Body Piercing: The In-thing For Today’s Ladies

The practice continues to draw an increasing number of girls and women, even those in their forties.


In the past, body piercing had cultural significance and traditional value, but it has of late become a fashion statement in Cameroon. It is the art of cutting or puncturing a part of the human body to create an opening in which jewelry may be worn. The most commonly pierced body parts include the nose, lips, tongue, eyebrows, ears, mouth, teeth, nipple and the navel. In Cameroon, youths and women from 18 to 40 have dived into the art.

“Practitioners” say it is for glamour and fashion; while others use it to improve their appearance, bolster self identity and express deeper emotional disturbances based on self-esteem. Majority of youths opting for body piercing are young university girls and even some boys. Sonia L, a final year student of the University of Buea says she loves piercing her body because it brings out her sense of fashion and makes her look glamorous. It is also her most valued form of self expression as it gives her the chance to adorn her body.

Bertrand Nde, a second year student of the University Of Yaounde I, says body piercing makes him fit in properly with friends who see it as a form of peer identity. “Besides, piercing has become so trendy that if you don’t do it, you may be considered a laggard by campus friends,” he explained. Dr Claudine Akondeng warns against hazards associated with body piercing. “Infection is the greatest risk to piercing. If not performed by a professional with adherence to strict hygienic procedures, serious infections can be spread from one client to the next, including HIV, Hepatitis and Tetanus,” she warns.

Similarly, uncontrollable or prolonged bleeding may occur at the time of piercing as a result of nerve damage. “Some piercings may not heal properly and thereafter leave scars. Moreover, allergies caused by the jewelry worn might result in abscesses, inflammation or nerve damage that might cause death. All these side effects should be thought through before going for it,” Dr Claudine Akondeng counsels.




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