Whether or not I believe that the "wardrobe malfunction" was intentional or not is really a moot point, but if you really must know my position on this matter I feel that this was nothing more than a publicity stunt designed to pump up Janet's exposure just before the release of her new album. It was no more a mistake than the Madonna/Britney kiss and the apology is no more sincere. Does that mean I hold anything against Ms. Jackson? Nope. As far as I'm concerned, she and any other woman should be free to bare their boob(s) whenever they feel like, but then again the power of controversy would not have been on her side if this was an accepted form of artistic expression.
Back to the original intent of my article. First of all, let's be clear about what you actually saw Janet exposing that day. No, it was not a pastie (a stick-on nipple covering usually used by exotic dancers). It was a piece of jewelry called a nipple shield. A nipple shield is simply a decorative piece of metal that accompanies a normal piercing rod to surround the nipple with some kind of design - in Janet's case, a sun. You can see some examples of nipple shields at The Chain Gang. This is why there is so much controversy around the exposure, because except for what the shield was hiding, Ms. Jackson's nipple was almost fully visible, a clear violation of FCC rules.
Was it sexy? Hell, yeah. Nipple piercings continue to be one of the most erotic forms of body art worn by women. Paired with an exotic piece of jewelry, the nipple piercing can be a source of sensual arousal. But does that mean you should go out and get one, just because Janet Jackson has one? Of course not - especially if you're under 18 years old.
Celebrities have been credited with the growing acceptance of body art, especially tattoos. People see their favorite celebrities wearing them and soon not only stop despising the art form, but also start to want to emulate the celebrities by getting their own. I suppose I should be grateful that my own website might be so popular because of the celebrities that have made tattoos and piercings so mainstream. And to an extent, I suppose I am - grateful. My concern, however, still falls with the hordes of "sheep" that follow so blindly into a trap of conformism that they insist they actually came upon their body art as an act of individuality.
Bottom line, body piercings are more permanent than many want to believe. The general feeling is that if the piercing doesn't "work" it can always be removed. Of course, this is true - but the mark of the piercing, usually represented by a small scar, will almost always remain. Even body piercings shouldn't be taken upon lightly, as they demand great care and can cause serious health problems if not performed or cared for properly. If you want a piercing, it should be because you want it and not because of any outside influence. It needs to be done by a professional, and it needs to be cleaned and tended to carefully. Janet Jackson and Christina Aguilera are not going to come and help you clean your tattoo, and my guess is that neither one of them care whether you get pierced to imitate them or not.
And if you're under 18 and a piercer touches your breast and/or any other private areas - doesn't matter who they are or who you are, it's illegal almost everywhere and is considered molestation. So for all of you young teen girls out there wanting to get this done, keep in mind that it could land you and your so-called piercer in a whole heap of trouble. As I have said many times before, if anyone is willing to do something so blatantly wrong, they are not going to care about you or your safety and it very well could turn into a sexual assualt. Please do not put yourself in this kind of situation and potential danger.
It has been said recently that it is those without tattoos and piercings who are now the true rebels and individuals. There is a part of me that must sadly agree. But then again, there will always be the lot of us who get tattooed and pierced for the love of the art and not for a show of rebellion or imitation. These are the people that will ensure the longevity of a beautiful art form long after the celebrities have dismissed it for something else more attention-getting.