piercing fad is 'baggin' out'
CAMBRIDGE Think a nose ring is daring? Forget about it. Think a tongue stud will impress people? Not even close.
If you want to be on the cutting edge of piercing, youll have to hang with the big dogs. Youll have to ride the big wave. Youll have to take the plunge into the latest youth fashion fad: colostomies.
Teens and 20-somethings from Saugus to Southborough are lining up for the procedure, which re-routes the excretory system into a bag outside the body.
"Ive never seen anything like it," says Gretchen Reed, manager of the Colostomy Pagoda at the CambridgeSide Galleria. "We used to be lucky to get two walk-in colostomies a month, but now were doing two an hour. I dont have enough surgeons on staff to meet demand."
Whats driving this hole phenomenon? We posed the question to David Foster, one of Bostons most renowned cosmetic gastroenterologists.
"Young people today want to stand up and be heard," explains Foster, as he lifts his shirt to reveal a blue suede colostomy bag with a rhinestone monogram. "They want to do something shocking, something that lets them express their individuality. Thats why kids think colostomies are so rad there are as many different bags as there are different attitudes."
To see the full array, just visit Maximum Drainage, a new "colostomy gear" boutique in Jamaica Plain. Want to seem casual yet conservative? Try a Levis denim bag. Need some skater cred? Get a Dickies canvas bag. If youve got more highbrow tastes, Maximum Drainage will let you try on all sorts of designer pouches, from Coachs hand-finished leather to Pradas coated nylon.
And if youre put off by department store prices, you can head up to Freeports The Maine Drain, the nations first colostomy outlet superstore.
As legend has it, this trend began last year on the beaches of Southern California, where surfers first started showing off their gnarly osto bags at drunken beachside luaus. The skateboarding subculture quickly picked up the fad, giving rise to the popular expressions "baggy" (full of shit), "in the bag" (shitty) and "two-bagger" (person with two colostomy bags).
But now colostomies have seeped into the mainstream. The NBA has already sold $1.2 million this year in team-branded colostomy bags, including one that looks and feels like a regulation basketball. And girls as young as 12 are buying "Crapper Keepers," pink plastic colostomy bags featuring defecating ponies and unicorns.
In fact, hip kids are whispering that the colostomy scene is a sellout. Theyre moving on to even more extreme forms of piercing.
Like "exo-pancrea-core," where the pancreas is removed and worn decoratively on the forehead. Or "sinal belting," where a decorative woven belt is run in through one nostril, around the entire sinal passage, out the other nostril and tied tightly about the neck. Some poorer neighborhoods are even experimenting with a piercing called "stab in the stomach with a decorative metal rod."
So, as they say, all things must pass. Heres betting that by 1999, its colostomies themselves thatll be "in the bag."