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What I Wish I Knew: Tattoos and Piercings Stick With You for Life

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I wish I knew how truly permanent a tattoo or piercing was. Not that I didn’t know what permanent meant, but I wish I truly understood the concept that while it would stick with me, unchanged, for life, I would most certainly not remain unchanged. Skin shrivels and moves and droops, so your accessories should accommodate those changes, not go along for the ride.

Whatever you thought was cool or hip in high school, I guarantee will change by the end of college. And I never thought I’d say that- I figured I’d be into the same bands and celebrities for my life but how quickly the cookie crumbles under the right influences. A Justin Bieber tattoo may sound like a fantastic idea now, as you pledge your everlasting loyalty to all things Bieber, but in a few years when his voice changes, he loses all his sponsors, and  he’s resigned to work as a stage hand for whomever the next big teen idol is, perhaps you’ll regret your decision.

When I was in high school, there was nothing cooler than getting your belly button pierced. Having pierced cartilage was so middle school but we weren’t quite into the nose piercing years. Teenage girls were flocking to the Piercing Pagoda in their town or the cheap accessories place in their suburban malls to put holes in what was already a hole. It baffled my mother, both because of the hole in a hole conundrum, but also because so many girls were failing to realize that a hole is permanent and as we grow older, our bodies change and a cute jewel won’t flatter a middle aged woman’s body like it does for teens. I begged her to let me pierce mine but I was only allowed two piercings, one in each year, to balance out my face during what my mother called my “awkward years”.

In retrospect, I’m so glad I didn’t go through with a piercing or tattoo. Whatever I would have chosen when I was 16 would make me cringe now. As cute as it may have looked back then, the lyrics to Let’s Get it Started by the Black Eyed Peas on my lower back would not have aged well.

Author: Lauren M.
Teenagers sitting on a tree limb

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