“No, just because I have a piercing does not mean I’m a punk!”
Piercings can be a funny thing. A person’s whole personality can be judged (whether accurately or not is a different thing) by a funny thing called stereotype and if you’re one of those unlucky people who has been lumped into one, then get ready to dig yourself out of it. But just who set that stereotype in the first place? If you think about it, body piercings have been around for years. No, millennia. Honestly, even longer than that. Still, when I started to consider getting a belly button ring, I had to jump through a few hoops trying to justify it to the conservatives in my family. Mind you, we’re talking about one small piercing – not something even remotely ‘daring’.
Break Out the Garlic
I can understand conservative types not really being able to ‘get’ the whole body modification thing, but to decide instantly what a person’s character will be based on something as mild as a tattoo – is just wrong. I mean, how do you know whether I like to listen to Marilyn Manson, spike my pink hair, and wear black leather all the time or enjoy long walks on the beach, a good book, and pencil skirts? While some people who happen to have piercings might like Manson’s music or wear only leather, it obviously has nothing to do with anything other than their individuality. Right now, among thousands of songs in my iPod I’ve got rap, classical, hip hop and even some 40s show tunes. No Marilyn Manson, but whatever. Does this music selection tell you anything about me? Nope. Stereotypes are such a dangerous thing because they cause a total eclipse over regular reasoning, simply by judging someone by one aspect of who they are.
What You Don’t Know, Won’t Hurt You
The thing is we need to understand the reasons this negative stigma exists when it comes to body modification. And it all boils down to one thing; fear of the unfamiliar. With unfamiliarity, comes apprehension and when someone is nervous about an unknown, they tend to fear it, whether it’s reasonable or not. We’ve all heard the old saying “Don’t judge a book by its cover” and being judged on your cover hits a person with multiple piercings and tattoos REAL hard – because obviously all the person judging you can see is exactly that – only your cover. Granted that over the years as the act of modifying our bodies has slowly became more mainstream, the negative label associated with piercings and tattoos is disappearing. I mean, I know that someone with a piercing or tattoo has simply made a choice as normal as choosing contacts instead of glasses. Gossip and crummy attitudes toward someone who might have a shaved head because they look like the stereotype of a “skin head” is as childish as deciding a person is intelligent because of what part of town they come from.
It’s Really Just Not That Big A Deal
So when I thought about having my navel pierced, for one brief second, the thought flashed across my mind “Hey, will people judge me if I get this done?” and then within that same instant, I realized that the answer was “Probably not” and that I didn’t care anyway.
The choice to express myself is a very cool one that I like to think I’m lucky enough to have – because it is after all my choice. It won’t make me less of a woman, more of a rocker or any other ridiculous typecast you can come up with. Try individual. Unique. Interesting. UNINHIBITED. As I see it, getting my navel pierced (and who knows what else at some point?) will make me be myself – even more so than I already was.