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Are body piercings and tattoos right for you?

Body art to rebel or for self expression?

Written by Emily Garber and posted in opinion

This is an opinion of a young person and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of It is one person's experience and may be different for you. If you'd like to write something for please contact

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Rebel, rebel, rebel. That's what we think when we get our first body piercing or tattoo at a young age. We do it to assert independence over our body and make our own decisions despite parent's, teacher's, or future employer's thoughts. But sometimes we do it in spite of our true thoughts that are masked by the attractive idea of rebelling or fitting in. Before you get a body piercing or a tattoo, think about why you want it.

Why are you getting a body piercing?

  • Just to be cool and fit in with your friends?
  • To rebel against your parents?
  • To look like that Instagram celebrity?
  • To match your personality?

Why are you getting a tattoo?

  • Just to say you have one?
  • To honor a loved one?
  • Your favorite quote?
  • Your favorite symbol?

Before getting a body piercing or tattoo think about the pros and cons, because remember, it's your body.

Body piercings aren't with you forever; you can take them out for sports, school, family dinners, and job interviews, but tattoos are permanent; they're on your body for life.

When I got my tattoo my mom suggested that I draw it on the desired area of my body and re-draw it for a few weeks to make sure that I really want it - forever. She was fine with me getting a tattoo, but like all moms, she was just looking out for me because it is permanent. You can't just change your mind one day and say you don't want your tattoo anymore.

I am so grateful for my mom accepting that I want to have ink on my body forever, but I am even more grateful that she suggested I write it on my body before I got it. Because of course, I ended up changing my mind of the tattoo I wanted and the location of it. Today, I couldn't be happier with my decision of getting a tattoo, but just make sure you want it for your happiness.

Aside from thinking about why you want a piercing or a tattoo, think about the health and safety of it, and make sure you absolutely love it.

  • Go to a trusted and accredited piercing and tattoo shop
  • Ask about the sterilization of their needles
  • It's okay to tell the body artist you don't like the drawing of the tattoo

Body piercings and tattoos are a form of art and expression. They represent your personality and represent how you want people to see your body. However, that doesn't mean that they aren't a big decision that shouldn't be well thought out. 

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Published March 23rd, 2017
Last updated February 23rd, 2018
Tags tattoo body image
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