What are your thoughts on tattoos?
#1: I don’t have tattoos but I think lots of tattoos are really cool. I watch art shows about tattoos.
#2: I guess now is my time to talk about whatever undiagnosed psychological problem it is that I have about body ornamentation. I have never had pierced ears or any other piercings. I do not have tattoos. I’m fine with other people’s tattoos and earrings. I get feelings of revulsion thinking about permanent or even semi-permanent body modification of my own body. I don’t wear jewelry except my wedding ring and watch and then only when I’m out and about. I take things off as soon as I can. I think I would be pretty comfortable in a nudist colony assuming my allergy problems didn’t keep me permanently covered in hives.
When I was little I always assumed I’d eventually get pierced ears, probably around age 14 which was when one of my friend’s moms said she could get them. But then in middle school when other girls started getting pierced ears, one of the girls in my gym class had a dangly earring torn out of her ear (thankfully not in my gym class– possibly at home, possibly as child abuse) and it never healed up right. Then a couple years later in middle school a bunch of other girls got horrific infections and… just… no.
And on top of that when I was younger, tattoo inks weren’t as good as they are now and there were so many older people at the grocery store with sagging skin and ugly blue tattoos that no longer fit their bodies because they’d been different shapes decades before when they first got them. And I just … didn’t want to get something as a teen or 20 year old that would look terrible when I turned 70.
And then I went to the field museum and saw an exhibit on body modification…possibly set up to thrill and disgust, but it made me realize that in the Western world we do the exact same things– if you find the neck lengthening necklaces problematic or the bumpy tattoos like they showed in Black Panther, well, it’s not really different in the US. What’s culturally accepted seems normal while something only slightly different elsewhere seems bizarre. But really, body modification is kind of bizarre no matter what or where it is. (See also: circumcision– most men in our generation in the US are circumcized.)
That said, I was in support of my other high school roommate when she got her first tattoo– it was a pretty cool rose (on her breast) and the inks were good and could be updated. Lots of millennials have fascinating or adorable tattoos these days and more power to them. And it’s easier to get them removed if one has second thoughts or one’s body type changes. I can appreciate other people’s adorable earrings. But… not for me. Do Not Want. No piercings, no tattoos.