For the last twenty years, nose rings and piercing have gained mainstream popularity in Western culture and it is the second most desired type of piercing by teens and young adults. To a teen or young adult, by getting their nose pierced, they fell they are somehow raising social standing with their peers.
Also, to a young adult, body piercings is a way for them to rebel against their parents and authority in general. After being told hundreds and hundreds of times not to get their noses or bodies pierced, they do it anyway, with little to no regard to what their parents might say or do.
For adults, nose piercings and other forms of body markings are a form of expression and also serve as a sign of being affiliated with a certain group or creed (e.g. gang tattoos, cross tattoos, etc).
For most people, tattoos are a form of expression but to others (mostly religious and reformist groups) tattoos are the marks of the devil and are not accepted by them as a form of “decent exposure.” In many parts of the world, like in Southeast Asia, South America, Africa and the South Pacific, tattoos and nose/body piercings are not only accepted as a form of expression, they are considered a rite of passage and in most tribes those who do not wear tattoos are not considered adults and are outcasts in the community.
In America, while tattoos and nose piercings are generally accepted, they are shunned and even illegal in most states. For example, in South Carolina and Oklahoma, it is illegal to operate a tattoo parlor and the penalty for breaking this law is either a fine and/or imprisonment.
South Carolina currently has a bill in place that if it is passed, tattooing will be legal for people 21 or older. In other states, tattoo and body piercing are legal but with age restrictions.
While tattoos and nose and body piercings maybe considered taboo, I and many people believe that what a human being put on their bodies is their choice and if there are consequences around the types of markings on their bodies, such as gang-affiliated tattooing, then that person or persons are responsible for them.
Anybody, as long as they do not physically harm others in the process, has a right to say, “This is my body and I will do with it as I please!”