A 6% sales tax on body piercing was introduced by the US state of Arkansas in 2005. The state also applies the 6% sales tax to hair removal and tattoo services. Tax planning to avoid the Arkansas piercings tax is as simple as crossing the state border to have the piercings done interstate. The six neighboring states of Louisiana, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, Tennessee and Texas all have numerous piercing shops, but no state taxes on piercings.
Body piercing is the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the human body, and creating an opening in which jewellery may be worn. Ear piercing has been practised for at least 5,000 years. The oldest mummified body discovered to date, the 5,300-year-old Ötzi, the Iceman which was found in a glacier in Italy, had a 7–11 mm diameter ear piercing.
The African and American tribal cultures practised nose piercing from 1500 BC, and the Romans’ nipple and genital piercing from 320 AD. Tongue piercing was practised by the Aztec, Olmec and Mayan cultures as a ritual symbol. Sailors and explorers often pierced one ear, due to the superstitious belief that it improved long-distance vision. People get piercings for many reasons including: religious, spiritual, self-expression, aesthetic value, for sexual pleasure, or to rebel. A 2001 survey in Clinical Nursing Research, found that 62% of people who have had piercings have done so in an effort to express their individuality.
Over the years body piercing has fallen in and out of fashion. In the West body piercing was unfashionable for centuries and only started to become popular in the 1960s. In 2004, body piercing was given a media boost when Janet Jackson experienced a wardrobe malfunction during a half-time performance at Super Bowl XXXVIII that exposed her pierced nipple. Elaine Davidson, the Most Pierced Woman in the world, holds the Guinness World Record for most permanent piercings, 6,005.