I just read a review of my blog from late September last year which really reminded me what this blog is all about, what I want to achieve. I want to make people think. Think about life, think about other, think that there is more than studying more than a degree. Shock horror, how dare I say that I am a law student, we are meant to be dull and studious. No. I created this blog to display that there are bigger thing to think about and we as students are more than capable of tackling them. So revelation had what am I going to tackle? Well the title should be a hint: tattoos and piercings.
My opinion of tattoos and piercings has changed hugely over the last year and is still changing today. Originally I had a rather conservative view of them- odd considering my largely liberal view on most other things as you can see from my writing. To explain the only piercings in my family are ear piercings and my uncle the trucker is the only close relative with tattoos. It’s not until I came to uni that I started to really understand there is generally more to them than meets the eye.
Tattoos was the first of the two that I warmed to. I had met lots of people who had got tattoos as memorials to others or children’s names but I never really got the appeal, to me the black writing just looked like something damaging the skin. One night I was sitting with a girl who told me about the meaning of her tattoo. She had a few stars with some words below it; something along the lines of wishes changing but in a somewhat poetic couplet. She explained that she set a wish on each star and as she achieved them she would replace it with another so she would always have her wishes and like real wishes no-one knew them except her. She has one star which she says is a wish she will always be striving towards but will never achieve. From then I understood tattoos a lot more. Real meaningful tattoos are not about displaying yourself to the world it is about things holding a real personal meaning. I still had an issue with garish whimsical tattoos at this point though.
My next revelation came from something not relating to tattoos at all, it came from a piece I wrote called purple poncho (I know inspired by myself, how egotistical). This piece looked at accepting people and how people are entitled to wear and be, what they want. I realised that the choice to get tattoos can be a stylistic choice and although it may not always be fashion in my eyes it doesn’t entitle me, or anyone, else to draw inferences about their person from it. Very much the book by the cover metaphor (although I hate it because people spend a lot of time designing covers of books to make you buy them).
When it moves on to piercings I am trying to adopt the same perception but it can’t be a coincidence that I am yet to meet a member of Catholic society or the Christian Union with a nose or brow piercing. That said one of my very dear friends has set her mind on getting a nose piercing and it felt odd to me that in telling me she started the sentence with “you’re not going to like this”. I feel part of the reason I disapprove of it is because she is training to be a doctor and as a professional people expect a certain look and nose piercings are generally considered rather informal. That again though is society enforcing a rather strange construct of what we perceive as acceptable in our society but why? Perhaps because people that get them quite often want to fit into the group that society perceives unusually pierced people as. That said there is those who do it because they feel they personally like it and this is where I have struggled with both piecing’s and tattoos. As I mentioned with tattoos, the idea that tattoos can be of personal importance was accepted by me first and I think this is the same with piercings.
I can get why people do things for themselves but when they do it to fit a certain societal stereotype I find it harder to accept. I think what I mean is in my eyes if you do something like that you should do it because it means something to you, that way who cares what anyone else thinks.