My evolution: aversion to admiration for piercings, body ink and tattoos.
A friend recently posted an image of his new ‘ink’ on Facebook, and I couldn’t help thinking of my daughter’s fascination with piercings, body ink and tattoos.
I was surprised to see he chose the image of ‘Marvin the Martian’, a well known Warner Brothers cartoon character.
I am a fifties’ child.
I was raised with the belief that our bodies are sacred and should not be ‘defiled’ in any way.
That, coupled with society’s view over the decades of those sporting tattoos as being ‘suspect’ and ‘frightening’ caused me to be less than sympathetic the first time my daughter, Erin, expressed her desire to get a tattoo.
She was only thirteen!
What if she changed her mind?
I couldn’t help asking myself these questions and every time the subject was raised, I made a point of asking her the same questions, hoping to change her mind.
I should have known better.
I had seen the early signs! (See image below.)
Finally, we came to an agreement. We agreed to let her get the tattoo for her sixteenth birthday if she still wanted it. She did, and Mark signed to give her permission as the legal age for getting tattoos here is eighteen.
I must admit, I was secretly thrilled when she decided her tattoo for her sixteenth birthday would be a Warner Bros. character, the singing frog in honor of my Dad, her ‘Papa’, who passed away nine years ago yesterday. The running family joke was calling him ‘the Frog’ because he was French Canadian. Anytime there was an occasion, he invariably received at least one gag frog gift, and the Warner Bros. singing frog was his favorite cartoon character.
With the tattoo choices in mind, I couldn’t help thinking of the old saying about ‘great minds think alike?’ After all, somewhere in our bin of photos chronicling our lives B.D. (before digital), we have a photo of this friend drinking a beer with Erin as a toddler sitting beside him, drinking from her bottle. They looked so like ‘two peas in a pod,’ we really had to look twice to make sure she wasn’t drinking from a beer bottle as well.
Once she got her first tattoo, it was only a matter of time before she had some piercings done. She got piercings in her ears, nose, lips, tongue, and belly button… I shiver just thinking about going through that, but she was a happy little camper.
Since then, she’s also managed to accumulate two more tattoos: a Nightmare Before Christmas moonlight scene and a full Harry Potter inspired back piece.
Erin has always had a flare for the dramatic, which was only strengthened by her participation in theater, dance, gymnastics, etc.
Those who don’t see her as often as we do must think she never wears the same look twice with the rapidly accumulating body modifications, hair color changes, differing hair styles, and wardrobe changes.
Here is just a sampling of her numerous looks including piercings, body ink and tattoos:
I can’t wait to see what she does next.
I also can’t wait to see if Stu gets the tattoo he’s been talking about to commemorate ‘Papa’: a Fleur de Lis in honor of him and his French Canadian heritage.
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