I remember at the ripe old age of 16 asking my mom to take me to get my tongue pierced. All the kids in school were getting it done and I had to be one of them. So I approach my mom with the oh so sweet “mommy can I ask you something?” and she immediately turns me down and gives me the “when you turn 18” bit. Now of course I didn’t see any harm in it, hell all my friends were getting it done and I didn’t want to be left out. I asked her why i had to wait and she told me about the dangers like infection and nerve damage which i hadn’t considered of course. But I did offer the rebuttal of you pierced my ears before I could walk and its not permanent like a tattoo. But It was to no avail. I did however turn 18 two short years later and she did live up to her promise and take me to get this ever so urgent tongue piercing.
Now fast forward four years and my little sister is asking to get her tongue pierced at the age of 14. Now I assumed my mom would give her the same wait till you are 18 bit like she did me, but no. My mom told my sister that if she got all A’s on her report card she would take her and sure enough my sister came through with the grades. So at 14 she got her tongue pierced. And then at 16 mom took her to get her belly pierced. I was taken back by it but as time had passed it became less taboo and more of an accessory.
In other countries children as young as 5 are the receivers of many different body modifications. In other cultures it may be a sign of maturity or a religious belief. In women and young girls it signifies beauty and gains the bearer acceptance from their tribe or community. Some tribes pierce their children’s ears as symbol of the child’s dependence on them.
It seems that the reasons for piercing vary greatly whether it be religious, spiritual, self-expression rebellion or pleasure. It is my belief that everyone is different and what may work for you certainly won’t do in someone else’s eyes. Just be who you are and be proud of where you come from and respect others decisions to change and shape their bodies the way they see fit. Everyone just wants to be happy and be loved and accepted. : )