Friday, September 10, 2010

Permanent

I was talking to a friend a few days ago. Her oldest child isn't exactly a child anymore. She is a young woman now, in her first year of high school.

I'm not really looking forward to those days, and I am fully aware of how fast they are coming.

With young adulthood comes two things for most kids.

1. The need to feel accepted

2. The need to demonstrate their independence

Sometimes those two needs align, sometimes they conflict. And sometimes they can get a kid into a whole lot of trouble.

With youth comes rebellion and impulsiveness.

Anyway, we were talking about all the things she's going to be dealing with in the coming years. And somehow, however it happened, we ended up talking about body art.

You know, piercings, tattoos, hair experiments. The stuff that proclaims to the world who you are. Who you want to be. Or at least, who you think you want to be at that moment in time.

I'm pretty liberal in this department. Hair is hair. It grows, you can cut it. Anyone who's seen the wide variety of hairstyles my girls have already been allowed to sport would know that I have no reservations in that area.

I have no issues with most piercings. Honest. You want 8 rings in your ear? Fine. You want a nose ring? Gross. But fine. Just be careful with it. You want a belly ring even? I would probably be fine with that one too once the girls are out of high school. I'd have to draw the line at tongue bars because of the very real health concerns. I wouldn't be okay with those.

I am completely not a fan of high gauge ear piercings. Once your earlobe is stretched out, there is no going back. I have a hard time picturing little old men walking around with holes in their earlobes the size of quarters. (And no, I'm not entertaining any thoughts of my kids ever having other piercings.)

As for tattoos, I can't really say much there. I have one. I want another one, already know what I want and am pretty sure where I want it. The tattoo I already have was a few years in the making. My dear friend Blythe wanted one, and wanted me to get one with her. I actually spent a lot of time trying to talk her out of it. Years later, I got one and she never did. You owe me a tattoo. :)

My tattoo was carefully chosen, something I will never outgrow or fall out of love with. The location one that no one will ever see unless I really want them to. Restrained, thought out, self expression, it is. I didn't get my tattoo until after I was out of college, until after I was married. I was a grown up. It was something permanent, and I had to be sure.

And really, that's how tattoos should be. At least that is the argument I will make to my children if the time ever comes that they want one. Grow up first. Figure out who you are first. Decide if it is really something you want forever first. Then, if you still want it, fine.

One rule: Just don't do anything permanent when you're feeling rebellious or impulsive.

And if you want to know how much getting a tattoo removed sucks, ask your Uncle Gary.

2 comments:

  1. I am sticking to my Mom's rule of thumb...not until you're eighteen for more than one piercing and tattoos..After that , it's your body to do what you please. I really really wanted my ears double pierced in jr. high...totally outgrew it.

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  2. Someday, I'll get one... but you'll need to be with me :)

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