International Body Piercing Day
annually on June 28th
International Body Piercing Day is celebrated by the piercing and modification communities. It not only celebrates body piercing but celebrates Jim Ward, "the granddaddy of the modern body piercing movement," on the anniversary of his birth. It aims to continue Ward's legacy of piercing education and promoting safety standards in the industry. The creator of the day is not known, but some sources say it was started by one of Ward's friends. For many, getting a body piercing is an important part of the day, and body piercers and tattooists sometimes celebrate with client events, special promotions, and discounted or free services.
With the backing of Doug Malloy, Ward opened Gauntlet, the first professional piercing parlor in the world, in his home in West Hollywood in 1975, and then as a commercial storefront, also in West Hollywood, in 1978. Ward expanded Gauntlet into an industry wholesaler and opened locations in San Francisco, Seattle, New York City, and Paris. In 1977, he began publishing PFIQ (Piercing Fans International Quarterly), the first and most prominent modification magazine of its time. Ward is known for innovating piercing techniques and a few styles of body jewelry, including the internally threaded barbell and ball captive rings. Ward also assisted in forming the APP (Association of Professional Piercers). Without Ward, it is unlikely the body piercing industry would have turned out as it has. Today we salute him and celebrate the industry he helped create.
How to Observe International Body Piercing Day
Some ways you could spend the day include:
- Get a body piercing. If you don't know where to go for one, getting pierced by a member of the Association of Professional Piercers, who follow the highest piercing safety standards, may be a great option. Make sure to keep a lookout for discounts and promotions happening today.
- Learn more about body piercing.
- Learn more about or join the Association of Professional Piercers. You could even plan to attend their next conference.
- Watch The Social History of Piercing.
- Read Jim Ward's memoir, Running the Gauntlet.