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Thoughts on Body Modification for Teens


Forum: 2008 Playroom

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  • 1 Post By *Cyndee*
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  #1  
March 22nd, 2013, 06:42 AM
Destany's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I feel like the boundaries are being pushed a lot more with this current generation of teenagers. I also feel pressured from my kids and even my own husband to allow modifications that I am not sure they would be ready for.

On the other hand, I'm not sure where my reservations are coming from, as I had a tattoo done when I was 14, as did many of my friends. These crummy home-spun tattoos were awful, and done secretly at parties or our friends basements.


To backtrack:

Many teens are getting tattooed at 16. There are kids at my sons high school who have full sleeves. 14 is also not unheard of with my boy's classmates. And a couple of 13 year olds. One 13 year old at my sons middle school has one his forearms covered in Chinese writing.
These are not home spun tattoos, but professional ones that the parents took their teens to get done.

I gave myself my first tattoo when I was 14, in my bedroom late at night by the light of a candle. I obviously love tattoos and I am slowly covering myself in them. They are professional quality now though, not done with a string wrapped sewing needle and a broken ink pen.

A few months ago, I broke my own "code" and tattooed my 16 1/2 year old niece on her ankle. It was her Christmas gift from her mother. I only did because we owed my sister in law money and I felt obligated.

But now my boys want them done at 16, too. Part of me feels that is outrageous, but then I think of the awful ones my friends and I put on ourselves and each other with make shift equipment and I know that I also never regretted mine. My husband tried to talk me into tattooing our 13 year old and I am VEHEMENTLY against doing anything until 16, and even then I'm shuddering at the thought.

What do you guys think?
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  #2  
March 22nd, 2013, 07:01 AM
kimmiejo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I really haven't put a lot of thought into it, I have no tattoos and have no desire for one it's just not my thing, my DH has one that he got in college and he hates it now!...I "think" I would make my kids wait until they turned 18 and then it would be their choice to do. My niece wanted a tattoo really bad as a teenager, my sister said no until she was 18 and then she could do what she wanted. She turned 18 and got one soon after on her own, since then she has gotten 2 more. They are small and in places that can be covered if she wants them to be, they look cute. Piercings I feel different about, they aren't as much of a commitment so I would consider those earlier. Syd had her ears pierced, she begged and begged for them and it went fine but a few months later after we had changed them to a new pair one of them got caught on her bed sheet and yanked out, it hurt and she was then officially over it and requested the other be taken out and she didn't want them back in. The holes healed and you can't see any scar so no harm, no foul. When she wants them again we will do it. Not sure there is a right answer, I think it is a family decision, if you are ok with it then I guess it's fine? not really anyones business but your own (not you specifically but general "you") I kinda feel like 13 is young to be getting tattooed but that's just me. 16 I kinda feel is like maybe ok and when the time comes maybe at 16 I would consider it? I can't say for sure.
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  #3  
March 22nd, 2013, 08:46 AM
P*to*the*ORTIA's Avatar Portia
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As far as tattoos, when they turn 18 they can get whatever. Dh & I both have several. Piercings we're more lenient on. Our oldest is 12 and she has 3 holes in each ear. She wants her tragus pierced and we are currently looking a shop that does it that young. If she wants her nose or lip at 14 I would let her but no sexual (tongue, belly button, etc) until she's older.
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  #4  
March 22nd, 2013, 09:38 AM
*Cyndee*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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This is very simple for me: Absolutely No tattoos or body modifications until they are 18. Until 18, henna is ok and 1, maybe 2 peircings per ear. No belly button, nose, eyebrow, chin, cheek piercings.

I will not allow her to pierce her ears until she is old enough to both want and be able to care for them herself.

After 18, belly and body piercings are up to them. They must not be living at home and must be self sufficient to get facial piercings.

After 18, they must not be living at home or if in school, self sufficient, to decide to get a tattoo.

Other body modifications they must be over 18, not living at home and self sufficient.


These are the rules I was raised with and now as an adult I appreciate them very much and am happy they were in place. I plan to carry them on.
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  #5  
March 22nd, 2013, 09:45 AM
*Cyndee*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kimmiejo View Post
The holes healed and you can't see any scar so no harm, no foul.
She is lucky. My mom had my ears pierced when I was 6 so I could wear earings at her wedding. I hated them and never wore earings after and you can still see the hole scars.

I had a belly piercing at 18 or 19 up until I got pregnant with Maddie and the scar hole is so obnoxious, I hate it.

I had wanted an eyebrow piercing when I was 18 and my mom talked me out of it, and I'm glad she did because as scar on my face would be awful.

I do not believe piercing holes always heal and go away.
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  #6  
March 22nd, 2013, 10:24 AM
kimmiejo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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maybe not, everyone scars differently but her's healed fine and honestly if she asked to do it again next year or whatever I would let her do it again. I have had multiple piercings in my ears and currently only have 1 set of holes, I can't see any scars from the previous ones I let close up. I always wear a pair of earrings, I love earrings LOL The only scar I have from a piercing is my belly button and while if I look I can see it, it is so tiny I don't even notice it, my belly button is more jacked up from being preggo that tiny scar is the least of my concerns. I might get it redone at some point simply because I liked it.

Everyone is gonna have an opinion on this and honestly to me it's just not that big of a deal, ear piercings that is.... facial piercings are also not my thing and tattoos aren't my thing, on other people they are just fine. Whatever floats ones boat is ok with me *shrug*....my tattooed niece also has a piercing in her nose and I quite like it....on her. I am a play it by ear kinda lady, I don't think I will have to worry about my kids asking for tattoos for a long time so I am not going to form any concrete rules now, they may never ask? who knows, I never asked for a tattoo or anything other than my ears pierced when I was a teen, of course I am old and it wasn't as hip back in the day
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  #7  
March 22nd, 2013, 12:47 PM
*~~Shannon~~*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Ear lobe piercing (1-2 sets) - whenever

Additional ear piercings or a tiny nose stud - I'd probably be ok with these by age 12-14, but they'd have to pay for it themselves
Other smaller piercings - probably about age 16, again paid by the kid
I won't allow massive amounts of piercings or a labret piercing. My mom worked in dental offices for ages and saw way too many people with their front teeth falling out because of the back of the piercing rubbing at the gums.
Once they graduate high school, they can do whatever they want.

Tattoos - I would probably start allowing at age 16 with some conditions. They have to pay for their own tattoos, think on it for at least a month (nothing on a whim), and I have to approve the artist/shop first.

In all cases, there can be room for those numbers to go up or down based on the kid.
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  #8  
March 22nd, 2013, 02:09 PM
Destany's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I recognize that our answers are going to reflect how we personally feel about body modification. For myself, I enjoy them and I think they can look very nice. Tattoo's, far more than piercings. But if it's something that you wouldn't like for yourself, it's understandable that you wouldn't want that for your child.

Considering the cons of having things done, one of the biggest being reputation and limiting future job prospects, I would find a tattoo in a discreet area far less of a deal than facial piercings and gauges.

We also would not allow tattoos in an area that would show while wearing a normal short sleeved shirt and slacks. We would want them to be able to look professional when needed.

I am going to begin educating them now, explaining all of the risks and stigmas associated. I know that when it comes down to it, a kid will get a tattoo if they want one. Either run out impulsively the minute they turn 18 and get something stupid (like my little brother just did), or tattoo themselves, or let one of their friends tattoo on them.

In the end, I cannot have complete control in the situation, though I can make sure that they are well informed and guide them to make a choice with minimal impact.

Thanks for your input ladies.
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  #9  
March 22nd, 2013, 06:39 PM
*Cyndee*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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I put up a strong front on rules and try to ride them out, but honestly personal choices are not worth losing a child over or cutting them out. All I can share with my own is my own experiences and opinions. I'll keep my opinions to myself since I don't want to offend anyone but I will say that the vast majority of my friends have many, many tats and piercings over the years than those that do not. I don't judge people by that nature whatsoever. I do think that people are born perfect and modifications before truly appreciating who and what you are from birth can be met with regret. Many I know have had to accept themselves after the fact, which is why I find adulthood the right platform for guidelines.
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  #10  
March 22nd, 2013, 08:58 PM
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I feel super conservative all of a sudden but I agree with cyndee almost 100%. I would be fine with London getting her ears pierced as soon as she expresses desire for it. I would also allow a second hole in the ear around age 13. I would prefer nothing else but may be convinced to allow a third hole around age 16. For a boy, i would probably allow one ear piercing in their teen years but no gauges.I would definitely not allow tattoos before 18 and really I would prefer none at all. Temporary tattoos are fine but I want her to appreciate her body in its natural state. I know I'm in the minority and don't want to offend anyone, but I really don't like the look of tattoos. I also know that tattoos would limit my income and I don't want them to have limitations based on modifications. I'm a stick in the mud and won't allow unnatural hair colors either. Lol I sound like such an old lady, sorry!
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  #11  
March 22nd, 2013, 10:16 PM
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i'm with cyndee. also, teenagers change so much as they become adults and they may totally regret a tattoo or the style, etc. i had terrile taste as a teen! there is a teen mom in my oct playroom who has tons of tats she got young and regrets and is trying to undo. i dont think i could be talked in to allowing tattoos. piercings, maybe.
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  #12  
March 23rd, 2013, 04:36 AM
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I have zero tats and never plan to get any. I think I would have to let my boys turn 18 before they got any. If they really wanted them sooner, I hope they would talk to me before hand and then we can discuss it. At 18 they can do what they want even if I don't agree with it. They will have to live with it.

I had my bellybutton pierced and now I have a scar from it. Beside my ears, this was the only other piercing I got. I had it pierced right when I turned 18 and then I took it out a year later. I had it re-pierced when I joined the military and I was on a TDY. The first time I passed out after wards so when I went the second time, I told my friend and he made sure to tell them so I have to lie down before getting up again.

I freaked out when I saw my sister in law new piercing. She just turned 18 and started her first year of college. She got her nose pierced. Ryan had to remind me she is 18
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  #13  
March 23rd, 2013, 09:54 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by *Cyndee* View Post
I put up a strong front on rules and try to ride them out, but honestly personal choices are not worth losing a child over or cutting them out. All I can share with my own is my own experiences and opinions. I'll keep my opinions to myself since I don't want to offend anyone but I will say that the vast majority of my friends have many, many tats and piercings over the years than those that do not. I don't judge people by that nature whatsoever. I do think that people are born perfect and modifications before truly appreciating who and what you are from birth can be met with regret. Many I know have had to accept themselves after the fact, which is why I find adulthood the right platform for guidelines.
just remember these words next time someone asks you how you feel about circumcision...

i am not posting to start a debate, i just have a hard time biting my tongue when people talk about body modifications and don't think that circumcision falls under the same category.
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  #14  
March 23rd, 2013, 10:26 AM
*Cyndee*'s Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Quote:
Originally Posted by horseradishmayo View Post
just remember these words next time someone asks you how you feel about circumcision...

i am not posting to start a debate, i just have a hard time biting my tongue when people talk about body modifications and don't think that circumcision falls under the same category.

Point respected.

Since I don't have a boy I have never had to make that decision and if we had would have deferred to my husband. It was our agreement beforehand as we didn't find out the gender in either circumstance. My husband is so much about appearances, he calls an uncirc'ed penis "snuffagalupus". He has no tats or piercings as well. I'm glad this is a bridge we have not had to cross together to be honest.
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  #15  
March 23rd, 2013, 10:40 AM
horseradishmayo's Avatar Platinum Supermommy
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Originally Posted by *Cyndee* View Post
Point respected.

Since I don't have a boy I have never had to make that decision and if we had would have deferred to my husband. It was our agreement beforehand as we didn't find out the gender in either circumstance. My husband is so much about appearances, he calls an uncirc'ed penis "snuffagalupus". He has no tats or piercings as well. I'm glad this is a bridge we have not had to cross together to be honest.
i used to think they were weird looking too. now if i see a circ'd penis (on a baby, not an adult) it looks like an open wound. it's all about perspective.
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  #16  
March 23rd, 2013, 04:21 PM
QueenCrafty's Avatar Courtney
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Lily got her ears pierced at 3. She asked for it for a long time, we were upfront about the pain, but she had them done and followed the rules about not playing with her earrings or taking them out. I would allow maybe one more hole in her ears as a teenager, but that's it. Anything else she will have to wait until 18 and use her own money.

I pierced my belly button at 18 and kept it until I was 25. I have a a hole still and a lovely stretch mark scar from pregnancy around it. I don't regret it. I was young, but I knew that it wouldn't just disappear when I stopped wearing the ring. I got second holes in my ears at 18 but they never healed so I took them out. No scar there. I got my tattoo at 19. I knew enough to place it in a discreet location so that it would not be something that would show at a job interview. I plan on getting at least one more tattoo. I guess my parents were lucky because I put thought into my piercing/tattooing decisions.

I plan on talking to the girls about tattoos as they get older. They know I have one, but they need to understand what is considered socially acceptable if they plan to have a career. They need to understand that a tattoo should be meaningful because it is permanent. They need to know that it should be done only at a safe, reputable place.
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