As fascinating as all of TigerGate has been, what’s really kept me glued to my TV are those glittering implanted studs in the upper cheeks of his gal pals Jamie Jungers and Jaimee Grubbs. They look sort of like moles, but by Swarovski. So I phoned up J. Colby Smith, a piercer at New York’s Adorned boutique, for some insights.
According to Smith, these implanted studs fall under the category of “micro-dermal anchoring,” which means that the adornment doesn’t go all the way through, like an ear, lip or tongue piercing would. At Adorned, the procedure is called the “Anti-Eyebrow” (due to its location south of the eye).
Here’s how it’s done: An L-shaped titanium plate is inserted into a tiny pocket in the skin. The plate contains holes to allow skin tissue to adhere to it. The shorter part of the L is what sticks out, looking like a tiny post or stump. The post has a hollow opening, which is where the diamond (or your adornment of choice) is screwed in. In other words, the diamond part is the male part and the post in the skin is the female part.
While the adornments can be changed, the plate itself should only be removed by an experienced professional, and will most likely leave a scar. Finally, I asked Colby whether the Tiger mediafest has prompted a rise in requests for the procedure. “Not really,” he said. At least, he added, nothing like “what Christy Turlington and Naomi Campbell did for the navel piercing, or what Janet Jackson did for the nipple.”