I recently got a new tattoo, and this one is quite visible (don't worry moms, it's on my upper thigh, still not ruining my life and career), so I've gotten a few questions from my young cousins and nephews. I also have a few piercings, so let me tell you, kids aren't shy about pulling and pointing.
How can we blame them! Permanent skin drawings? Metal going through the skin? Why get those? Here are a few things to keep in mind when speaking to children (let's be real, adults too) about tattoos and piercings:
(Tattoos and piercings are a deeply body positive endeavour (more on that in a next post), so their understanding is crucial to me! )
1. No pointing please.
Modified folk deserve respect, and pointing, tugging, touching without permission is considered very rude. It's simply decoration. No one points at your aunt Lisa for wearing a bracelet, so why point out at aunt Gabby for wearing her nose ring?
2. Tattoos are forever.
Yes, they look cool on uncle Jerry, but don't run out and get the silliest thing you saw in a magazine as soon as you turn 18. Tattoos are permanent, so think about the design you want for quite some time before pulling the tattoo trigger.When do you know you're old enough? When you'll spend the proper money to get it done in a proper shop, not a back alley. When you'll take care of the healing and recovery of the modification. That's called maturity, and some never get there.
People who choose to stretch their ears, or push metal through their skin chose to do so as a form of self-expression. Just like dressing a certain way, cutting your hair in a certain style, it's a decision that only reflects aesthetic preferences. It doesn't make them a bad parent, friend, partner,person (note to all employers), so they deserve to be treated with respect. I don't judge others for choosing to not have tattoos, so the respect should be reciprocal.
Hopefully this helps next time you see a modified person on the street with your child friend.
Have an awesome day