Judging A Book By Its Cover Gets Pierced In Public

By Jerry Davich
Chicago Tribune

WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) Great article by Jerry Davich which introduces us to Mallory Fiegle, owner of “Unity Studio”, a tattoo and piercing shop in Valparaiso. The studio features eclectic apparel, jewelry and fine art created by Fiegle and other artists.


After meeting Mallory Fiegle, my perception of her was pierced by an old-English idiom: Don’t judge a book by its cover.

In Fiegle’s case, her book-cover appearance can seem a bit intimidating. Her 29-year-old body is covered with more than three dozen tattoos, eight piercings, dark clothing, and two large ear gauges underneath her backward-turned black cap.

Immediately, possibly instinctively, preconceived fears, biases and judgments can seep into anyone’s mind when first meeting her. This happens consistently to her. Stares. Whispers. Finger pointing. She’s seen and heard it all.

Then you open her “book,” turn a few pages and read the first chapters of her life. A different image slowly emerges beyond the tattoos, piercings and body art. It’s softer. Sweeter. Disarming. Initial reactions melt away. Prejudices, too.

Fiegle has a 100-watt smile. A genuine laugh. A friendly disposition. A sweet love story.

Trouble is, how many of us care to turn these proverbial pages in others? How many of us take the time to read past each other’s hard-cover image? How many of us believe it’s simpler and more convenient to instead assess or judge someone at face value?

I’m raising my hand. Did you raise yours?

This is why I knew I had to get to know Fiegle better after first meeting her at Unity Studio, a tattoo and piercing studio in Valparaiso. Last summer, I took my teenage daughter there to get her nose pierced. It was a first for her so, of course, her mother and I were concerned who would be doing the piercing.

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