Septum Piercing 101: All Your Questions Answered

A year ago, I got two cartilage piercings in my right ear. I truly thought that at that point, I was done with piercings. I mean, I had nine at that point! What else would I pierce?!

But, as anyone who is into body modification will tell you, they are addictive. as. hell. 

I started wearing a nose hoop as a fake septum, just to get the feel of what it might look like if I were to get it pierced. I got some good reviews, but it tickled to wear and I wasn’t very consistent, so it was obvious it was fake (lol).

I tend to be a liiiiiiiittle impulsive. So one Tuesday morning, I called my friend Marisa, and we went to get my septum pierced two hours later.

The wait was two hours long, but I suppose that’s the price you pay for a new body modification (and $45 plus tip). Luckily, the tattoo shop we were in was really interesting, covered in vines and little Buddhas. There was also a koi fish pond inside, too. Rap music was blaring from an artist’s chair down the hall, and tattoo drawings plastered the walls.

Finally, the guy brought me back into the ~piercing room~. Now, as I previously wrote, this was my tenth piercing. I’m not like, a piercing newbie or anything. But in my eyes, this was my first #edgy piercing (I don’t really consider my nostril piercing to be edgy, considering everyone and their mother has it pierced). He marked my nose, then slid a needle through. It felt really special, lol. Are your eyes watering yet?

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After he slid the needle through, I sat there for a few seconds as he prepared the piercing I’d preselected.

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I knew enough not to wear makeup, because piercing the nose makes the eyes water. And boy, were my eyes watering. It literally looked like I was sobbing.

He slid the jewelry through the new piercing, and that was that! I paid and left with a new piercing.

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I got it pierced with a small, silver hoop that was flush with my skin.

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Let me address some questions I was asked frequently after getting my septum done.

Did it hurt?

Yes? I mean, relatively, yes. Of course sliding a needle through any skin on your body is going to hurt. But what I didn’t know about the septum piercing was that they don’t pierce the cartilage of your nose–they pierce the skin between the cartilage on the front of your nose, and the harder cartilage that supports the inside of your nose. So it didn’t hurt nearly as bad at my ear cartilage piercings or my nostril. I would say it hurt a little more than my six earlobe piercings, but that’s just because it was on my face and a little stranger of a feeling.

How long was the healing period?

I changed my piercing after four weeks. I went back to the place I got it pierced to purchase new jewelry and had a pro do it for me. The actual healing period is about six weeks, I believe. It stopped hurting after about a week or so.

How did you clean it?

In the past, I’ve had to use salt water soaks three times a day for weeks or months. This time, the piercer just told me to get a Q-tip wet with warm salt water and just rub it on the piercing, and then wash off the salt water mix. So basically what I’d do is wet a Q-tip, dip it in the salt (NOT!!! Table salt!!!), and then get the Q-tip wet again. I’d clean the blood or whatever off the piercing, then I’d cup some warm water in my hands, and dip my nose in the water. Then I’d just dry off my nose.

What size is your piercing?

16g. I got it pierced with a size closer to 18g (which is smaller than 16g), so when I went back in to change the piercing, the guy just had to gauge the piercing a little. That essentially means he had to slide a slightly bigger needle through my piercing, in order to make it the proper size.

Will you ever be able to have a job with that piercing?

I know that a lot of people ask this question out of actual curiosity. When people ask this condescendingly, it’s actually really offensive and rude, FYI. I am currently an employee at six places (yes, you read that right. I’m not active at all six places, though.), and only two of those six places ban face jewelry. In this case, I have two options: flip up the jewelry if I’m wearing a curved barbell, or just take it out. It won’t close in an eight-hour shift.

To this question, I also respond with if a workplace doesn’t appreciate how I choose to express myself, do I really want to work there? You tell me. My ability to be professional with clients and perform well in the workplace is literally 0% affected by a piercing in my nose.

Finally, as more and more millennials become the bosses, I think that this weird avoidance society has regarding visible piercings and tattoos will go away. Think about how rebellious it used to be to pierce your nostril…and now literally everyone has that piercing. So.

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Peep the gold clicker!!

SO there ya have it–my septum experience, from beginning to end! I’ve changed my piercing a couple times, and I’m not 100% sure yet that I’ve found the jewelry for me.

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Gold curved barbell

What do you guys think about body modifications? What about body mods in the workplace? Drop a comment below!

Why I Stopped Wearing a Bra

Okay, y’all. It’s time to get #real. I’ve started and reworked this post approximately five million times over the past three months, but it’s time to get down to business: in October, I stopped wearing a bra every day. Here’s why.

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Maybe you’ve seen the headlines–every news source seems to have covered this popular new trend, from the Huffington Post to Bustle to USA Today. Or maybe you’ve heard of the hashtag #FreeTheNipple. Women are going braless in droves, and maybe you’ve wondered why. Why would women forgo arguably one of the most important pieces of clothing? Granted, there are a number of downsides, from needing to hold my boobs when I go up or down stairs to aching nips from direct exposure to whatever fabric my shirt is made from. But in my opinion, the pros outweigh the cons. In this post, I’m getting into the nitty gritty: what’s it really like? Is it right for you? Why is it important?

1. The Why

Last year, I grew two bra sizes. I went to Victoria’s Secret on a whim and got measured, just for the heck of it, and I grew two sizes! I’d been wearing the same size bra since, like, eighth grade, so this news was SO. EXCITING. The sales lady celebrated with me (I’m sure she was just salivating over the commission she was going to make) as I brought like ten bras into the fitting room in celebration. I ended up purchasing only one, but it was $78. Seventy-eight dollars! Almost eight hours of work at any one of my various jobs. And this was no ordinary bra–it was one of those ultra-sexy bombshell beautiful babe bras. Ladies, you know what I’m talking about.

I definitely got my $78 worth, because I wore it all the time. I went like three months without taking it off. I felt gorgeous, and I wore low-cut tops to show off my brand-new set of boobs. When I went out with friends, I made sure to wear clothes that showcased my new favorite accessory. I let my boobs go to my head, if that’s even a thing. Sometimes I even contoured my cleavage just for the fun of it. I bought a second bra a few months later, spending the same amount of money on just another item of clothing I already owned. What???

They were kind of comfortable, I guess (keywords: I guess). Not $78 comfortable, but they were, nonetheless.

When it was laundry day, I didn’t want to take them off, because what would people think?! I could not, would not be caught braless. I mean, obviously my chest wasn’t as big as these bras made them seem. What was I to do?! The only solution was to do laundry at off times, to only wash one at a time (and do twice the load, therefore wasting twice the amount of water, etc.), or hand wash them. So. Much. Work.

I was totally participating in the horrible women-shaming culture ideals that preach that women aren’t worthwhile unless they have triple-D cups and a tiny waist–the exact culture I was trying to combat. I was completely investing into everything I said I was against: the ideal body type, the sexualization of the female body, putting your worth in your body.

And here’s the thing: I never measured up–to my own standard’s or anyone else’s.

2. The When

Living in Denver, a notoriously liberal city, I had casually noticed that many girls were choosing to go braless. I thought to myself Oh, that is so awesome! Props to them, but that’s not for me. I guess I approached it the way I approach girls who don’t shave (which I still do, but am totally intrigued by the concept of). The deciding moment, though, was at an anti-Trump rally. Classic liberal move, am I right? Lol.

My friends and I were on Capitol Hill in downtown Denver right off of Colfax, high on the buzz of cohesive protest. The woman behind me was holding up some sign of protest on her piece of cardboard, wearing just a flimsy red tank top with nothing underneath. I remember being so in awe of her openness. She was chanting along with the crowd, totally unnerved by my eyes. I know I was being totally rude, but I just couldn’t believe it! Sometimes, I even slept with sports bras on. I literally couldn’t even imagine going out in public on a chilly-ish night with just a thin tank top on.

I had already been quietly toying with the idea of going braless once and a while when I wore a sweatshirt or something. But seriously, seeing this woman’s bravery and complete lack of caring about other’s opinions was SO inspiring!

3. The What

The next few weeks served as a test-run.

I wore bras without underwire to a job interview and to rehearsals and stuff, to appear a little more “professional” (because boobs are so unprofessional *eye roll*). I tried wearing different kinds of shirts with and without bras, to see how it felt. And quite honestly, the first month was very uncomfortable.

It’s gonna get a lil TMI here for a second. You’ve been warned.

Y’all, my nips were SORE. Like, sore sore. As in, red and painful and all of the other cringe-y words that you don’t want to see associated with the word “nipple”.

I did a little research on this. My idea was that maybe, because my boobs have been so lovingly sheltered and protected my whole life, they were just not used to the harsh reality of fabric. My suspicions were confirmed with a quick Google search. Nips don’t like the roughness of fabric right away.

Thankfully, this went away after about a month. I am thankful I stuck it out though. However, there were (and still are) other challenges.

It is very obvious when someone is staring (which I totally know I did to that woman in Denver, lol). Like, hey men!, newsflash!, women can tell when you aren’t looking at our eyes when you’re talking to us! When you don’t wear a bra though, everyone notices. Then they awkwardly look away, like they weren’t supposed to see your nips or something. As if they’ve NEVER seen nipples before, lol.

I went to the gym a few times without a bra on, which was still great but pretty painful. I have now allowed myself to wear sports bras to the gym.

Of course, we all know what happens when we get cold. I’ve learned to deal with the social response of having visible nips when it’s cold out. I live in Minnesota, for Pete’s sake. It’s going to happen people, deal with it.

There are jackets I own where the zipper annoyingly rubs right on my nips and it’s actually really painful. When I know I’m going to wear those jackets, I either wear a thicker shirt underneath, fold the jacket out in such a way so it doesn’t touch my chest, zip the jacket part way, or I’ll just wear the Calvin Klein bra I own as another physical barrier to the pain.

4. Why it’s worth it, regardless

As I previously mentioned, I spent $78 on two different bras. And to be completely honest, I’ve considered spending more. $78 is pretty typical for a quality, sexy bra pricetag. Of course, I have the staple lace bralette to wear under my nicer, meet-the-parents-type dresses and a sports bra for working out, but those are just cherries on an already overwhelming sundae. Now, I don’t spend money on bras. I still have the bras from Victoria’s Secret, but I don’t really wear them. I don’t even have them at college with me.

I don’t need to consider what a shirt or dress or something would look like with a different type of bra. In addition, I don’t need to buy a special kind of bra for a certain style of clothing (backless, strapless, etc.).

The CONFIDENCE I have gained is the most significant benefit. I have become unapologetic about my body, and my chest in particular. I can totally see when people notice, but I literally just don’t care anymore. My self-worth isn’t placed somewhere on my body, it’s in my mind. It’s in my heart. It’s in the most important part of who I am: me. Not the outward presentation I put forth, but the me that I want people to see. (Also, there’s this, like, ~sisterhood~ when I see another woman going bra-less. I feel very connected to my feminine, sisterly side, lol.)

Granted, it took a while for me to get to this point (I’ve been bra-less for about six months now), but it is SO. WORTH. IT.

Not wearing a bra is the most empowering thing I’ve ever done (not to mention the cheapest, least stressful, most carefree thing).

What do you think? Have you tried going bra-less? What did you think? Let me know in the comments below!

New Years Resolutions Check-in

Helloooooo! I hope everyone’s February is going well! I’ve now completed FIVE WEEKS (???) at my new school, and I’m it’s a great fit for me.

Since we’re two months into 2017 (!!!), I think it’s a good time to evaluate how we’re all doing on our New Years Resolutions! Take an honest inventory, reevaluate which goals are *actually* attainable, and make some new, realistic short-term goals that will help eventually achieve that long-term goal.

Here’s a link to my post about my 2017 New Years Resolutions and Mission Statement (it’ll open in a new tab!). Let’s do a quick check-in on my resolutions:

  1. Learn Spanish. I think I’m doing pretty well on this one! I have a 31-day streak on Duolingo (I was at 28 days but I missed a day while I was on the Middle School Girls’ retreat *crying face*), and I’m joining the Spanish club at St. Kate’s! I’ve also signed up for daily Spanish emails through Study Spanish, and I listen to the Coffee Break Spanish podcast on Spotify while I workout.
  2. Continue to study music theory. Weeeeelllllllll…… I kinda dropped the ball on this one. I’m in choir and voice lessons, does that count?! I need to intentionally set aside time to continue learning theory on my own.
  3. Start a UST/SCU a Capella group. I ran into some logistical roadblocks with this one when I met with a student group organizer at St. Kate’s, but I have some more in the works with this one!
  4. Stop the negative talk. I feel good about this one as well! I have some goal-setting worksheets posted around my room that focus on the good things about myself, and I heard some quotes recently about building others up, differentiating between gossiping and venting, etc. I’m also taking a neat theology class all about the divine in human beings and our interactions with each other, so I am continually learning (and reading scientific articles) about the awesomeness of people. I’m still working on this goal, and I anticipate that I will be for a long time, if not my whole life, but I’m giving myself room to mess up. And that’s what it’s all about.
  5. Keep track of my spending. I feel awesome about this goal!! I’ve started paying off some of my credit card debt that’s accumulated from paying for textbooks and clothes and such, and I got a new, well-paying job that will help me put some cash in the bank. I used Dollarbird for a while, but my phone broke so the app doesn’t work very well, so I’ve transitioned to Track Every Coin, which is on desktop so I can use it! I’m still working on actually *saving* some money for future use, but I know I’ll get there soon.
  6. Run a 5k. Lol. Madison and I signed up for the Color Blast 5k in May, but we’ve ran into some weird business stuff, and we’re working with the Attorney General to figure it all out. Soooo, this goal has been ~mysteriously halted~ for the time being.
  7. Clean, clean, clean. Eating clean has been a HUUUGE focus for me recently! Since I moved into my apartment, I’ve only been keeping 100% whole grains, fruits, vegetables, and other natural foods in my cupboards and refrigerator. And I cannot even say how much healthier I feel. I am still struggling with some weird health things (we’re thinking maybe trying a gluten-free diet for a couple months), but my acne is gone, and I don’t get stomachaches anymore. I used to live in a perpetual state of slight nausea, and I have not had ONE. STOMACH. ACHE. It’s AWESOME. Clean eating has my vote!!!

I think I’m doing pretty well! I’ve also been journaling a LOT more frequently than usual, and I’m reading for pleasure again. Life is pretty dang awesome right now!

I’d love to hear how you guys are doing–shoot me a message if you want to talk. I would *love* to talk with anyone about anything. Literally. xoxo

How I Knew it was Time to Make the Chop

I’ve always been adventurous with my hair. In elementary school, my mom used to take my sister and I to get highlights or lowlights before the start of a new school year. I loved the idea of changing up my typical look!

I wasn’t always so tame with my hair coloring though, as you’ll read below! I’ve also included some tips at the bottom to help you decide if it’s time for you to make the cut too. Keep on reading!

Box Dyes Through the Years….

The first time I box-dyed my hair, I was in seventh grade. I purchased a blonde kit, friend and I dyed our hair together. My hair didn’t change much, since my natural color is pretty blonde.

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One of my senior photos that features my natural hair color.

After that first time, I learned my lesson (which apparently was “don’t dye your hair the same color”), and started doing more extreme colors. In the effort of saving some personal dignity, I won’t post the photos….but I did some pretty extreme colors. Bright red, dark red, black, blue-black, and bleach blonde. I loved having different wild all through middle school. In high school, I did some more typical colors, but I liked the dark red the best.

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This photo is from college, but it’s the same box dye dark red color!

In college, I stuck with the dark red for the first part of the year, and then decided to do something I’d never done before: I (dun dun dun) got my hair dyed professionally.

I tried a red ombre, which I loved! I kept it for about fourish months, but it just got expensive.

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You can’t see it very well in this photo, but it’s dark red on the top and fades into blonde!

Finally, I just dyed it a solid dark brown, a color I’d never been. I still have this color right now!

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Day two of rushing at the University of Denver.

Deciding to Make the Cut

Freshman year of high school, I had a pixie cut. I decided to grow it out after about six months, but I’ve never had an actual haircut since then. I’ve had an inch off here and there, but I’ve pretty much been growing it out for five years. I’ve thought about cutting it into a short, above the shoulder bob, but I always thought it looked better long. It’s easier to find cute, fun updos. I thought guys liked long hair better *cue MASSIVE eye roll*.

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My mom and I at my sophomore year homecoming,with my pixie cut!

I have superfine hair, and not a lot of it. I often feel as though my hair looks flat or frizzy, because it is kind of curly in the humidity and just looks bad. I thought that having long hair might make it look nicer, but it ended up getting really hard to manage. I never wanted to style it, and I ended up throwing it all up into a bun every day before class.

Eventually, I read a post on Pintrest about fine hair and the best haircuts for this type of hair. There were a lot about pixie cuts that I skimmed past, because I know myself well enough not to cut it all off again.

Then, I came across a something called a “blunt bob”. It’s a bob of any length, without any kind of layering. As it just so happens, I have never had an affinity for layers–they don’t look very good on me, in my opinion. So I did a little more searching through the depths of Pintrest, found a groupon, and scheduled an appointment at an Aveda training salon. No turning back.

And it was that quick. That decision came that quickly! The next morning, I had a blunt bob about an inch above my shoulders.

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At first, I was a little shocked. I mean, I had long hair for years! I was so used to playing with the ends while watching Netflix, or being able to just toss it up before class if I was running late. Now, I can barely get it back in a low ponytail. But, I LOVE IT!

Y’all, I’ve never felt so free! I love that I have my own style. I love that my hair doesn’t look like everyone else’s. I love that there are so many styles that I can STILL do with my hair.

So, if you are thinking about making the chop yourself, here are some things to think about!

  1. If you’ve been doing an ombre for a while now with lightened ends, it’s a great way to completely cut off all the damaged ends and begin again with healthy ends.
  2. There are still SO MANY styles you can do! Check out my Pintrest page, especially the board called “//babe”.
  3. Shortened hair adds some sass to your look. Add some edge, some quirkiness!
  4. If you’ve recently had a major life change, like moving to college or scoring a new job, it might be nice to change up your beauty routine as well! I love doing this.
  5. Finally, remember that hair grows back! If you hate it, it will grow back.

If you’re even thinking about it, ask around! I haven’t regretted my decision once. You never know–it could be one of the best decisions you make this year. 🙂

I Did Some Shopping….

I am astounded at the money people spend on new clothing. Yesterday I did some thrift store shopping in the suburbs around my house: Eden Prairie, Burnsville, and Lakeville. I also went to Minneapolis, on the University campus, and found the Goodwill Boutique, Gina+Will! It’s the first in the nation. I found some incredible things! For $146, I got:

  • H&M blue sleeveless shirt with Peter Pan collar
  • Vins Me high-waisted ripped jeans
  • Refuge forest green faded skinny jeans
  • Ralph Lauren black and beige striped long sleeve
  • Old Navy green, brown ,grey, and red wraparound sweater
  • Mudd oversized jean shirt
  • Ranskin grey workout tank
  • ROXY navy green jacket
  • Prop Shop black and white striped tee with lace
  • Turnstyle forest green cardigan
  • Ragstock hooded jean vest
  • Love Fire black belle t-shirt
  • Wet Seal light pink t-shirt
  • Underground Printing Minnesota Nice t-shirt
  • Encore necklace with charms, gold circle earrings
  • Encore necklace with trees, gold leaf earrings
  • Mossimo scarf with roses
  • Encore mustard scarf
  • Encore snakeskin scarf

I would say I did pretty well! I’m excited about my finds and I can’t wait to begin wearing them. 14 days until I leave for Denver!