There are things in this world that people do to their bodies that others aren’t a fan of. They do some crazy body modifications, and whether it is a part of their culture or by choice, they get judged quickly. For the younger generations who decide to get tattoos young, or pierce their ears, then gauge them, the judging seems to be worse.
Tattoos are permanent, yes. Trust me, we all know. If you mention anything about them to your grandparents, or even your parents, they give you a long lecture that no one wants to hear.
We have all heard the conversations about young adults and their sometimes “outrageous” body modifications, but today, these conversations don’t really affect the younger generations. Tattoos and piercings are trending. The younger generations are attracted to them, and I don’t think this trend is going anywhere fast.
How do we, as the younger generations, explain our modifications to the generations before us? It seems to me there is no getting through to them.
I myself have tattoos and piercings. My parents seem to be okay with them. (Well, my mom anyway.) My mom has enough piercings and tattoos of her own that to judge me for mine would just make her a hypocrite, but my dad on the other hand, doesn’t seem to be a fan of them.
Just recently I got a new tattoo that means a lot to me, and that’s something that the older generations just don’t understand. They don’t care that the permanent ink in our skin means something, they just think about the fact that the marks are permanent. There are times when we actually do get things for a reason. When they lecture us about how a tattoo is permanent, they fail to realize that we want them to be permanent – they mean something to us.
The first time I told my grandmother that I had tattoos, the expression on her face was priceless. I explained to her what they meant to me and she still looked at me with that “disappointed grandma” look. When I would go to her house with a new piercing, the same disheartened look would come across her face.
With the look came the same lectures would always come up, no matter if it was about the newest tattoo or the newest piercing.
“What is going to happen when you have to get a job?”
I didn’t want have to explain it every time, hence the reason I kept these things a secret for so long.
My grandmother wasn’t the only one I had to explain things too. One year at Christmas, my uncle turned to me and said, “Hey, do you know you have a piece of barbed wire in your face?”
Oh, how clever. Me being the sarcastic person that I am turned back and said something “I put it there on purpose. It’s the ‘in’ thing now.”
The thing about a tattoo is that it takes a lot of planning. I don’t just run out to the first open tattoo shop I see and get some random ink on my body. I think about what I want for a long time, plan it out, find the right artist and then work with the artist to perfect the work of art that is about to go on my body.
Piercings are a little different, and I can go to the closest shop and just get something done, but it still takes planning. Do I really want this, will it look good, but the thing with piercings is that they can go away. If you take the ring out of the hole, it will close up.
Tattoos I think through carefully. They are permanent, and there are some jobs that aren’t as open to them as others. Every tattoo I have gotten I have thought about my future before the needle ever hit my skin. The one on my foot, I can wear shoes. The one on my thigh and my calf, pants are not hard to come by, and the one on my wrist is small enough I can cover it with a watch or bracelet if I can’t wear long sleeves.
I never reject any questions. If people want to know if something hurts, I tell them the truth right then and there. One reason I don’t sugar coat anything is so people can decide for themselves if they want to endure it themselves. I am going to share my personal experience with them, who am I to stop anyone. No one stopped me.
If strangers want to sit around and judge me for my piercings or tattoos, they can feel free. They don’t have to see them every day. In my opinion, tattoos are a work of art. Piercings that people get that are a part of culture, and I respect them. Certain piercings mean different things in all different cultures, and I respect people for wanting to carry on the traditions of their culture.
In the end, I think of it the same way I did before. The older generations can judge me for my tattoos and piercings, but I know what they stand for and I know the precautions I’ll have to take to protect my future. I know I can’t change their minds. I will probably always get those “disappointed grandma” looks if I do get more tattoos and piercings.
Even if you get the disappointment looks, the lectures, or strange looks from strangers walking down the street, keep in mind you do these things because you want to. You have to like what you do to your body because otherwise you wouldn’t do it. Continue giving people the opportunity to create works of art.
Don’t worry about what other people say. Do what makes you happy. Be a piece of art.