuuuuuuuuuupid!
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 9:13 PM on February 12, 2010

I'm not sure what it is, but I've seen girls of all colors pull it off - no difference in stud size than other girls. I'm going to conclude that it had a lot more to do with how subtle it was (not only size, but color) and how she dressed and was holding herself otherwise.

I find that professional women that can rock a nose stud are incredibly hot.
posted by june made him a gemini at 9:14 PM on February 12, 2010

If you appear fairly conservative, then it adds a bit of personality and uniqueness.

Quite so. Far less "look at how rebellious I am" than any piercing other than ear, I'd say. But of course much will depend on the population you expose your baubled nostril to. (And they're really not all that gross, Justinian - for the most part they're just an L-shaped wire that doesn't dam up the nasal passages.)
posted by fish tick at 9:16 PM on February 12, 2010

When I see a small stud nose piercing I think think it looks like a shiny zit.
posted by zephyr_words at 9:17 PM on February 12, 2010 [15 favorites]

It's sending a message saying "I think of myself as unconventional -- but not too unconventional."

I wouldn't say it's trashy, but it's as ambiguous as those words are.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 9:21 PM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

The middle-aged Pakistani mom I work with has her nose pierced. She said it's quite common in her birth country.

I like them. Not trashy at all.
posted by DieHipsterDie at 9:25 PM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

If you are not from India, then yes, you may look trashy. But boys may be into that.

However, consider the fact that most people in charge of hiring decisions will not think it looks "cute".
posted by Elagabalus at 9:28 PM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

Seconding "distracting". If it's too small, half the time it'll come across as a piece of errant glitter.

If you appear fairly conservative, then it adds a bit of personality and uniqueness.

That's funny, to me this combination always seems to read "impostor".
posted by aquafortis at 9:29 PM on February 12, 2010 [2 favorites]

It's the nose, people, the nose!

Small nose snub nose, little button nose, nose-job perky nose... No, don't do it.

Long hawkish or straight nose with generous flank... Yes, maybe

I think it can be one of the sexiest and most engaging jewellery piercings on a woman of any ethic or cultural origin. But for it to work on, say, a non-Indian woman, the nose must be sculpturally appropriate, the nose must be worthy.
posted by Kerasia at 9:31 PM on February 12, 2010 [4 favorites]

I'm going to say... probably yes. Non-ear piercings make me think of the hippie/stoner/metalhead demographic, or generally conventional people who are trying too hard.
posted by ripley_ at 9:34 PM on February 12, 2010

I have had a discrete nose stud since 2002 and have had nothing but positive comments about it. I'm 33 and not a flashy or fashion-forward person by any means, but have been told it suits me. It has also never been a problem where working with the public is concerned. I'd say go for it; if you decide it's not for you, it is easily removed.
posted by MelanieL at 9:36 PM on February 12, 2010

I am a (white) late-20s allied health college student and employee in a children's rehab hospital. I wear an open horseshoe-type ring in my nose, or a captive bead ring, and I personally really like the way it looks. I've had a number of (random) older adults who seem like they are from India tell me how much they like it, and even my boss thinks it looks really good. So, I don't think that my nose ring is trashy, neither does my husband, neither do my coworkers (as far as I know) or my professors...I think you get the drift...
posted by purlgurly at 9:41 PM on February 12, 2010

I wear a nose ring. I am 41 and live in a small town in Vermont. I dare say I rock it. It's all about attitude. I think a small stud would be totally fine, not trashy at all.
posted by jessamyn at 9:42 PM on February 12, 2010 [1 favorite]

I'm 35 and have had a small stud since I was 26 (actually, it's a nostril screw, which looks like a tiny stud on the outside). It has never affected my job or professional relationships at all, and I don't think anyone has perceived me as trashy. The only people who have commented on it have made positive comments.

People can be classy or trashy no matter what kind of jewelry they choose. It's a piercing. It can come out. If you don't like the reactions you get when you have it, remove it.
posted by bedhead at 9:48 PM on February 12, 2010

It's completely subjective. I've got a kneejerk negative reaction to jeweled studs or those impossibly tiny metal ones, but that's the result of my opinions about jewelry in general - I've got a very plain nose ring myself. (Of course, judging by the other replies here, that automatically makes me trashy, so I'm not sure whether or not my opinion counts...)

Class has a lot to do with how you carry yourself and how you act, and really isn't dictated by dress; I've known classy people with piercings and trashy people without. Piercings aren't limited to any one social group, either. Sure, I know plenty of artists and musicians with piercings, but I also know pierced doctors, scientists, engineers, and yeah, even people heading into business and law (!). In general, people over 35 or so are more likely to judge you by your piercings, while younger people are more apt to see facial piercings as just another jewelry choice. This can, of course, have negative professional implications for you in certain fields or under some bosses.

If you like it, get it (and get it done by a professional.) If it doesn't look as good as you'd hoped it would or if it ends up being too much of a problem personally or professionally, take the jewelry out.
posted by ubersturm at 9:54 PM on February 12, 2010

FWIW I like them and don't think they are trashy at all. But reading above its obvious that some people will think so. Do what makes you happy. :)
posted by vegetableagony at 9:56 PM on February 12, 2010

I have had a stud in one nostril for the past 5 years, and never received a negative comment or a second look for it. In the area where I live, nose piercings are incredibly common for women, and I see them on females of all ages, from early teens to 50s and 60s, in professional capacities, students, or just hanging out. I went to the optometrist today, and both the receptionist and the optometric nurse had nose studs, and both were women in their 40s.
posted by srrh at 9:59 PM on February 12, 2010

No, certainly not.
posted by pompomtom at 10:15 PM on February 12, 2010

My wife got a small gold stud in her left nostril when she was 21 or 22 and has had it for 4 or 5 years now. She was inspired by a college friends' mom (40 years old or older) The friends family was from India, and nose piercings are common jewelry I guess. On the mom and on my wife, it looks very nice and classy. She wears it to work, no problems. I hardly notice it anymore. And i think gold blends with caucasian skin very well (and looks very classy on darker skin + a bindi).

Anyway, i dont have one, so not from personal experience - but I dont think it looks trashy at all. I totally 2nd or 3rd or nth getting a small stud - go for it! If you don't like it after a couple weeks or get horribly negative reviews - take it out; the hole should heal in a couple months and be hardly noticeable.
posted by ish__ at 10:20 PM on February 12, 2010

posted by gnutron at 10:22 PM on February 12, 2010

If you appear fairly conservative, then it adds a bit of personality and uniqueness.

That's funny, to me this combination always seems to read "impostor".

Thinking about how it fits into your "look" may be a more important consideration than trashy/not trashy. I'm also a college-aged female (although, if it matters, not white, but not of South Asian descent either) and when considering a nose stud, a few friends commented that it doesn't quite fit in with my aesthetic and that it would appear that I'm trying too hard to "not look smart". FWIW, I have something of a hipster librarian look going on otherwise.

Yes, a wide range of women have nose studs, but I do tend to notice them a bit more — not negatively, mind you — when they seem to be incongruous with their personal style.

If I were you, I'd go for it, which is what I plan to do as well. It's the only way you'll really get to know how you'll look with it and how it may affect the way people react to you. If you're not a fan, it's not a long-term commitment.
posted by thisjax at 10:23 PM on February 12, 2010

I had to scroll down 42 posts just to post:


I would have upvoted a simple Yes answer ages ago.
posted by sanka at 10:25 PM on February 12, 2010 [6 favorites]

I had a small stud for about a year, a couple of years ago.. I loved it, everyone my age (late teens at the time) liked it, my parents (early 50s) thought it was icky but not necessarily trashy, my grandparents were appalled and horrified.

One warning, though. My piercing mysteriously developed a large red bump, which neither the piercer nor a dermatologist could make disappear. I took the stud out but still have the bump. So be prepared to have a scar on your face that will look like you have a perpetual zit, which is probably not particularly classy.
posted by alphasunhat at 10:26 PM on February 12, 2010

I wear a small, silver stud. I got it in college and am now in my late 20s. I can say, without reservation, that it has not hurt me professionally. I currently work in a very selective field, and have a lot of contact with older, conservative decision makers. No one I work with has ever said anything negative about it.

On the other hand, work did decide to send me to India for a few years; so, you know, take my advice with a grain of salt.
posted by eulily at 10:48 PM on February 12, 2010

Can a nose piercing be classy, or would it negatively impact other people's opinions of me?

It can be both. There's obviously a cultural thing at work, here, as well, because I find the bugged out reactions way out of line with what I'd expect in New Zealand.
posted by rodgerd at 11:51 PM on February 12, 2010

I got my nose pierced in college 20 years ago. I am 40 now. Swear to god this is the first time I've actually thought about the fact that it might even be noticed in probably a good ten years or more. Granted I'm in the Pacific NW and piercings of random various sorts seem to have just sort of faded into not really any bigger a deal than any other sort of jewelry. It can be done classily or not, just like pretty much any other adornment.
posted by susanbeeswax at 12:04 AM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think the thing is with any sort of unusual look is to really not give a rat's ass what other people think of it - if you like how it looks, and you feel good wearing it, that's all that matters. classy? trashy? these are nothing compared to confidence.
posted by 5_13_23_42_69_666 at 12:26 AM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I don't think trashy, I just think "very 90s." It didn't really occur to me until now that women were still doing this.
posted by Afroblanco at 12:45 AM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I'm 43, have a professional job, and I absolutely love my nose piercing. I do have what I'll call a 'strong' nose, so I think it takes what could be a negative and turns it into an asset. YMMV, of course. But if you don't like it? Take it out. Trashy has more to do with behavior than accessories.
posted by Space Kitty at 12:49 AM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's the nose!
Self-quoting & Space Kitty has validated my opinion.
posted by Kerasia at 1:22 AM on February 13, 2010

Nose piercings aren't trashy. But eyebrow piercings kinda are.
posted by molecicco at 3:44 AM on February 13, 2010

If they're in the side of the nostril (i.e. not in the septum), and not huge, I usually find them charming.
posted by willpie at 4:12 AM on February 13, 2010

Well, I didn't think *my* nose piercing in college was trashy. These days I secretly wonder what the girls in law school are trying to hold onto with their nose piercings. I took mine out upon graduating from undergrad -- but every time I see my Grandma she asks if I'll do it again, because she really thought it was cute.

Just do it. It hurts like a bad sneeze and once you take it out, it's impossible to tell you ever had it.
posted by motsque at 4:37 AM on February 13, 2010

Maybe it depends where you are. In New York it seems barely any more interesting or exotic or edgy than earrings. I got one this summer and now I notice them more and they are incredibly common.

I don't think it has enough symbolic value left to, all by itself, make a person look trashy. Or edgy. Or anything. It's just something shiny and pretty, like any other jewelry, earrings, etc. Pick a style that suits you and a spot in your nose that works on your face and enjoy.

However, it was a pain in the ass taking care of it as it healed - it made me glad I had my ears pierced as a baby and my mom had to deal with all that! (Though I think these things do heal much faster in babies).
posted by Salamandrous at 4:50 AM on February 13, 2010

Yes, trashy.

And I have a friend who had one ten years ago, hated how it looked, took it out... and still has the hole.
posted by You Should See the Other Guy at 5:29 AM on February 13, 2010

I think the general advice of choosing your fashion according to your preferences applies.
posted by ersatz at 5:33 AM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think the general advice of choosing your fashion according to your preferences applies.

Actually, the general advice does not apply. Most fashion choices are things you can get rid of if you decide you don't like them. Most fashion choices don't leave a hole in your face.
posted by Jaltcoh at 6:02 AM on February 13, 2010

The little tiny itty-bitty half-assed miniscule ones? Definitely trashy in that "Look at me! I bought my edginess at the mall!" way. When I think of trashy piercings, the tiny nose dots fit the description perfectly.

The mid-sized ones? Not necessarily trashy, but kind of wishy-washy nonetheless.

Decent sized, visible studs or hoops? I wouldn't use the word "trashy" to describe these at all. Not everyone looks good with them, and in fact I've found many people wear these and don't look good, but I've never considered it trashy.

Make sure you've got a functioning definition of "trashy" before you proceed, because it sounds like you might not.
posted by majick at 6:05 AM on February 13, 2010 [2 favorites]

I think all that we are giving is opinions. But if you want mine: not trashy, unless you are. The piercing on its own is not going to tip the balance between trashy and non-trashy. As long as the jewelry is of good quality and sized appropriately for your face, I think nose piercings look really nice. I think a lot of women get them during college, and end up keeping them -- I see a lot more women in their 40s now with nose piercings than I used to, for example.

But as you can tell from the mixed responses here, the reactions from random people will vary considerably. If that bothers you, don't get the piercing.
posted by Forktine at 6:26 AM on February 13, 2010

I had one for maybe 10 years before I took it out during a grotendous bout of sinus-infecty flu in 2005. No employers or people I interacted with professionally ever gave it a second glance, so I'm going to assume that it wasn't thought of as trashy. I am a non-white, non-small-nosed female of obvious mixed race background, though, so maybe people assumed it was a cultural thing? It was a small diamond chip flower, not a tiny little metal stud, as I find the latter unattractive.

Also, when traveling in India, it made everyone assume that I was a local, or a former countryman returning home, which was extremely pleasant, especially where random invitations to family dinners were concerned.

Conversely, in high school I had my left eyebrow pierced, and I STILL never hear the end of it, despite the fact that it was 15 years ago.
posted by elizardbits at 6:32 AM on February 13, 2010

there's nothing trashy about a piercing as long as it's in proportion to the rest of your face. a good guide to follow is to judge the amount of emphasis it takes from your eyes and lips. if it's much more noticeable than those natural focal points, the piercing will be very prominent. that would probably contribute to people seeing something trashy, or thinking "you've ruined your face."

i'm in chicago. nobody would think it's trashy unless you're working in something necesarily more conservative, like finance or law.
posted by patricking at 6:43 AM on February 13, 2010

I am not the kind of person who thinks anyone looks trashy. No, it does not look trashy. This fact is under dispute in your immediate social circle. Some people in your immediate social circle will think it looks trashy. Fitting in when it comes to simple superficial stuff is generally a good thing because we're people and people are superficial like that. Sometimes fitting in includes having piercings! Sometimes it doesn't.

Don't do it.
posted by kathrineg at 7:00 AM on February 13, 2010

Oh and random people in a different state completely don't matter as far as you're concerned. They might in the future, so keep that in mind if you're going to move somewhere more conservative or go into a highly conservative field (law is definitely one of them).

Of course, if you move somewhere where they are more common, you can always get a piercing then.
posted by kathrineg at 7:03 AM on February 13, 2010

I think that someone with bad skin and a nose stud or ring looks god-awful. For someone with normal skin, it depends on the jewelry. It always depends on the jewelry.

For someone with really lovely skin, the right stud or a simple ring will draw attention to their glowing complexion. I know women, mostly from South Asia, whose ring or stud is the perfect accent to feminize their otherwise austere corporate look. If you're wearing one piece of jewelry, nose jewelry can be wonderfully subtle. Spacekitty's, for example.

Rings through the septum, well, I was raised around livestock so if you're wearing that kind of nose ring it's going to take a awhile before I get over the feeling that I should be giving you a paste wormer.Apparently, people who were not raised around livestock but have seen many old Warner Bros cartoons often have the same instinct.

You asked about the nose, but for what it's worth, gauge earrings are not something that everyone can pull off.

elizardbits - I'd guess people did assume it was a cultural thing. Most finance and law firms (none that I'm aware of, actually) do not prohibit tattoos or piercings because such a rule would infringe on ethnic/regions customs.
posted by Lesser Shrew at 7:16 AM on February 13, 2010

posted by ged at 7:28 AM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think they are trashy. I am in college. That might also have something to do with most of the people that get them just doing it to "prove something" -- "I are so hip/cool" etc. Some people can pull it off. Most can't. Get it if you want to, but know that there will probably be people that associate them with grossness and trashiness.
posted by elisabethjw at 8:15 AM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's trashy. And not reversable without surgery.
posted by littleflowers at 8:48 AM on February 13, 2010

Valentine's Day is the 13th anniversary of my own nostril piercing and not only do I love it, I have received so many joyous compliments over the years that it glosses over the very few negatives (fwiw i'm a guy). My piercing was done by a legendary professional who passed away many years ago, and I feel proud to be able to keep his work alive.

I often feel a special vibe with those folks I encounter whose nostrils are pierced, as I did when I worked in a large, professional industry, where only three of us had them.

Someone I once knew had a rule of thumb about piercings: "Try them, and if you end up not liking them, just take them out."

I was also once a nose ring sceptic, but somehow my attitude shifted in the 1990s as I found them more attractive (it may also have been that the first person I encountered with one was sort of a weird, unapproachable person). I did experiment with a cheap 'temporary' nose ring, but that was rather painful and I lost the first one within days of purchasing it.

Go for it, add some spice and adventure, and be confident about how you wish to appear!
posted by kuppajava at 8:51 AM on February 13, 2010

This has been an ongoing debate among my group of friends for months.

As you can see, asking this kind of question to MetaFilter is just expanding your group of friends. There's no answer, beyond "some people think it's trashy and/or juvenile and will silently judge you". Further, anyone who has a piercing is going to say "no, of course not, because I'm not trashy!"
posted by smackfu at 8:57 AM on February 13, 2010 [1 favorite]

It's trashy. And not reversible without surgery.

Ummmm... Like all the people with simple earlobe piercings who can't get those reversed without surgery? Get a piercing, and if you care for it well, the following thing is likely to happen if you take it out: you'll be left with what looks like a little dimple in the crease of your nostril. Even that may disappear, depending on how you heal. Yes, piercings are not zero-risk, seeing as they are injuries, and you should be aware of that, but if you go to a good piercer and take good care of your piercing, it's highly unlikely you'd need to do anything, let alone undergo surgery (!) if you decided to take it out. Things are obviously more complicated if you get a 00 gauge noseplug, but that's nothing like your case.

(I know, not a direct answer, but weird misinformation like this isn't cool.)

posted by ubersturm at 9:27 AM on February 13, 2010

My dad flipped out when I got a little nose stud as a teenager, but when I got a barbell through my ear, he thought it was really cool. Different strokes for different folks.

If you like it and want it, go for it. Who gives a shit what the world thinks?
posted by futureisunwritten at 9:40 AM on February 13, 2010

I think they're beautiful. What do you think?

I have many piercings and I love them all, but I love my nostril best.

If you are damn good at what you do, no one will care about what holes or ink you put in your body.
posted by fiercecupcake at 9:46 AM on February 13, 2010

alphasunhat: "One warning, though. My piercing mysteriously developed a large red bump, which neither the piercer nor a dermatologist could make disappear. I took the stud out but still have the bump. So be prepared to have a scar on your face that will look like you have a perpetual zit, which is probably not particularly classy."

In this article it's referred to as a Granuloma Pyogenicum , pics
posted by kathrineg at 9:55 AM on February 13, 2010

Do it! I have mine pierced on both sides, so I'm double classy!

I prefer tiny little gems because I love sparkles, but sometimes will switch one side out for a hoop.

If you want it and you love it, you can make it classy.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 10:25 AM on February 13, 2010

Whenever I see a young girl with a nose piercing, I generally think of the girls in my high school who got them as the "rebellious", but not really rebellious, thing to do.
posted by SarahElizaP at 10:26 AM on February 13, 2010

All piercings eventually run their course, so think about the after-effects. I had a very cute, small labret stud that was complimented by almost everyone I knew; from the crustiest punk to my very conservative first-gen Chinese boss. I don't think anyone thought it was inherently anything. But now 3 years after accidentally letting it close up, I still have a very noticable, decidedly "trashy" hole under my lip that looks like a really big pore.
posted by Juicy Avenger at 11:55 AM on February 13, 2010

I think they can look okay. I wouldn't call them trashy - the negative impression that comes to my mind is that they smack of suburban/middle-class faux-edginess. Maybe because the people I know with them tend to be the sort of liberal arts students who talk a lot about racial justice but lock their car doors when they see a black person in the city. Obviously that's a stereotype.

It wouldn't make me think negatively of someone with one, but it would bring to mind certain stereotypes. Then again what doesn't?
posted by Solon and Thanks at 12:13 PM on February 13, 2010

I don't see them as trashy, but to me it does seem a bit foolish... I don't understand why anyone would want something potentially irritating inside their nose, but then again I'm a chronic sinus and nosebleed sufferer. I also don't understand tongue piercings... why someone would deliberately put something in their tongue that would make eating and speech more difficult, has a huge possibility for infection, and according to my friend who has one, regularly accidentally swallow the balls off the end of the barbell. If I were inclined to get piercings (I did have my ears pierced once but took them out after 3 days due to the points stabbing me in the area behind my earlobes), I would stick with areas like the ears, eyebrows, and belly button.
posted by IndigoRain at 12:27 PM on February 13, 2010

Trashy wouldn't be the word I'd use- but I do think nostril piercings often seem a bit culturally approprative and cliched when white people have them. But they're not as annoying as white-people dreads (urg) or non-Asian people with Asian characters tattooed on them.
posted by pseudostrabismus at 1:02 PM on February 13, 2010

Okay, so I am older (42) than the current mindset, where piercings, tattoos and body modification is mainstream, and even I don't think a nose piercing is "trashy."

It is, as everyone above has said, a subjective thing, but I think if you asked, "Is a tattoo on my lower back/a navel piercing trashy?" you would get a lot more emphatic yesses.
posted by misha at 1:20 PM on February 13, 2010

Do it for yourself. If it's gaining you the wrong kind of attention or impacts your goals, take it out. They heal up very quickly.
posted by batmonkey at 1:49 PM on February 13, 2010

Do it and enjoy it. I must say that I did have some problems with mine getting infected, and I ended up taking it out, but most people I know w/ them have had no problems.

Yes, there's a tiny, tiny mark where the hole was.

But to answer your question: There's absolutely nothing trashy about a nose ring. How could having a tiny piece of jewelry in your nostril be trashy? I can see how various types of nose rings could be off-beat, overkill, aggressively ugly, sexy, cutesy, or even just plain pointless. But, really, "trashy" is not a word I'd ever associate with a nose ring.
posted by cymru_j at 4:16 PM on February 13, 2010

To repeat what other people have said above, nothing is inherently trashy (well, maybe trash)--it's all contextual.
posted by box at 4:58 PM on February 13, 2010

Well, this went a bit chatfiltery didn't it.
Trashiness is in the eye of the beholder. People will be influenced by many things, and you can never really tell what someone thinks of you and by what personal (probably irrational) standards they are judging you.
I'm 38 and have had my nose pierced since I was 16. I haven't been wearing anything in it for a while, not for any reason other than I've lost all my studs.
Attitudes have definitely changed & since I had mine done, people have become more much accepting of all sorts of previously "non-conservative" things, (piercings, tattoos, hair colour/style, dress, etc). 22 years ago trying to find work in office/retail/hospitality meant having to remove my nose stud. Now I see people in all types of work environments with piercings much more extreme than a tiny nose stud.
One piercing is not trashy unless you make it trashy. Your personal style is what matters. Some people might be shocked that a nice girl like you has a nose piercing, on the other hand some people might realise that something they assumed was ugly is actually quite pretty.
I would even go so far as to say that nose piercings are so conventionally common now as to be on a par with ear piercings. A piercing should be an accessory, not a definition of who you are. Anyone who judges you a on piercing is probably judging you on all sorts of other trivial issues too.
posted by goshling at 5:25 AM on February 14, 2010

Fucking all of your friends boyfriend's is trashy. Getting an accessory which hasn't been considered even vaguely radical or edgy for at least 15 years - not trashy.

But if you are even willing to listen to any debate on how you will be judged by others based on your appearance then you probably aren't ready to get one.
posted by gomichild at 5:49 AM on February 14, 2010

Thanks, everybody! I think I'll hold off on the nose piercing for now. One of my friends got her nose pierced yesterday and it looks terrible on her, though I'd obviously never tell her that. I think I'll wait a bit and see if I come to a solid conclusion.
posted by pecknpah at 12:35 PM on February 14, 2010

if you don't like it, the scar looks like the worst blackhead ever.
posted by wilful at 5:24 PM on February 14, 2010

Looks like you've made your decision. FWIW, I got my nose pierced in my early 20's, and took it out in my late 20's. My place of work didn't seem to mind it at all, and even put me in front of clients and potential new business (but we're in a creative field, so I suppose we're sort of lax regarding those types of things).

So why did I take it out? I would often see nose piercings on other women and think, "Wow, that looks...slightly trashy." Like once we had a waitress who was significantly older than me with a nose ring, it freaked me out a little, and right then and there I decided that I didn't want to be that girl that has a nose ring anymore.

I loved it while I had it, but it had run its course after awhile. Does that make sense? So, in other words, get it if you want to. It's definitely not permanent.
posted by elisebeth at 9:30 AM on February 15, 2010

I ended up getting a stud for my birthday present to myself. So far I've received nothing but compliments! Thanks for your help.
posted by pecknpah at 6:43 AM on July 24, 2010 [3 favorites]

« Older Yet another migraine question.   |   What to do in DC? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.