“Smileys” are the newest facial piercings taking the Internet by storm

It sounds cute, adorable, and worth of at least 3 namesake emojis, but Smileys are totally hardcore. They’re also totally taking over your Instagram feed.

A Smiley is an oral piercing — the technical name for it is an upper lip frenulum piercing. It’s a piercing through the small piece of thin tissue that connects your upper lip to your gums inside your mouth. The nickname “smiley” comes from the fact that people can only see the jewelry when the wearer smiles, which makes it an attractive choice for those who aren’t ready to commit to a fully visible facial piercing. It also just looks so damn cool.

J. Colby Smith, a popular piercing artist based in New York, told Refinery29 that he’s seen an uptick in requests for this piercing recently, so much so that it’s threatening the septum piercing’s current reign as the It Girl piercing. “Smileys are one of my favorites right now,” Smith said, “because it’s unexpected; it’s something not everybody has and not everybody wants. Because people are still trying to decide how they feel about [them].”

Like any piercing or body modification, the Smiley comes with risks. Oral piercings are officially advised against by the American Dental Association due to their high potential for damage. Placement and care are especially important as the piercing can impact the health of the mouth. However, if you do choose to get an oral piercing, it’s best to get it done by a professional. A Smiley is definitely not the piercing you want try to do yourself.

You can try watching a video of a live Smiley piercing, but it’s not for the faint of heart.

(Images via Instagram)