Pinterest Trends In Body Piercings From 1990 To 2014
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Published Saturday, March 8, 2014

Trends in body piercing from 1990 to 2014

Body modification has been around for as long as mankind has had culture, but from 1990 onward, popular trends have undergone some significant changes. From multiple piercings to stretching piercings to tattoos, the art of expressing individuality through body modification has run the full gamut.
Click the image below to view our visual PDF of piercing trends from 1990 to 2014

Breakdowns of trends by year


  • Body piercing surged in popularity post World War II, and in the 1970s it became more common to get piercings on parts of the body other than the ears.
  • This became the norm in the 1990s with the advent of more widespread types of body modifications. Nose, eyebrows, navels, lips, tongues, nipples, and genitals all went under the gun to get pierced.
  • In 1993, MTV’s music video of the year was Aerosmith’s Cryin’ which featured a nervous Alicia Silverstone getting a navel piercing. Numerous female fans followed suit to emulate the bold new look.
  • Off-beat culture took center stage in the 1990s with tattoos also becoming more mainstream. In some cases, other forms of body modification such as branding were starting to become more popular as well.

Early 2000s:

  • Prominent celebrities began to show off their navel piercings. Christy Turlington flaunted hers on the runway, and Naomi Campbell drew even more attention to her piercing by adding a chain belt that connected to her navel ring.
  • The craze reached new heights when Britney Spears became a superstar. In addition to her tattoos, she also sported many cropped halter tops and low-waisted pants, designed to show off her belly button bling.
  • Suddenly, navel piercings were the norm. In the early 2000s, both genders started lining up to get all parts of their body pierced, but the most common were the tongue, labret, nostril, nipple, and eyebrow.
  • Tramp stamp jokes aside, this tattoo style, along with the tribal pattern, first got its popularity in the early 2000s.
  • Piercings maintained their popularity through the mid-2000s before tapering off in 2007. In 2004, however, they got another boost in popularity when Janet Jackson experienced her wardrobe malfunction during the Super Bowl and exposed her nipple piercing.
  • Out of 500 people between the ages of 18 and 50, 24 percent reported having a tattoo and 14 percent had a body piercing other than the ear lobe. 34 percent had ear lobe piercings. This was from a 2004 survey.
  • Attitudes across the pond toward piercings were very similar. In 2005, a survey of over 10,000 people in England over the age of 16 found that 10 percent had body piercings in other areas besides the ear lobes.
  • Out of those, 46% were female between the ages of 16 and 24. Guess which body piercing type was most popular? That’s right. The navel beat out any other with 33 percent. Nose and other parts of the ear followed behind at 19 and 13 percent respectively.
  • Rounding out the bottom were eyebrow, lip, and genitals at 8, 4, and 2 percent respectively.
  • For male piercers, the order of preference was quite different. Nipple piercings were actually at the top, followed by eyebrow, ear, tongue, nose, lip, and genitals.


The variety of body piercings out there are endless. Here are some of the coolest and most controversial body piercing trends that either left us in awe or made us wish we had the guts to go out and get.

  • Bridge piercing —Any part of the nose is fair game these days, and bridge piercing manages to be cute and edgy at the same time.
  • Third Eye piercing — no, this isn’t a pagan ritual, it’s called a third eye because of the placement. Often called a vertical bridge piercing, this can be done with a surface bar or a dermal anchor.
  • Anti-Eyebrow — despite the name, this kind of piercing actually involves the upper cheek where the cheekbone meets the outer corner of the eye. It’s a nod to Japanese facial piercings, and is used to accent the largeness of the eyes or a petite mouth.
  • Collar Bone — though it sounds painful, surface piercing this area of your body is said to not be as bad as other parts of the body, due to how rapidly it heals. With a scoop neck shirt it would look very fetching as well.
  • Vampire’s Kiss — It’s no wonder this type of surface piercing has gotten more prominence due to the influence of Anne Rice, Twilight, and True Blood in pop culture. The piercing is often tipped with red gemstones and located at the base of the neck to emulate a vampire’s bite.
  • Corset Piercings — one of the most controversial new trends, corset piercings have been exploding on the scene as of late. It first started as a set of two rows of surface piercings on the back that allow lacing between them to resemble a corset, but now people are starting to put them on their arms, legs, sides, necks, chests, and even cheeks. 
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