body piercing history

Now Available ! Jim Ward's New Book: Running the Gauntlet

Running The Gauntlet Book Cover

In Running the Gauntlet pioneer Jim Ward provides a captivating in-depth narrative on the origins of the modern body piercing industry. I was completely spellbound by Ward’s uncensored personal history, and his account of establishing a unique business that has brought genuine change to contemporary culture. Prior to Jim Ward’s founding of Gauntlet Enterprises, piercing was a little-known activity practiced by people on the fringes of society. Now, as a result of his actions, there are piercing studios all around the globe and millions of pierced individuals. The quantity of “firsts” that are under Jim Ward’s belt (figuratively, and perhaps literally) is remarkable.

This volume would stand on its own as a text, but the phenomenal collection of historical images throughout the book transported me on a journey across time right along with the author. The rich visuals make the story accessible and wholly satisfying.  

Even those who are not involved in body piercing would love this book because the tale itself is so intriguing, and so compellingly and candidly recounted. Don’t miss this must-read memoir!

What Will They Think?

I ran into an article positing the question: "What Will Our Descendants Think of Body Piercing"? Part of it reads:

But what will the archaeologists of the future think, when in 1,000 years or so, they start pulling up embalmed bodies and the like with pierced eyebrows, nipples and bellybuttons, from lots of different locations around the planet, and probably having no record of what it was about or why it happened at all? Just considering the amount of details that we’ve lost from an era less than 100 years ago has got to make you wonder exactly what those descendants will think of this society where tribe members are scattered across the earth with only body piercings to tie them together.

It is an interesting concept to consider. Though, of the pierced individuals I know who have passed on, their body jewelry was removed prior to burial. I am not sure if that is standard practice or not. My friend who was cremated willed his body jewelry to his good friends, and they had it sterilized and wear it in their bodies so his memory and “part of him” lives on inside them. That’s pretty cool! Moreover, in 1000 years, hopefully they’ll still have the record of my book, The Piercing Bible, which explains all about every aspect of modern body piercing. Or maybe not.... Elayne Angel

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