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Beauty Culture Education

Johnny Pearce: Spreading Education and Awareness About Body Piercing


The practice of body piercing requires quite a bit of trust on the part of the client and integrity on the part of the piercer. Clients must trust that the person they’ve paid to stick a needle through them is knowledgeable and capable enough to do so safely and adeptly. On the piercer’s end, they must be honest with the client about their ability to meet their needs and the safety of their requests. A lack of these qualities from either party can result in conflicts, frustration, botched jobs, wasted money, and even injuries. That’s why professional piercer Johnny Pearce believes that spreading education and awareness about the practice is essential to its continued prosperity.

Supporting Piercing with the APP

Originally born Jonathan Lawrence Pearce of North Carolina, Johnny Pearce began his piercing career in 2010. His recognizable piercing style and comprehension for photography eventually gained him notoriety among the international piercing community and became a key foundation for his success. He’s an active member and passionate advocate of The Association of Professional Piercers, a non-profit international health and safety organization dedicated to the dissemination of information about safe body piercing to piercers, healthcare professionals, legislators, and the general public. “It’s really a wonderful organization full of passionate people and volunteers who care so deeply about the health and safety standards of our industry,” Johnny says. He believes that other piercers should join the organization and support their cause to build a better industry for all.

Johnny Pearce attends and teaches at the APP’s educational conference in Las Vegas each year, where thousands gather to freely share information to help fellow members, piercers, healthcare professionals, legislators, health inspectors, and the general public get the best and most up-to-date information about body piercing. The APP website contains updated information about current piercing and jewelry standards, as well as a search option to help find an APP member near you.

Creating Informed Clients and Educated Piercers

Not only is education and awareness important for piercers, but it also means a better, safer experience for clients. Education is the difference between a piercer practicing a clean, aseptic technique and one who is recklessly transferring harmful bacteria to their client. “Furthering education in your field is a key difference between who you are right now and the best professional version of yourself,” Pearce says. “We have this mantra in the piercing industry, ‘Forever Learning.’ Even if you’ve done this professionally for 20 or 30 years, there’s still something more to learn, there’s still a way in which you can improve. That stands just as true for myself: I will never be done learning.”

Ultimately, the responsibility of self-education is on both parties. Piercers have an obvious obligation to be honest and capable before they begin a procedure, but clients should take steps to prepare themselves before undergoing a permanent piercing. If the client or piercer is uncomfortable about any aspect of the procedure, it should not proceed further.

A New Era of Safety and Trust in Piercing

Over the next few years, Johnny hopes that the APP’s efforts to promote education and awareness among everyone involved in the piercing industry will usher in a new era of raised safety standards and increased social acceptance of the practice. “I want piercing to be seen as a safe and trustworthy form of body modification, and I want to help the industry to earn that reputation,” he says. In addition to his professional work and media appearances, Johnny hopes to share his love of piercing in a new book, a collection of his works that is currently in development.

Featured on The Today Show and even as a special guest on Impractical Jokers, his client list includes recognizable names such as Cardi B, Gwyneth Paltrow, and Savannah Guthrie. After settling into a permanent role at Manhattan’s very own Nine Moons Piercing in 2019, he remains a New York City resident, actively piercing in SoHo.

Learn more about Nine Moons Piercing on the official website. Follow Johnny’s work on Instagram (@johnnypearce). Find an APP member at https://safepiercing.org/find-a-piercer/