I started being discriminated against at an early age. I started wearing glasses when I was in the first grade. I got made fun of a lot for my glasses and accepted early on that I was different. So when I was able to, I started making myself look different on the outside to match how I felt on the inside. I cut my hair super shot, dyed it all different colors, wore different clothes. Then I got into piercings. On my 13th birthday, I got my ears pierced a second time and I was hooked. After that, I started piercing myself (please don’t do this, I was stupid and young and naïve, please go to a professional). I lined my right ear with six holes and added three holes to my left ear. I pierced my nose and my labret. That wasn’t enough though, I wanted more, I had to set myself even farther apart. After I turned 18 I got my septum pierced. That’s when I really started getting stared at.
My tattoos were never a problem because they weren’t very visible. This past Valentine’s day I got my left upper arm tattooed with a very large piece, a pinup girl with roses and filigree around her. At this point, I had more facial piercings, my tongue and snake bites. I live in the south, very religious south. I get stared at a lot. I get asked all the time if it hurt and why did I destroy my body like that? I stepped it up a notch in April, I got my cheeks pierced because I wanted dimples. I am now up to four tattoos and 22 piercings.
I get stared at all the time. I’ve gotten used them though, what still bothers me from time to time is when mothers pull their children away from me in the grocery store like I might rape them or kidnap them or something. When we went to visit the zoo (before I got my cheeks pierced) everyone, not just parents, gave me disgusted looks. They looked at me like I had a disease and that I might pass it onto them. I’ve gotten used to this. I accepted a long time ago that I would be different and that people would look at me differently when I pierced my face. My family hates that I’ve destroyed my face, and sometimes they can be the biggest critics. I love the way I look though. I plan on getting more tattoos and more piercings. I also plan on becoming a parent someday. I accept now that when I do become a parent I will be judged on how good of a parent I am based on my tattoos and piercings. It’s going to be rough, it’s rough now even. Some days I want to take out all my piercings and be “normal” again. Then I think about why I did it and what I like about my piercings.
My advice to others? If you want to have different piercings but not get stared at or judged, pierced different parts of your ear i.e. conch, rook, industrial etc. Or do piercings that others cant see i.e. belly button, nipples etc. if you want to have different piercings that are visible to the public, accept now that you will get stared at. People will constantly ask you questions about your piercings, kids will stare at you, and you will see the judging looks on people’s faces. Employers will also discriminate against you based on your piercings and tattoos. So if you want to be different and make yourself look that way, be prepared to accept what comes along with being and looking different.