The rise in thirst body jewelry is welcome, from nipple rings and cartilage piercings.
Last year was a time when our fantasies revolved around men wearing jewelry. Think: Normal People’s Paul Mescal, Bridgerton’s Rege Jean Page, and the shiny silver specimens hung around their necks. We sat at home and stared at our screens. Our fantasies were fueled by our obsession with celebrity crushes. Men whose accessories sparkled in the sun and danced with every step. After a year, and many men-in-jewelry sightings, the standard-issue necklaces began to warm up. There’s a new ornament that is even more popular than the one all of our crushes are sporting: jewelry that goes deeper literally.
Men are starting to pierce their ears in a fashion that rivals the growing popularity of women making charm bracelets out of their ears, and it is a trend that will continue to grow. Hulu published the first promo images for the upcoming biographical miniseries Pam & Tommy. British actress Lily James plays Baywatch star Pamela Anderson. Sebastian Stan (Captain America) channels Tommy Lee. In the photos, Anderson can be seen biting Lee’s nipple rings. It was a fan favorite right away, just like the original image, which was taken after Lee and Anderson divorced in 2005 (true passion fires eternal). Stan shared the restaged photo on Instagram, where it received more than 1.8million likes. GQ UK asked: “Could this be the return to the nipple rings?”
We were overwhelmed by the sheer number of body jewelry that was flooding our social media feeds. Lil Nas X, the “Old Town Road” singer, wore a collection of spiked hoop earrings that reached all the way to his ears for the iHeartRadio Awards. In July, Timothee Chalamet, a two-month-old boy from “Old Town Road” walked the Cannes red carpet in a silver-and gold Tom Ford suit and a Clash de Cartier bracelet. Two black cartilage hoops adorned his upper ear. The new additions are most likely part his makeover to play the role of a star-crossed lover, according to Call Me By Your Name director Luca Guadagnino. We couldn’t help but wonder if Chalamet would not dye his dark hair bright red, which isn’t part of his look anymore.
Gossip Girl’s “Sk8r Boi,” Aki (Evan Mock), wears a pink buzzcut and a gold cartilage earrings. Although the hairstyle is different from the classic series’ pretty boy look, it’s the piercing which sets 2021 apart in our hearts. Dan Humphrey was the brooding, Brooklyn-based character from the first series who didn’t wear jewelry or pierce his ears. It is no surprise that Chuck Bass and Nate Archibald, prep kings, didn’t wear jewelry either. But cartilage rings will be the accessory of Manhattan’s fictional elite in 2021 – and many IRL fantasies. ShopStyle, a fashion search engine, reported an increase of 67% in searches for men’s earrings year-over-year by August.
Although Machine Gun Kelly, Bad Bunny and Travis Barker have worn nose rings for years, there has been a revival in facial piercings. ShopStyle reports that nose rings searches have increased 40% compared to 2020. Their jewelry quickly rose to the top of our list due to the media attention they received, whether it was because of their high-profile relationships (MGK with Megan Fox and Barker with Kourtney Kim Kardashian), or sold-out brand partnerships (Bad Bunny and his Crocs/ Cheetos collabs).
Lisa Brateman, a New York City psychotherapist, says that our attraction to men with piercings is due to the fact we have spent so much time indoors over the past year and are divorced from traditional dating practices. Reporter Lisa Brateman says that piercings on the tongue, nipples or belly buttons “draw people towards some part of their body that is associated with sexuality.” She explained that celebrity body jewelry was more popular the longer we were kept in quarantine. We were often unable to express our sexual desires IRL.
Dawnn Karen is a fashion psychologist and author of Dress Your Best Life. How Fashion Psychology Can Take Your Look and Your Life to the Next Level. She agrees with Brateman. Karen says that fantasizing about the jewelry of a celebrity crush was a safe and secure way to connect with our passions during the pandemic. Fashion analyst Karen says that it’s a safe bet because you don’t need to worry about whether the person you’re attracted has COVID. Expert says that piercing yearnings can be a form of escapism because they allow you to use your imagination to achieve your goals. The end of lockdown did not end the pandemic. Therefore, escape from reality is as welcomed today as it was twelve months ago.
Despite being free from quarantine, we cannot help but wonder what will happen to our crushes and the tiny holes in the skin. Is it possible that piercings of leading men are only because they were kept so close to IRL affection so much? Maybe that’s how they started. But the seasons ahead promise more sightings.
Part 2 of Gossip Girl’s reboot is just two months away. This will mark the return of Mock’s dangly earrings, which are as coveted as any designer boot or bag by his costars. Who knows, the skateboarder-actor has just signed a partnership agreement with Pandora jewelry brand. We might see Aki wearing even more flashy accessories in November. It’s something to think about for now.