A woman got a bracelet permanently welded to her wrist in the latest fashion trend to take off.
While piercings are an established form of body art, it seems jewelry fans are now turning to welding pieces as a less painful way to express their style credentials.
Presley Parker headed to jewelers Catbird, in Soho, New York, for the appointment, known as “zapping.”
She shared a clip to TikTok on Saturday, showing off her bare arm, as she said: “Getting a bracelet permanently welded to my wrist.” Parker filmed the technique in-store, as she later showed off a delicate chain on her wrist, saying: “Oh my god. So obsessed.”
Her clip amassed more than two million views, as Parker responded to questions in the comments, saying: “I’m going to get my mom one so we can have matching ones.”
And when questioned why she decided to shun the traditional style, she explained: “It’s nice to not have the appearance of a clasp and it costs the same as the bracelet with the clasp.”
She revealed it was called the sweet nothing bracelet, which is one of five styles available to be welded, with this design the cheapest at $94. Others eligible to be zapped are the tinsel bracelet at $118; the 1976 design, costing $134; the tiny corsage bracelet will set you back $220; while the most expensive at $334 is the diamond pinprick.
Explaining more about the service, Catbird’s website says: “Catbird jewelers are on-site to weld a Forever Catbird Bracelet onto you which means your wrist will be sparkly… always! Come get zapped, bring your friends—it’s the ultimate friendship bracelet. It will have no clasp and should require no maintenance—it’s there to sparkle and shine and make you happy!”
And in case anyone worried it might hurt, they allayed fears on their website as they confirmed: “Not at all! Despite the flash, getting zapped does not mean physically zapped. We would never do that to you! It’s just a little thrill. ‘ZAP’ refers to the flash you see when you get a Forever Catbird Bracelet welded onto your wrist.”
While it’s meant to be permanent, they confirmed the chain can easily be removed simply using a pair of scissors.
They wrote: “Though we like to think of Catbird Forever pieces as permanent, they can simply (but permanently) be taken off with scissors! If you need to remove the bracelet for any reason, we recommend carefully cutting it (ideally at the small ring that connects the two ends of the chain, to maintain the integrity of the chain) with scissors, and if you wish to get it welded back on at a later date we can certainly do that for a small welding fee ($10 + tax)!”
People are raving about the trend online, with Wren writing: “This would be a cute and safe replacement for matching tattoos with someone.”
Miriiix3 commented: “So simple and cute, I love it.”
Although Ladyeverything joked: “Too much commitment.”
Catbird told Newsweek: “We first tested the concept of welded Catbird Forever bracelets with our customers at a ‘one night only’ event in May 2017, and had a really overwhelming turnout. Lots of our customers came in together for a best friends’ bracelet ritual that evening! Shortly after, we opened our Catbird Welding Annex, to offer the service more regularly, and have even taken it on the road to other cities.
“Permanency in jewelry is fun to think about—there’s an appeal to it, thrilling and meaningful like a tattoo but with a bit less commitment. It can also be such a commemorative experience, to mark an occasion. And because it’s solid 14k gold, it lasts.”
Newsweek reached out to Parker for comment.
Update 7/8/21, 3:18 a.m. ET: This article was updated with comment from Catbird.
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