Thursday, August 18, 2011

Tattoos and Piercings on Children

I have three tattoos.  They are badass.  I used to have my eyebrow pierced and both nipples pierced.  The piercings were also classified as badass.  With the piercings combined with the tattoos, I was doubly or maybe triply badass.  But then I grew up and took out the piercings when I graduated college; I thought that's what a grown up would do. 

And now, a couple years later, I don't think I'd ever get a piercing again, but I'd love a new tattoo.  I've just gotta overcome three problems. 

#1: I want it to be something incredibly awesome and timeless.  I'm thinking about the first line to Anna Karenina in the upper center of my back: "Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way." (only in Russian).  Any other suggestions?

#2: I want to either put it in a place that will not succumb to my inevitable obesity/gravity, or to start putting money away for monthly liposuctions (tattoos on morbidly obese people look...well...not pleasant). 

and #3: I need to convince my wife, or drug her with chloroform so she'll wake up and it'll be too late.

But this post isn't really about MY tattoos and piercings.  It's about the ones Sammy can never have. *Sob*

My wife and I disagree on many things when it comes to raising Sammy, but nothing divides us as much as tattoos and piercings. 

You see, in Russian culture, the only people who had tattoos were people who came from prison.  I imagine there are exceptions, but from what I understand, this isn't hyperbole - literally NO ONE had tattoos other than ex-cons.  And as for piercings, they don't understand why anyone would injure themselves purposefully and put stupid rings in their faces/bodies.  So imagine the in-law's surprise when their daughter brought me home.

Growing up in this culture, you can imagine my wife's stance.  No son of hers will be seen as an ex-con, or an idiot.

For me, I think that there's absolutely nothing wrong with him getting tattoos, as long as he enacts the 6 month waiting period.  Think up a design, make a decision, and then wait 6 months before putting it on your body.  If you still want to put that design on you in 6 months, you're more than welcome to (provided you pay for it).  And as for piercings, who cares?  The only downside to my piercings is that my nipples are always hard from the buildup of scar tissue in the nipples.  Other than that, there's nothing wrong with getting piercings.  Newsflash: They're removable.

Where do you all stand on tattooing your children? 

(With their consent, I mean.  Not like branding them.  And obviously after they turn 18, not right now.)


  1. Had to laugh at your last line. Getting a tattoo is one of the things in my bucket list but there's something holding me back - there is a Chinese superstitious belief that when you scar your body like getting a tattoo, you change your life's fate. So, as far as tattoos for my kids are concerned, they can do whatever they want (after they're 21) with the knowledge that it will cause a change of fate in their lives (good or bad). They'll just have to bear the consequences of their own actions.

  2. I am with your wife on tattoos and piercings- not a fan. Facial piercings make me think of dreaded fishing accidents each and every is an old post on Russian tattoos As far as my kid, I know I can't stop her after she is 18, so I devoted the past 14 years to ridiculing ugly tattoos and piercings, hopefully that would leave a mark. Also if you haven't heard it, google a song "queer tattoo" by stephen lynch. it's awesome

  3. Haha, no tattoos here either, but my kids will also not be dating until they are 30, have a PhD and a solid publishing record.

    Seriously, after 18 and live on their own there is not much that I can do about them getting tattoos, dating or owning a pet snake.

  4. While I have no tattoos myself, I don't have a problem with future grown up Luke getting them. Honestly, it's his body. Sammy will see your tattoos and probably think they are cool..then when he's 18, you don't have a choice!

  5. My son sees me wearing shoes he hasn't seen before and exclaims 'nice new shoes mama!'
    Something tells me he will not be asking for tattoos or peercings...

  6. Once they're of age and out of your house, there's nothing you can do about it really. If Sammy is going to be anything like me when I was younger, he'd want to do the exact opposite of what his parents want. So I'd make it a non-issue, rather than have a stance either way.

  7. Not a big fan of tattoos for kids, namely because they hurt their chances for employment later in life...NOT TO MENTION AIDS NEEDLES, AMIRITE?? But I agree that once they get to a certain point, there's nothing you can do about it. Other than guilt them, which I'm sure Ira's got covered.

  8. P.S.

  9. I have one large tattoo (lower right leg) and have plans for a full-sleeve on my left arm. We'll see when I start it - but I follow the same guideline: design, wait 6-12 months, then tattoo. It's why I only have one, though I've had about 6 tattoos that I "needed," only to wane on the want.

    Piercings are easy to get & are far from permanent. I have one. It's private, but it's badass.

    As far as my kids - I'm going to push the same "wait and see" requirement when they turn 18 (I won't sign anything allowing them to get tattooed before they can sign any waivers, themselves). The thing is, most everyone gets tattoos these days . . . by the time our kids are old enough for tattoos, it might be to the point where the "counter-culture" thing to do is to not get inked.

  10. The husband and I both have tattoos, and I had multiple ear piercings and my nose pierced, and I made him get his ear double pierced [he was a frat boy in the early 90s, so this was kind of a big deal].

    So I totally believe in branding.

    The girl has her ears double pierced [at 14] and she can get a tattoo when she's 21 like her mother. It it's awesome and not stupid.

  11. Didn't want to know about your nipples, dude. lol

    Well, technically I was raised the same way. Sooooo, I therefore am lumped into the same catagory as ex-cons because this chick has a tat. Which I deeply truly regret. Go figure.

    No, my daughters are not allowed tattoos. And as far as piercings go, I will implement the same rule as my parents "I could be on my deathbed and if I see a piercing anywhere on your body, so help me GOD I WILL RIP IT OFF YOUR BODY!! I will then die happily knowing you are not pierced." (in Polish, with hands waving around in several important gestures that reinforce the matter.)

    Yes, that shall be my policy. But mine are also girls. And my hubby is tattooed and it's part of why I fell for him. Bad boy image and all.

    Daughters, beware.

  12. My husband was in the military for 25 years. He does not have any tattoos from that. I don't mind tattoos on men, but I don't like them on women. Somehow, they look trashy to me. My 15 year old granddaughter, Emma, has skin like crushed pearls. Very perfect and beautiful. She wrote on her facebook page that she wanted to get a tattoo and it made me feel like crying. Yeah, it's her body, and it would not be permitted by her parents until she is of legal age, but to me, marking that beautiful skin would be sinful.

    I have a sister who has numerous tattoos, but neither of my kids have them, and so far, none of the grandchildren either. Maybe I'm just sexist. It can be "macho" on a man, but on a woman (to me) it looks trailer park.


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