Thursday, 3 October 2013

Tattoo And Piercing Prejudice.

Hey guys. I hope you are all having a wonderful day. Today, I wanted to talk about something a little different, this is an issue that is personal to me, close to my heart, and something I wanted to talk about since I started my blog. Even in 2013 tattoo and piercing prejudice is cropping up everywhere, and it is infuriating. As someone who has encountered this type of prejudice, I really felt I should write about it. 

It took me three years to beg my parents into allowing me to get a nose piercing, finally, after great Junior Cert results, they relented, and at 15 years old, I got my first body modification, and from that point, I developed a huge love for piercings and tattoos. Today at 20 years old, I have seven piercings: my right ear stretched at 20mm, scaffold piercing, lip, smiley, tongue web and my nose piercing. I have 4 tattoos and saving for my fifth, which you'll see below. They are so important to me and I love them to bits.

Time after time, if my tattoos are showing, I have had snide comments thrown my way, people ''Wondering what my mother thinks of them'' thinking I'll regret them, saying I'm making myself ugly or ''What about work?''. My piercings are constantly on show, I've actually had worse comments on those, from ''Ewwwwwww!'' ''You're ruining your face'' ''Freak'' ''You have to be so insecure deep down'' and being flat out told that they are disgusting. If I'm honest, these comments don't really hurt, and I usually laugh it off or ignore it, and stand up for myself. Truth be told, it's exhausting having to defend yourself and your choices, to defend the things you love, it's tiring, and aggravating. When I was in secondary school I had my nose pierced, and had jewellery in it to hide the piercing so it would heal, a teacher I had, decided to humiliate me in front of the entire class and forced me to take out that piercing, which closed in a matter of hours. However, I had the same teacher for another subject two classes on, when a guy in my class, did not hide his ear piercing, that teacher told him he saw the piercing and went back to teaching, not forcing him to take it out, I was livid, and so embarrassed. 

Don't get me wrong, I do get people coming up to me telling me how much they love my piercings and tattoos, so it's not all negative comments, but the thing that irks me, the thing that irks alot of people with body mods, is the repetitive questions that get asked again and again like ''I wonder what your parents think?'' ''Won't you regret them?'' ''How will you look when you're eighty?'' ''Aren't you too young for tattoos?'' ''What does that tattoo mean?'' ''How will you get a job?'' I wouldn't mind answering MOST of these, but the annoying thing is, they are usually asked by complete strangers.
I got into body modification when I was thirteen, they are beautiful to me, my parents believed it to be a phase that I would grow out of eventually, but here I am at 20, loving them more and more each day. Initially, my parents hated the idea of me having loads of piercings and tattoos, especially my father, but when they realised it was more than a phase, they eased up a little. To the people who wonders what my mother thinks of my tattoos? She absolutely loves them, thanks for asking. 
Body modification practices are almost as old as time, so I fail to understand why some people out there struggle to realise that yes, some people choose to have piercings and have tattoos. 
Tattoos especially are the best form of self expression, creativity, and to me, it's my favourite art form. It's the one thing we will take to the grave with us. They illustrate our lives, our defining moments, they show what's important to us as individuals, they show our life lessons, our successes, our passions, maybe even the people close to us and our most important life events. Life is too short to let the prejudice that comes with body mods affect us, be who you want to be, the worst thing we can do is let those with smaller minds get to us and leave us with regret. 

Those with a closed mind especially when it comes to body modification are so quick in my opinion to judge those with tattoos and piercings in a harsh light, they assume they know this person and think they fit the persona of ''aggressive biker'' ''deadbeat'' 'loser'' ''never had a job'' ''in and out of prison''. This is simply not the case. For example, those with brilliant jobs I found on the ''Tattoo Acceptance In The Workplace'' Facebook page, have fantastic jobs, such as paramedics, lawyers, EMT, doctors, soldiers, mothers, vets, chefs, artists, musicians, writers, stockbrokers, the list goes on and on. Even the 26th president of the United States Teddy Roosevelt was tattooed! We have no right to judge others plainly on their looks alone, we need to focus on the character within. Focus on our own lives, and not someone elses. ''Never judge a book by the cover''. I wouldn't come up to someone and say something rude about their appearance or say something to them on why they stand out, I'd expect the same, but those days are well and truly gone. I knew when I got into body mods I would have rude people sharing their opinions with me, opinions I never asked for, so I did expect that, but I'm not ''asking for it''. Strangers opinions really mean zilch to me, I got them for me, and their opinion was the last thing I actually thought about, to be quite honest. 

No one person is the same, we all lead our lives in different ways, but at the same time we are the same. We all have feelings, and those feelings can be hurt, so anytime you want to go up to someone and give your rude opinion on how they choose to look, please do yourself, and them a favour and just don't. Think before you speak. I'm sure if they came over to you and made comments on your looks, height, weight, clothes, make-up, whatever it may be, you'd be pretty pissed off. Someday, you could go up to the completely wrong person to be rude to, and they could hit you a slap, or they could be a potential future employer or colleague, and you would have noone to blame except yourself. 

Beauty is not the same thing to every single person, what some people may hate, they might love. Beauty is in the eye of the beholder. You may hate tattoos and piercings, but to others, they adore them, it's part of who they are. Your opinion is not the worldwide opinion, so please remember that. Treat others how you would want to be treated. Negativity never did anyone any favours. 

Thank you all for reading :) I feel it was important I write about this, and I wrote it from the heart, so I may have gone off in a slight tangent once or twice and as this was so personal to me, the writing style could have been better, but sure. :)
Thanks again for reading, comment below and let me know your opinion.
Kim. :)

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