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The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

I remember a time in my life when I thought that I wanted at least eight piercings on my ears and a lot of tattoos.

I am so thankful now that I never spent all of the money or healing time that I could’ve on those body-modification endeavors. Do not get me wrong, I like the look of a lot of earrings and I would like more tattoos someday. I think that, however, you choose to express yourself through body modifications, it gives you a sense of personal style that is so unique.

Piercing your ears has been a tradition of humans since humans have been on earth. Based on an article from Bustle, “Otzi, the 5,300-year-old man found preserved in the Alps, not only had 61 tattoos but also had pierced ears for earrings. There are records of piercings of everything from ears to noses to nipples in extremely ancient civilizations; it’s a fair bet that before humans could write, we were piercing ourselves to communicate class, document experiences, or participate in societal rituals that modern people can barely imagine.”

I like thinking of humans being able to express themselves like this.

I get caught between wanting to express myself how I feel right now and wanting to preserve some of my expressions in case I feel different later in my life.

Now, people live much longer than Otzi did. It is a preference if you would like to live in the moment or save yourself the later possible regret.

It is not that everybody’s modification, like getting your ears pierced, is something that you will regret.

A big avenue, nowadays, for body modification is plastic surgery. It seems as though every influencer has lip injections. There is no problem that I find in this, especially if it makes you feel better about yourself. It is just not projecting the truth when influencers, for example, Kylie Jenner said that she got her lip fillers out and now she is natural when they just aren’t. It casts a really unhealthy view to the rest of us that the physique she has is what we are taught to be natural. But injections, deductions and plastic surgery are a whole other wheelhouse of body modifications in my opinion.

I started the personalization of my body by getting a couple of tattoos, my belly button pierced, and a second piercing on my ears. These were the right choice for me, there is not a day that I regret these choices.

But I am happy that I did not get the eight piercings that I wanted right then. As much as younger generations are more progressive with body modifications, I still worry that if I actually expressed myself with the tattoos and piercings that I would like, I might not get a job someday.

This is a fear that many of my peers have.

Possibly the balance of future fears and expressing ourselves is what helps us to pace ourselves. One of my friends got about four tattoos right when she turned 18. She now finds herself bored because she did not space her tattoos out, and she feels as though she got miscellaneous ones that did not mean anything to her, but are with her forever.

This attitude that any expression that someone gets HAS to be accepted just does not fly with me. I once saw a father holding his son’s hand, and on the back of his calf he had a tattoo that read “F**k the Wolrd.” Gathering that tattoo from a complete stranger just made me feel so uncomfortable. And I know, no one needs to change because I am uncomfortable. But, what are you broadcasting to the world or your young son?

I love when people get interesting things done to their bodies, but I do not have to like it all, especially if it is something just plain derogatory. I think a lot of my generation, as much as we are welcoming to each individual person, does not see that some things, we just do not have to accept them all of the time.

The moral of the story is I like that we get to express the true version of ourselves that we would like to. I am all for a body modification that makes you feel more comfortable in your own skin and that means something to you. I love that it is a deep-rooted cultural expression. I love hearing stories about why people got the piercing or tattoo that they did, even if it was just because they liked it. I just think that it takes a little more consideration and thought than just a spurious moment of motivation because everyone deserves a second thought about something that will leave an imprint on them forever.

Junior journalism and political science major at Saint Bonaventure University! #gobonnies