It's officially summer in New York City and with the warmer weather comes v neck t shirts and strapless tops. This type of wardrobe leads to exposure of my dermal anchors, two surgical steel studs implanted underneath the skin in my chest. Exposure of my dermal anchors tends to prompt inquiry. I was even once asked if I had a heart condition. For the record, the only current heart condition I have is my adoration of fashion. You can have them implanted just about anywhere, but I chose to place them parallel to my collar bone. A place I felt they would be aesthetically pleasing. They are my version of permanent accessories; akin to a necklace that I never take off. I enjoy collecting jewelry of all kinds.
I'm often asked how these came about. A few years ago, I'd met a woman who had a stud incorporated into a tattoo on the back of her neck. It was a tattoo of a gun where the studs served as a rivets in the handle. I was intrigued. A little bit of research soon lead me to a reclining chair in a tattoo parlor in the East Village. This is where I met Tom. He was heavily tattooed with a pony tail and goatee.
The anchors in my chest are actually two pieces, a top and a base. First they cut a hole with a small knife, dig a pocket underneath your skin with a long needle, then wedge the base underneath. The bottom of the base has holes that your skin grows into, essentially anchoring them in your body. Initially, I planned to add a stud every mile stone or significant event in my life. I imagined I'd create some sort of circular constellation like pattern ascending my shoulder and neck. Unfortunately, with the pain from installation and a healing time of roughly 8 months, additional piercings are highly unlikely. I am, however, contemplating a tattoo.
PHOTO BY AAP