Uhm … ouch
Mandi Hamlin is a bit pissed off with the Transportation Security Administration. Last month, while trying to catch a flight from Lubbock, Texas to Dallas-Forth Worth, Hamlin was selected for additional screening. When the TSA officer waved his magic wand over across her chest, Hamlin’s nipple rings sent the wand a-buzzing. The officer called another officer over, and then they called some more, and eventually everyone decided that Hamlin would have to remove the rings. Hamlin tried to explain that this wasn’t a great option for her since it can be painful to remove nipple rings and the piercing can close up shortly after the rings are out, making it even more painful to get them back in.
Hamlin offered to show them her nipple rings to show that she wasn’t smuggling anything elicit. The officers declined this request, and insisted that she take them out. So Hamlin went behind a curtain to take them out, but had to request pliers (!) to get them out, because of the difficulty she was having in removing them.
Another scan, after she had finally removed the nipple rings, buzzed again because of her naval ring, but the officers said she didn’t need to remove that since they could see it. Which makes it especially ridiculous that they weren’t willing to simply do a visual inspection of her nipple rings. Plus, the TSA guidelines allow for officers to do pat-downs, and Hamlin says she would’ve let someone give her a grope if it could’ve avoided having to remove the rings. All of which is why Hamlin and her lawyer, Gloria Allred, now want a public apology from the TSA. If no apology is given, Allred says that Hamlin will consider her other legal options (and the safe bet is certainly on an ensuing lawsuit).
The TSA has published a statement on its website noting that its procedures have caused some trouble and that the agency will now make it clear that a visual inspection can avoid the need to remove piercings. The statement also notes that the TSA “appreciates” Hamlin bringing this issue to the forefront, but there’s nary an apology to be seen.
You know, there are just so many breast jokes to be had here, but I’m going to take the high road. Don’t expect this to become a regular tradition, however. I just hate the damn TSA and their stupid administration of “security” and don’t want to belittle the whole thing with titty jokes.