Growing up, I thought piercings were too much for my liking, and my parents also raised me with the taboo that surrounds piercings and tattoos. I remember seeing other people in the mall with facial piercings and tattoo sleeves, and while I thought it would look good on them, I thought I did not want that for myself. When I was 10 years old the most I thought I would ever want on my body was my second ear lobe piercing and that would be more than enough.
My older sister, on the other hand, did like getting piercings. She insistently bugged my parents for her nose, belly and second lobe piercings. After some resistance, they would say yes, and she would be like a kid on Christmas morning, happily going to get her piercings done. When she got her belly button piercing, I thought it was the weirdest thing in the world to have such a thick metal bar in your stomach, and the oddest part was that you could feel the bar through your belly button.
This train of thought changed drastically after I got my second lobe piercing. I started looking at different ear piercings and decided I wanted to get a “decorated” ear, as I liked to call it: I wanted to have three lobe piercings, a cartilage piercing, a mid-cartilage piercing and maybe even a tragus piercing.
When I was 14 years old, I got my second lobe piercing; at 16, I got my belly button piercing; at 17, I got my nose pierced; and for my 18th birthday, I got my cartilage piercing. During my first year of university I got my third lobe piercing and just last week I got my second cartilage piercing. When I was 18 years old I also got two tattoos, when I was 19 I got a third, and this past summer I got two more to add to the collection.
I honestly could not be happier with all of my piercings and tattoos.
I remember with my first tattoo I thought to myself: “Yes I want to get another tattoo, but I probably won’t get it for a while”. I knew I didn’t want something random on my body, but rather something I could look back on in 60 years with a smile on my face from a fond memory. I now look at all of my tattoos with just that, and although it has not been 60 years just yet, I know that all of them mean the world to me and I don’t regret them at all. I only have five tattoos and they are all very small, with only two being visible to other people, but I never thought that getting them could be addictive. For now, I do not have anything planned, but I know I am probably not done.
Regarding my piercings, I think I am probably done. For me, having seven piercings is more than enough and I also do not know where else I would want to get a piercing. My “decorated” ear idea changed a little because I decided that a tragus piercing would probably hurt too much, and I liked the idea of a double cartilage piercing more than a single mid-cartilage piercing. With piercings, I know it is a little easier to control because if I do not like them in 10 years, I can take them out and let the skin heal. Right now, the hardest thing is letting my cartilage piercing heal properly so I can marvel at it in a couple of weeks.
Growing up with my parents’ idea of tattoos and piercings being “unprofessional” and now reaching a point where I love them so much, I am happy that I changed my mind and got what I wanted. In the future I would love to see that taboo stigma erased from all professions because I’ve always wondered, “How does ink on your body, or a pierced hole through your body define you?”