Last week I got a letter from Vanessa, a Freckled Nest reader :) She's always wanted a lipring but has held off due to how it could impact the way people perceive her at work and her uncertainty about the process. She asked me a few questions and I thought it would be fun to share the Q&A here incase anybody else wonders the same things. If you have any questions, feel free to write them in the comments or email me... maybe they'll make a future post too :)
(Please note: My responses are based on personal experience and opinion. The comments in this post share a few other perspectives that might be helpful. Always consult a professional for an expert opinion.)
1. My biggest fear is the possible lack of getting a "real" job and the assumptions made in say an interview.
That's a smart thing to consider. I've had my lip pierced twice. The first time was when I was 19 and it was a less common piercing. Later in the year, I went on a one month school trip to Guatemala and my teachers asked me to take it out for the month due to cultural differences where we were. I did and tried wearing a plug so that it wouldn't grow in, but after the first week, the plug was just a nuisance (longterm) and I let it grow in.
When I was 25, I wanted to get it re-pierced and asked my current employer if they'd mind... I was a secretary and they said they'd strongly prefer if I didn't, so I just waited. After I quit my job and went full time Freckled Nest, I got it re-pierced in the same spot and it hurt a lot more than the first time because it was being pierced on the original holes' scar tissue rather than just fat tissue (the first time, it hurt less than when i got the top of my ear pierced).
I've applied for a few less creative part time jobs and took the ring out for the interview (camera store clerk & waitress). When they asked me if I had any questions at the end of the interview, I'd say something like, "I usually wear a lip ring, is it okay to wear it at work?". That way it hasn't made a first impression and they know I'm flexible if they don't allow piercings. Two places were fine with it and one said it was outside of their policy.
2. When you take out your lip ring is the hole very noticable? Does it close up easily?
When you take the ring or stud out, it's just a little dip that most people won't even notice. It will close up much faster than an earring hole, but after it's been there for 6 months to a year, it's usually okay to have the earring out for part of the day or you can use a plug. A plug fills the hole and prevents it from healing shut... it's a clear or skin color post that fills the hole and doesn't show above the surface of your skin.
3. Did you have much swelling upon piercing?
It swells a little (ice it the first day), but it's more of a bruising issue. The bruises were on my chin and were noticeable for a week of so.
4. I've heard it can affect your teeth; any words on that?
I suppose it could but I haven't noticed a problem. Dr. Nancy (my dentist) asks me to take it out when she x-rays my teeth but she never says bad things about it.
5. Does is make it any more difficult to eat? Drink? Put on chapstick? :)
At first it might feel a bit obtrusive, but you'll adjust really quickly and will not even notice it after a short while. When I put chapstick on my bottom lip, I put it on the main/big part, then a bit on the little part on the other side of my lipring, then smush my lips together; the lipgloss is rarely noticeable on the ring (and if it is, it rubs off easy). If I wore solid lipstick, I'd probably use a lipstick brush.
6. Any other thoughts you have regarding my dilemma would be much appreciated!!
* Tip for putting the ball on: (I find this hard and usually ask for help) but it helps to use a small piece of wide elastic so that you can better grip the ball as you put it on.
* Go to a professional. Piercings can be dangerous if it's not a clean environment with brand new needles and sterilized tools. Your piercer will show you each component as he opens the sterile/new package so that you know it's fresh. Do your homework and go in educated so that you know you're safe and in good hands :)
* The right size ring makes a difference. I like the circumference of mine small so that it doesn't pertrude from my lip with a smallish ball. When you get your piercing, the ring will be a bit big to accommodate the swelling. After 1 or 2 months, you can downsize your ring :)
* When I look in the mirror, I don't even notice it anymore. I don't play with it or bite it, and nobody ever says anything about it... I don't notice it making an impression (that being said, i have a different kind of 'workplace'). Actually, my Grandpa is afraid of what will happen whenever I give him a kiss... ha ;)