My nine-year-old daughter had an all day play date Monday. The kids had a great time. As we were packing up to leave after dinner, I noticed something shiny on my daughter’s lip. My eyes quickly flickered to her friend, who also had something glistening on her lower lip. My eyeballs quadrupled in size–OMG! They both look like they have lip piercings! They have silver hoops in their lips.
I stayed calm on the outside, but on the inside, I kind of freaked out…My mind flashed forward and I envisioned my baby with a billion tattoos and multiple piercings everywhere. Is my rule-following-angel going to turn out to be a complete rebel?
Now, I don’t care if someone of a certain age chooses to have body piercings or tattoos; it’s not my business, but not my nine-year-old daughter! Come to think of it, not my 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, or 18-year-old daughter either! I have never thought of myself as conservative, but I hope they never get a tattoo! I mean maybe a little one when they are like forty years old if they really feel the need or how about a temporary Henna tattoo?
When it comes to tattoos; it’s pretty clear-cut for me. Kids and teens should wait to make that choice until they are older (much older), responsible, and mature enough to make and live with that decision. A tattoo is permanent so they better be certain that when they have “Billy Bob’s” name tattooed on their arm that Billy is forever! Chances are at the ages of 18, 19, 20, or older, “Billy Bob” is probably just a passing phase. And the big butterfly, eagle, or dragon they loved when they were 21…they may hate when they are 41 (or maybe they won’t), and the multiple tattoos everywhere—why not just design a super cool shirt or pants with the same design? I’m not judging and I believe in creative expression, but I’m just saying that forever is a really long time!
Piercings are a little more complex for me. I let my seven-year-old get her ears pierced, so I sort of feel like a hypocrite when I say she can’t have any other piercings while living under our roof. I only let her wear studs, and I know it’s not permanent, but what if it leads to more piercings…
What if my daughter asks, “What’s the difference between getting my ears pierces vs. my nose, lip, belly button, or nipple pierced?” That line of questioning would make me cringe because I don’t have a good answer.
Because of my personal minimalistic fashion style, I would not choose to have anything but my ears pierced, but in the grand scheme of things, what is the difference between ear and lip piercings? How would I explain to my daughters that it’s different? Is it really different? Why? It’s not like I would love my daughters any less if they choose to get a nose piercing at 18, I just won’t like it. Or as one of my friends said last night, if it’s your own kids, some piercings kind of grow on you over time. Hmm.
At least piercings aren’t permanent…
I’ve met people who have loved and then hated their tattoos. I know people who have tried to “erase” their tattoos with laser treatments to no avail. I’ve also met many really fabulous people who have multiple piercings and/or tattoos and still love their body art many years later.
Having said all that–this is what I know for sure: My daughters will only be allowed to have their ears pierced. I don’t know exactly why I’m taking this stand with my girls, but it’s what my gut is telling me to do. That’s my personal choice. When my girls are eighteen, they may decide to make a different choice. I will support whatever decisions they make at that time, even if I don’t like it because every person has a right to their freedom of choice. However, I will make sure they are educated first.
Please don’t hate me (or send me hate mail) for sharing how I feel.
I think of all of the issues (besides piercings and tattoos) that my little girls will have to deal with in the future and it scares me.
I would love your input! What do you think about kids and teens having tattoos and multiple piercings? While we are at it, what do you think about kids dyeing their hair blue, green, purple, etc.? Do you think it is harder to get jobs with piercings and visible tattoos? Do you think kids who start young with piercings and tattoos are more likely to get into trouble? Have tattoos and multiple piercings become the “norm”?
P.S. I asked my daughter’s friend what her parents would say if they saw her with a lip piercing and she said, “They would kill me twice!” I think my mom may have sent me to boarding school if I came home with multiple piercings or tattoos. :) Just kidding (kind of).
Tattoo Trivia: According to Wikipedia, Kat Von D was 14 when she got her first tattoo. She quit school at the age of 16 to become a tattoo artist.