George Carter
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Happy Birthday, Scaffold Piercing

| Thursday 22nd February, 2024

Happy First Birthday to my scaffold piercing.

Getting a scaffold was a pivotal moment in my self-development journey. A year prior I had booked in to get it done, but ended up cancelling the appointment for a couple of reasons…

On the face of it, the reason was that I was attending ‘pump’ classes at the gym and thought the piercing might get knocked about as I lifted weights above my head. To be fair, this probably isn’t the case.

More likely, but more subconsciously, this was to be the first piercing I couldn’t hide. I’d had a Prince Albert—removed by then—which was, clearly, invisible to most people, and a Septum piercing that could easily be flipped up into my nostrils and hidden when I desired. The scaffold would be on show 100% of the time… no choice.

So I put it off. The fear of looking different won over. The fear of being myself won over. (I’ve since learnt—as I mentioned yesterday—that my CPTSD causes me to experience toxic shame whenever I express myself authentically. I was not aware of that at the time.)

So come February 2023… I had booked in to get my Prince Albert re-pierced. But when I showed up on the day, something welled up inside me – a courage I hadn’t felt before… “could I change my mind and get that scaffold piercing?”, I asked. We’d already done the anatomy check and my right ear was a suitable candidate (the left ear was not).

“Sure”, said the piercer.

And we went ahead.

After a two-week heal on my PA, and a four-week heal on my septum, the scaffold was an absolute asshole to heal. Knock one end and the other end gets an irritation bump. And boy do you knock the ends regularly, especially if you wear glasses. Or ever, indeed, decide you would like to sleep.

It took a full nine months to heal – although I understand full healing takes twelve to twenty-four.

And it’s still the piercing that gets the most comments and most polarised comments… everything from “wow, scaffold piercings are so cool” to “what the hell have you got that ugly thing in your ear for?”. But as with most things, most people keep their opinions to themselves. And it’s fine because I didn’t get it done for them.

I am really pleased I went for it. I am pleased I was able to express myself. I am pleased that I had the courage to wear a statement that can draw negative comments and live with those comments. I am pleased that I dared to be me.

Mary Oliver says “Let the soft animal of your body love what it loves” and I love my scaffold piercing.

Happy Birthday, scaffold piercing!

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