two cupcakes with cherries

The body jewelry industry is all about loving yourself and your body. Part of that is being aware of when something is wrong so that you can get on top of it and stay healthy.

According to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, 1 in 8 women will develop breast cancer in her lifetime. However, it doesn’t have to be a death sentence. Currently, 62% of breast cancer cases are found when the cancer is still localized. When it’s still at the localized stage (it hasn’t spread to other areas of the body), breast cancer has a 99% survival rate.

The key to detecting breast cancer at the localized stage is conducting regular checkups and learning how to check yourself at home. This is why Breast Cancer Awareness Month is so important. This year, an estimated 41,760 women and 500 men will die from breast cancer. Breast Cancer Awareness Month strives to bring those numbers down by educating the populace and making women and men aware of the issue so that they can catch cancer growth before it becomes seriously life threatening.

All women—especially those who have relatives who have been diagnosed with breast cancer—should know how to check themselves, even if they’re not yet old enough for regular mammogram screenings. Even men need to be aware that breast cancer can happen to them; an estimated 2,670 men will be diagnosed with breast cancer in the United States this year.

We encourage you to talk to your doctor, check your genetic disposition for breast cancer, and read more about breast cancer and your risks. Early detection might one day save your life.

How can you help?

For Breast Cancer Month, FreshTrends is partnering with Bright Pink to help fight breast cancer by increasing awareness and encouraging women to assess and reduce their risk.

This month, 10% of our proceeds from our Pink Collection will go to Bright Pink, so if there’s something that you’ve been eyeing, now is the time to buy.

Here are some of the amazing products you can get for yourself while supporting an amazing cause. What more could you ask for?

In honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month, at the risk of being obvious, we’d also like to celebrate one of our favorite body-positive piercings: the nipple piercing.

Why get your nipples pierced?

Above all body piercing types, nipple and genital piercings tend to have the most confusion surrounding them. Many people can’t understand why someone would want such a sensitive area pierced, especially if they’ll be hidden most of the time.

While nipple piercings are sometimes chosen for sexual reasons—they can make nipple play a lot more interesting, and let’s face it, they can be sexy as hell—but for many, their nipple piercings carry a much deeper meaning.

woman with nipple piercings through t-shirt

Piercing the nipples helps some take control of their body. When they pierce such an intimate area, they’re saying that this is their body, and they can do what they want with it. It goes beyond feeling sexy; it’s an exclamation that they have the right to decide what they want to do with their bodies.

Nipple piercings also have feminist implications. Having jewelry in your nipples makes them stick out, which means that they’ll often show through a tight t-shirt, especially if you’re not wearing a bra. With so many conversations surrounding women’s’ bodies and what women should or should not be wearing, nipple piercings make the statement, “This is my body, and who cares if you can see my nipples?” It’s an empowering declaration that makes us reevaluate the way we sexualize women on a daily basis.

Can I get my nipples pierced after surgery?

Whether you’re a breast cancer survivor who has undergone a mastectomy and reconstruction, transgender, or you’ve undergone breast augmentation or reduction surgery, you might be wondering whether you can get your nipples pierced at all.

Unfortunately, there’s no easy answer.

According the Elayne Angel, author of The Piercing Bible, if your surgery was fairly minor, and you have no scar tissue on or near the nipple, you’ll likely be able to have your nipple pierced once you have fully healed from surgery.

If you’ve had radical breast surgery, then you might not be a good candidate for nipple piercings, depending on the type of surgery you received. Once you’ve fully healed from surgery, you should consult a piercing professional who has a wealth of experience with nipple piercings as well as your surgeon. They will be able to look at your breasts or chest and let you know whether or not you’ll be a candidate for nipple piercings. 

Part of the reason that it’s so complicated is that an infection in your nipple piercing could spread to your implant, causing substantial complications. Additionally, piercing is not advisable if your nipple was reconstructed with non-areolar tissue, since it won’t heal as easily. Piercing can also be difficult if you underwent areola reduction, which is common in female-to-male chest surgeries.

After you’ve had breast/chest surgery, if you want to get your nipples pierced, the best thing you can do is talk to both your surgeon and a piercer you trust to see if you’re a good candidate.

Which nipple jewelry should I choose, and why?

Once you’ve gone through the 6 – 12 month healing period, you get to choose your preferred nipple jewelry styles.

There are tons of styles to choose from, depending upon your personal preference. 

Straight barbells

These are a fairly common option, since they’re pretty easy to insert, and they draw attention to the nipple piercing, especially through a tight shirt. You can get creative with the bead styles, choosing gemstone settings, opals, Baltic amber, or even a luxurious diamond pave. These are a great option when you really want your nipple piercing to pop.

Curved barbells

These offer a similar aesthetic to the straight barbell, but since they’re slightly curved, they follow your body’s natural anatomy a little better than straight barbells. If you have smaller breasts, these might be a better option, since they won’t stick out as much. Like the straight barbell, you can have a little fun with the bead ends, choosing colorful options or gorgeous gemstones.

Circular barbells

These combine the best of the hoop and barbell styles. The U-shape almost forms a full hoop, emulating the ring look, but since it doesn’t fully close, you get the bold look of the double bead ends. 

Captive bead rings

These create a full hoop, but they still have one bead used to close the ring. The bead sticks out a little more, still drawing attention to your nipple ring, but it’s often a little subtler than the barbell options. With the bead, you can also choose fun styles, like pearls, diamonds, or opals.

Seamless rings

These are perhaps the most understated jewelry option that you can choose for your nipple piercing. It consists of a simple hoop with ends that pinch together, creating a seamless look. You can get seamless hoops with diamond inlays for a pretty accent, but they’ll still be difficult to see under a shirt. One thing to keep in mind with seamless rings is that they can be difficult to change by yourself, and you might need to visit a piercer if you want to switch your jewelry.

Clicker and segment rings

These are similar to seamless rings since, once they’re in the nipple, it can be difficult to see where the hoop begins and ends, but they’re a little easier to insert and take out yourself. Clicker rings consist of a hinged piece that you open to insert the jewelry, while segment rings consist of a curved piece that you completely remove in order to insert the jewelry. You can choose standard hoop options or get a little creative with dangles and other ornate styles.

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Nipple shields

These offer the most lavish nipple jewelry styles. They consist of a straight barbell with a shield that goes completely around the nipple. Since they’re so large, they can take on unique looks. However, they can be quite heavy, so you shouldn’t wear them on a daily basis. Nipple shields are best worn for fun times in the bedroom or perhaps at a costume party.

Our breasts and our bodies are something to be celebrated! This Breast Cancer Awareness Month, take the time to educate yourself, and encourage your friends—women and men—to do the same. Breast cancer is highly treatable when found early enough. All it takes is regular self-checks and annual checkups with your doctor.

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