The earliest piercing artists in France
Body piercing in France has undergone a strange process in recent years; however, while strange, it isn’t exactly unique. Essentially, body piercings — and by extension, body art — have become the new norm. While that might sound familiar in some countries, body piercing in France has gone much further than that of the rest of the world. However, many early French piercers worked underground for years before an explosion of legitimacy enveloped the French body modification scene. Eventually, though, the tide would turn against body modifications in France, which may be an unexpected turn.
But first, a brief history on how long people have been getting pierced. Currently, many of the oldest human remains available have some form of body modification, with most cases being a number of piercings. However, these cultures have since died out, so it’s unclear how, or why, opinions changed on body modifications, or if they were taboo at the time. That being said, though, the placement of these piercings it significant. In many cases, piercings were situated at the site of arthritis. This could signify that body piercings were likely similar to today’s acupuncture.
As we mentioned, opinions on body piercings changed at a certain point, with body modifications becoming more and more taboo. That all changed in a number of countries, with France in particular being influenced by, and then influencing other countries. However, when did body piercings become so popular in France? Well, there’s not much information to go by, but it seems that body piercings in France followed a similar trajectory to that of the West Coast of America, namely the likes of California. Many countries would follow California’s influence, due to the fact that much of California’s culture was broadcast worldwide in movies and television shows.
In France, like most other countries, body modification was seen as an underground thing, something rarely seen or discussed. However, from the 1970’s onwards, piercings in France became more and more popular, with nose and ear piercings being the forebears of what was to come. Slowly, these practices became more acceptable, and body piercers in France began to become more and more legitimate. While similar cases may have been seen worldwide, France experienced this in a faster manner than others, and even helped to pave the way for other forms of body modification.
Throughout it’s growing popularity, body piercings in France were seen as underground and largely a punk-like movement. However, it became mainstream, just like other countries followed suit, but then took the concept even further. Now, many models and body piercers in France say that French body modifications have become so normal, that it’s now seemingly more punk to not have any form of body modifications. Because of its saturation in the French market, the likes of Cara Delevingne can pose with her back tattoo on full show for Chanel, a typically French brand. However, that isn’t without some form of blowback. These days, the market in France for body modifications has become so ubiquitous that the tides are starting to turn. As represented as French people with body modifications are, many French people are turning back to having minimal, if any, body modifications. Many models, such as French star Etre Blank, have said that these sorts of body modification have gone from an expression of individuality to a mark of homogeneity.