What do piercings and tattoos express exactly?

Sharon - posted on 08/05/2009 ( 16 moms have responded )

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My son is a freshman in highschool. A kid there has those holes in his ears. not just pierced but a ceramic bit about the size of an american quarter. My son said they were weird.

I told him it was just the kid expressing himself. My son asked "expressing what?"

I didn't have a really good answer.

What is it expressing? All the "barbwire tats", native american tats, tramp stamps?

I happen to admire tats ALOT. But to me they are a garnish to the body and tats are permanent and everything has to match.... Not to mention that usually tats look nasty as hell when you get old. But thats just me.

Piercings - very cool, especially the tiny gems and hoops that go in the nose and eyebrow. Bellybutton can be cute but I see to many issues with that one and below the waist... lol no thanks but for everyone else - you like it - cool.

BUT that still leaves with the "expressing themselves" what are they expressing? Its hardly a statement of individuality when you can buy the accessories at a Circle K (24 hour quickie mart).

Anyone?

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Charlie - posted on 08/05/2009

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Tattoos are a very personel form of self expression , if anyone ever bothered to ask a person their reasons for a tattoo i am sure they would have one , weather it is just their style ( tribal ect ) or there is a deep and meaningful reason behind it .

It is literally wearing your heart on your sleeve , and for those who know the deep seeded feeling of getting a tattoo they know exactly what i am talking about .

Tattoos also mark special moments in your life , they are Art works specially made for you .

The thing is people with tattoos do not care that they will get old and their skin will sag , generally people with tattoos are free from caring what other people think about their looks they are happy in their skin . All we know is we live life the way we like and when something special , memorable , sad , happy happens we mark it in our skin .

As for piercings , well its jewellry just like earrings , the only difference is earrings have been excepted for a long time and now other piercings are too , the big ceramic plates are called gagues or flesh tunnels many , many people have them where i live so its not as "shocking " here as other places .

Personally even my clothes i choose to wear are a form of self expression , they say I am a girly , rocker .

Just like people who choose to wear clothes that say , i am a buisness woman or i am a goth or i am a surfie .

I believe personel self expression is important and although tattoos and piercings are not for everyone they do mean a LOT to those who have them .

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Marabeth - posted on 08/06/2009

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theyre an expression of yourself -- an outward appearance that you feel represents you. its the same as clothes really just more pain. when you wear your favorite outfit and you have that wonderful feeling of looking good your clothes are expressing yourself. and honestly, ive had shoes that were more painful than my tattoo.



i agree with loureen that tattoos always have a story, usually very personal. theyre like an artistic scar.. i have lots of small scars on my hands and arms from working in restaurants. they all contribute to who i am and i'm glad i have them. each one has a story, a memory that i cherish. my tattoo is no different. im not as into piercings but i think its along the same lines, putting pain and dedication into something you like the looks of. not to mention the draw of belonging to a subculture..

Charlie - posted on 08/06/2009

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Our Samoan side are the McCarthies ( not sure of spelling ) .

WOW three days , i would love to get a traditional Tonagan tatatau with the duck bone .

Not a huge one but something would be really nice .

I have heard its pretty painful .

Lucky i dont mind pain .

~Jennifer - posted on 08/06/2009

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any relation to High Chief Peter Maivia? That's Toa's dad...

He had the full tatau (done in 3 days!)

Charlie - posted on 08/06/2009

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Lol thanks Jenn , I am actually Tongan , German , Irish , Samoan , Australian hahaha!!

~Jennifer - posted on 08/06/2009

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Loureen...I didn't know you were Tongan..... How cool is that?!?!?!?!

=)

Rabecca - posted on 08/06/2009

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I think it depends on the people whats being expressed. Each of my tattoos comes with a story in my life.

My piercings were basically because they make me feel good. I like how they look and Im finally at a place in my life where I dont worry about being judged like I did when I was a kid.

Im glad there are so many kids out there who have learned that valuable life lesson early on. I am trying my best to instill self confidance and independance in my girls early.

Charlie - posted on 08/06/2009

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Here is a little info on my Ancestors , Tongans and their Tatatau ( tattoo ) it is a very old an ancient tradition , Tattoo's are one of the oldest art forms .
"The instrument used for the purpose of this operation somewhat resembles a small-tooth comb. They have several kinds, of different degrees of breadth, form six up to fifty or sixty teeth. They are made of the bone of the wing of the wild duck. Being dipped in a mixture of soot and water, the outline of the tatau is first marked off before the operator begins the puncture, which he afterwards does by striking in the points of the instrument with a small stick cut out of a green branch of the cocoa-nut tree. When the skin begins to bleed, the operator occasionally washes off the blood with cold water, and repeatedly goes over the same places. As this is a very painful process, but a small portion of it is done at once, giving the recipient intervals of three or four days rest, so that it is frequently two months before it is completely finished. The parts tattooed are from within two inches of the knees up to about three inches above the umbilicus. There are certain patterns or forms of the tatau, known by distinct names, and the individual may choose which he likes. On their brown skins the tatau is black. The tatau procedure causes that portion of the skin on which it is performed to remain permanently thicker. During the time that it is performed, but sometimes not for two or three months afterwards, swelling of the inguinal glands [the groin area] take place, and which almost always suppurate [to form or discharge puss]. Sometimes they are opened with a shell before they point, which is considered the best treatment; at other times they are allowed to take their course. We need not wonder at the absorbents becoming so much affected, when we consider the extent of the surface which is subjected to this painful operation. Even the glans penis [the head of the penis] and the verge of the anus do not escape. It is considered very unmanly not to be tattooed, so that there is nobody but what submits to it as soon as he is grown up. The women are not subjected to it, though a few of them choose to have some marks on the inside of their fingers. The men would think it very indecent not to be tattooed, because though in battle they wear nothing but the mahi [traditional loincloth similar to the malo], they appear by this means to be dressed, without having the incumbrance of clothing. The beauty and neatness of the tatau far exceeds my expectations."
"WILLIAM MARINER'S ACCOUNT - TONGA ISLANDS"

Libby - posted on 08/06/2009

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Oh and my bestfriend just got a beautiful tattoo on her back on Monday of her late mother and two children that were murdered by her ex-husband 2 months ago. Her brother who is an artist designed it and it is AMAZING! I absolutely love tattoos that are an inner expression of ourselves and our love for our family like that.

Libby - posted on 08/06/2009

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My tatts just express who I am. My name is Libra (so is my sign) and I have the zodiac symbol on my back. I also have a cursive L on my wrist with a purple rose on it. A cursive L is my signature mark when I don't sign my whole name and purple is my favorite color and rose is my fav flower. I would like to get another tattoo on my back with all of my children's baby footprints. I wanted to do this last year after our daughter was stillborn but then we got pregnant again so I had to put it off. Which I'm glad I did because after thinking about it I think I'd like a piece of all of my children on me. Anyway, those are my expressions. Not sure at all what those piercings are all about. I don't think they have quite the same expression as does a tattoo. However, a tattoo is permanent. Well, I guess if you put those huge holes in your ears, that's pretty permament too.

Sharon - posted on 08/05/2009

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AWWW it wasn't a rant. Not to me. I just wondered if I was missing out on uber secret message. Like maybe the 'flesh tunnels' were for rastafarian wanna be's or something.



I know about the commemorative tats. I'd even consider one in certain circumstances.....



But most of them - when I ask I hear "its cool" and "I saw it on TV"



I saw thoes cool water globe plant watering thingies on tv and I want them.



kidding, sort of.



I tend to have a romantic style of dress. I love dresses that are way out of style much to the mortification of my fashion trendy mother. Ah well.

Charlie - posted on 08/05/2009

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Wow what a rant !! sorry , to sum up they express our inner soul and personality .

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