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Stop the Stereotypes!

Last week, I was talking to one of my friends about the possibility of getting my naval pierced. When I asked him what he thought about this idea, he replied curtly, “Don’t do that. It’s sl*tty-looking.”

His remark caught me completely off-guard and ultimately led to a lengthy debate about whether or not piercings, as well as tattoos, should be considered trashy.

I argue that they should not be.

In my opinion, both piercings and tattoos are beautiful and unique forms of art. To claim that they are “sl*tty” or “trashy” is, essentially, to stifle creativity and expression.

It is unfortunate that, in this day and age, potential employees are not hired simply due to the fact that they have piercings or tattoos on their bodies. Of course, it all depends on the content of the tattoo and the location of the piercing. Granted, I understand if someone is turned away because of a string of curse words running along his or her arm. But what about someone who has a meaningful song lyric or quote etched onto his or her wrist? Is it fair—or even ethical—for a skilled, talented worker to lose a job over something as trivial as a pink ribbon symbol for breast cancer awareness?

For someone to not be hired strictly based on his or her appearance is borderline discrimination. Our society—especially older generations—seems to have a far too conservative stance when it comes to hiring policies regarding piercings and tattoos. These artistic and creative forms of expression should not be viewed as distasteful or even promiscuous, but rather as things to be appreciated and admired.

Needless to say, I still got my naval pierced—regardless of my friend’s warning that it would give people the wrong idea about me—and I could not be happier with my decision.

So never let anyone tell you not to do something because of the negative stereotypes surrounding it. Do what you love and you can’t go wrong.

Lindsey Moses is a junior majoring in English at SUNY Oswego. She is currently a member of Alpha Sigma Eta, Oswego’s chapter of the International English Honor Society, as well as an editor for the Great Lake Review literary magazine. She also works as a tutor in the Writing Center, where she helps fellow students focus, develop, and organize their writing. In her spare time, Lindsey enjoys reading, writing, traveling, listening to music, and attending concerts.
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