PDA

View Full Version : OT: Piercing/Tattoo Prejudice


trvvn5
05-21-2010, 10:30 AM
I find it hilarious how many times I get asked by people of an older generation what my piercings mean. I have been asked, on probably 20 different occassions this exact question, "What does that bar in your ear mean?"

I usually look kind of dumbfounded at the person while I try to ascertain what they are really asking. I mean, its a piercing, its just there for decoration. 90% of the time, the person asking is an older lady who has her own ears pierced in a traditional fashion. I generally ask them why they got their ears pierced. To which some will reply that it was just so they could wear earrings for decoration.

I am by no means pierced to death either. At this point I only have a rook piercing, and an industrial. Both of which are in the ears and not all that odd. I used to have many more piercings, but tended to not get questions about those. I also had my ears gauged to 0s as well. But those have since been taken out as well and have shrunk back to a normal size.

I often wonder where this question comes from though. And am usually very confused by its origin. What does that piercing mean? is such an odd question. Part of me thinks that it must stem back to when gay men supposedly wore one earring in the right ear to signify their gayness, though I've never met any gay man who did this. It makes me wonder if that is what they are asking. Or if they are wondering if it signifies that I'm in a gang. I don't know. I just find it such an odd question.

Crycket
05-21-2010, 11:13 AM
My guess is that they are just not asking the right question.

It was like when I worked at the theatre....the question "do these stairs go up?" was asked. It was one of those questions that wanted to make you beat your head against the wall. Clearly the stairs go up...what they wanted to ask was "do these stairs lead to [where I want to go]?"

While it could be simular to the "gay ear" question...I have a feeling it is probably a misasked question.

I don't know...quite frankly I can't figure people out. A piercing is a piercing...it often doesn't mean anything more than the person who has them, likes piercings. On a tattoo it makes sense...on piercings...not so much...

My tattoo is music notes connected with a vine and a blue rose all around my ankle. I rarely get asked if the music notes are to anything...and they are...the are the music to The Rose. *shrugs*...I don't know!

N0obKnitter
05-21-2010, 12:01 PM
I have 8 earlobe piercings, a helix and a navel piercing. No-one has ever asked what they "mean" though me being a girl may have something to do with that. Ironically two of my piercings I got to commemorate events, the helix was for one of my birthdays (my piercer gave 1/2 off on your birthday, too) and the navel I got to commemorate raising $2000 and walking 60km (in August, in two days) for a cure for Breast cancer.

Maybe you should make up something like "I got this one to commemorate climbing Mount Everest." :lol:

Jan in CA
05-21-2010, 01:33 PM
I agree she's probably not asking the right question. If you're really open to discussing it or enlightening her/him then ask if they mean something else and then tell them. Then they won't have to ask anymore. ;)

The below bit is my personal opinion and I hope it's tactful enough not to get me in trouble -

As for prejudice.. I'm sure there are many people who very much are, but some aren't so much prejudiced as wary. When I was younger it was mostly a certain group of people who were pierced and tattooed. People often feared them and stereotyped them to be druggies, troublemakers, etc. I doubt they caused anymore trouble than anyone else in reality, but fearing what you don't know and don't understand is a common emotion. It's partly human nature and part common sense and probably partly what has kept us on the planet so long.

My 80 yr old parents would cross the street to avoid a person with tats and piercings, but I'm 57 and it doesn't bother me although I do notice it (which is maybe the point) and wonder why on earth anyone would do that to themselves. No need to answer that because I know..I just disagree that it's attractive. :lol:

cftwo
05-21-2010, 01:53 PM
I think Jan has summed up what I've seen very well. Depending on where you live or how/where the questioners grew up, decorating yourself with tatoos or multiple piercings just wasn't something that people in the mainstream did. In some cases, it was even unusual for a woman to get her ears pierced. My grandfather told his daughters that if they got their ears pierced, he'd pierce their nose. My dad (his SIL) thought that philosophy sounded like a good idea. So when my mom got her ears pierced at 40, it was a very big deal. Similarly, the first young man in my high school to get his ear(s) pierced did so while studying abroad (this was in the mid-80s). Piercings, for men in particular, just weren't mainstream. So getting a piercing, the mainstream thought, had to have been done for something. After all, why would you want to be that different? There were/are, I guess, some unspoken rules about it being OK to be different, as long as it was within certain parameters.

trvvn5
05-21-2010, 02:12 PM
I was the first boy to get pierced ears at middle school. So I guess I was the kid who didn't care.

I guess I've grown up in a completely different atmosphere. Where tattoos and piercings were just part of decoration like necklaces or earrings only permanent and a little different. And I think society has gone through some major changes in the past few decades, we've shifted from a group society to an individualistic society. Where people were trying so hard to fit in in the 50's, people now try harder to be different. So tattoos and piercings were just a form of being artistic and different and I suppose people who grew up in an ideology of fitting in that there would have to be some kind of reason that somoene would want to be on the fringe. Where as to us, we don't understand why someone would want to look like everyone else.

mwhite
05-21-2010, 03:59 PM
I always check people's tattoos and piercings but have never wondered what they signify....Some tattos are true works of art and I admire the artistry. Piercings are not so interesting to me, just simply because I've never had anything pierced and it's so common. My husband had a tattoo on his arm with his first wife's name and although I didn't ask him to, he had it changed into a Marlin fish last year....I was glad....everyone used to ask him why he had "Wanda" on his arm and they know my name is Mary, now he never has to explain that again...so he's glad, too.

cindycactus
05-21-2010, 04:07 PM
I am 68 years old. I grew up in the late 40's and 50's. Some women got their ears pierced and wore small hoops. My mother did not get her ears pierced until she was in her 40's. Her father disapproved of that and women who cut their hair. I got my ears pierced in my 30's because dh wanted me to. I actually got the second ear piercing in my 40's so I could wear diamond studs because he wanted me to also. I can remember when I saw the first man with long hair. It was in the late 60's and I worked in a bank. Someone saw him in the Loan Department and we all took turns walking though the Loan Dept to get a look. Just so weird. I am sure he was aware of what we were doing but was very nice about it. lol Times change and people change their idea of what is acceptable. Who knows what our greatgrandchildren will think is cool!!!! :roflhard:

saracidaltendencies
05-21-2010, 04:27 PM
I've never had anyone ask me what any of mine mean but I have been asked, often, why? My answer: Because I like it. Simple as that...I'm not trying to be different, I'm not trying to be "cool" or fit in anywhere, I just like it, period. No different than why people wear certain clothes or shoes or listen to certain music. Same with tattoos...I have only 10 right now but if I had the money, I'd be just about covered in tattoos...Why? Same reason, I like it. Not to mention it's great being able to break the stereotype. I love it when I hear people say to me "ya know, from the way you look I thought you'd be a b**ch but you're the sweetest person I know!"

N0obKnitter
05-21-2010, 04:35 PM
My non-biological grandfather had a bunch of tats on his lower arms...

etoilechaude
05-21-2010, 04:49 PM
I'm lucky enough to work in a "creative" environment where my tattoos and piercings have never been an issue. I do try to cover them up when possible, just because I'm a paranoid baby and don't want conflict... even though it's never happened!

I teach small children (and older ones too) and I've often been worried in interviews that my neck and wrist tattoos might cost me a job. I've never not gotten a job I've interviewed for and it's probably just because I have an amazing resume and references.

I've never been asked about my piercings, but I do get the occasional questions about my tattoos. The visible ones are a neck tattoo that means dance, and a red star on the underside of my wrist. I put the star there after many years of teaching ballet and explaining to students the focus on écarté should be the inside of your wrist... now I can just show them the star and they instantly get it.

All of my tattoos have meaning, my piercings... not so much ;o)

wellslipmystitches
05-21-2010, 05:05 PM
I don't understand your quandary. If someone of any age asks a question it's usually because they want to know or understand something. If an old lady asked you, "Why in hell would you do such a stupid thing as put a bar in your ear?" - I could understand your being nonplussed, however, if she simply asked if there were a significance to the adornment what's your gripe? Next time have some fun with it (much better than being aggravated) tell the person who asks, "Well, ya see, my ear got bit off by a madman and the only way the docs could reattach it was with that simple metal bar. Adding, I can pull out the bar and show you how it'll flop down to my shoulder! :<) I'd love to know what reaction you get.
You think this behavior is new and individualistic? The human species is the only one which decorates their bodies. It's been so since early man inhabited this earth. I wish I could cite a good book about it but, I can't. If interested I'm sure anyone can find plenty of info online or at the library. So, those who chose to get away from very early influences were not trying to "fit in". Quite the opposite. However, man's need to adorn himself and make a personal statement will always win out (note the cosmetic industry, plastic surgery along with tattoo/piercing). It's all the same. That's just the way we are. When you speak to the younger generation being individuals I can't help but smile. When people young or old become individual thinkers there won't be fashion, style, marketing trends or any of that great stuff that makes the world's economy turn and young guy's pants hang down below their Fruit of the Looms. I'm an old lady, but I talk to young people and I don't care if they cover themselves in tats and piercings. (Are you also aware that some piercings are for stimulation not decoration?) How people relate to me is what's important.
I've never had my ears pierced. When our daughters wanted pierced ears, they were given an age when we'd allow it. They argued and talked and pleaded till my husband said, "O.K. Let's go get your ears pierced and your lips too, so I can put a lock on them!" They got ears pierced when we allowed it. I'm not into most kinds of mutilation, including circumcision of males and in some cultures females. With any of these things, regardless of the reasons now given, I can't help wondering, why was it done the first time?

vaudiss
05-21-2010, 05:12 PM
I teach high school and my kids are always shocked when they realize that I have a tattoo on my wrist. The funny thing is that i do not wear a watch but it generally takes about 2-3 months for them to realize its there and then they FREAK.
Around here it is COMMON for the teenages (around 13 actually) to get tattos. I can't believe that their parents let them at age 13 get a tattoo. I got mine after I turned 21 and my parents couldn't fuss LOL. So they freak and mine on my wrist out and then find out about the one on my back (pre tramp stamp labeling) and they go into PANIC mode. They do the same thing w/ the idea that I have a bf. They want to set me u[ w/ pp and then when I tell them I'm dating they start catcalling and crap...:eyes: children!

Oh and NOT TELLING them what the wrist tattoo drives them NUTS...:roflhard: it does give me a chance to laugh at them....hehe

Woodi
05-21-2010, 05:13 PM
I'm 62 and have seen a lot of different new ways of decorating a body over the years.
When I see tatoos or piercings, the first thing that comes to mind is: "wow, that person must have a good tolerance for pain. I could never do it"....but I do like how some of them look.

I used to like to wear eyeliner, makes the eyes look more defined, especially as mine are light green, and my hair was always ash blonde (now it's grey).....so my face looked kind of bland. If I'd had the courage, I think it would have been neat to have permanent black eyeliner tatooed on to the edge of my upper eyelids....but again: prolly couldn't take the pain.

My father, now age 84, still has a tatoo on his arm which he got in WW2 when he was a naval rerserve. It says "Mother", with a rose and a ribbon.

I wouldn't ever ask anyone what it means.....kind of rude, I think.

N0obKnitter
05-21-2010, 06:20 PM
I think my grandfather was in the military or ??? not sure exactly, I think that's how he ended up with his tats...sadly, he spent years wearing long-sleeved shirts (even in hot weather) as his tats bothered him

RuthieinMaryland
05-22-2010, 10:17 AM
Hi!

There's a Tattoo Parlor in Baltimore that has the tag line "Art with a pulse"! It sounds like you're a walking work of art, then!

Thought you'd like to know! :o)

Ruthie

KathleenG
05-23-2010, 07:58 AM
I don't have any piercings. I figure I have enough holes in my head without deliberately adding more. . .

MoniDew
05-23-2010, 12:47 PM
The times, they are a changin'!

used to be, multiple piercings/tattoos were considered a counterculture, a slap in the face against "normal" society.

now, they ARE the norm... at least as it has progressed through my family. :)

My mother had her ears pierced at birth. She's from a Hispanic family, and that is the norm for them.

My mother married a Caucasian man, so we were raised with a choice. I had my ears pierced at the age of 12 simply because every female in my family was pierced. (those Hispanics!)

BUT - by the time I was in high school, people of both genders were getting their ears pierced. The men typically pierced one ear - to indicate a gender preference. :)
And the women began double/multiple piercing.

I sneaked out to get my second set of ear piercings right before my 18th birthday. I had to lie about my age, by one week, to do so. My mother HIT THE ROOF!

And then, slowly, began to accept it.

My own children were raised with the same gender bias. Girls could get their ears pierced, boys no. No tattoos allowed, etc.

Then, my son came home from the army with a black panther crawling out of a purple mist on his left shoulder.

The middle son gauged his ears and pierced his tongue. He got a scorpion tattoo to commemorate surviving a motorcycle wreak. (yes, he nearly died.) Several years later, he got a tattoo up the side of his ribs, we a motivational saying in Latin.

Then my daughter got a "tramp stamp" (lower back tattoo). She also has MULTIPLE piercings, a helix, navel piercing, etc. She got an ankle tattoo later on.

As you can tell, once the taboo is broken, it's shattered! I no longer feel like my children are being intentionally rebellious when they decorate their bodies. That's just them. Self-expression. And I love them exactly the same.

It's totally changed the way I perceive pierced/tattooed people. I just see them as extraordinarily expressive human beings. And I greet them with a smile.

Maybe, that's exactly how it should be! :)

Sknitter56
05-23-2010, 01:39 PM
I'm 60 years old now and have had my ears pierced since I was 15. Actually, I have double pierced ears, but I don't have bars or anything in the holes. I just wear two pairs of earrings.
I live in Savannah, Georgia, and there is an art school here, Savannah College of Art and Design (SCAD). Not so much now, but when I first moved here 15 years ago, I'd say about 90% of the SCAD students had hair in every color of the rainbow, multiple piercings, and dressed really wild. But, what they didn't seem to realize is...in their effort to "stand out", they all ended up looking the same. Most of the crazy hair and clothes is about gone now, but I kinda enjoyed seeing them every day all punked out and looking goofy. I really thought it looked fine. I did enough crazy stuff when I was younger so I would probably look exactly like the SCAD students if I were a teenager now. I grew up in the hippie era, so that's what I went with. But, I was a responsible hippie...had a good job and a small child, so I could only express myself after work and on weekends:p Gosh, sometimes it seems like only yesterday. Time sure flies.

blueygh2
05-23-2010, 02:24 PM
I think that tattoos have meaning to people, most often. Something that they relate to, since it's for a lifetime.
Piercings can be taken out. I guess they have less of a meaning.

yarndolly
05-23-2010, 02:25 PM
Tattoos. I don't have any. I always said that if I did get one it would be two small (1/2 inch) circles on my lower breast bone right above the xiphoid process, then a larger circle above them that says, “CPR Press Here”.

yarndolly
05-23-2010, 02:27 PM
However…I did find this on the internet. It’s a hoot! But I think I’ll keep my original idea and just put this on my knitting bag.

N0obKnitter
05-23-2010, 02:37 PM
However…I did find this on the internet. It’s a hoot! But I think I’ll keep my original idea and just put this on my knitting bag.

Wonder what the H species of hominoid that skull is supposed to represent? lol, Anthrolopology student here.

blueygh2
05-23-2010, 02:43 PM
Probably a demonoid humanoid :D

N0obKnitter
05-23-2010, 02:46 PM
That'll throw a wrench in the Out of Africa hypothesis...or something.

kahlan
05-23-2010, 09:31 PM
Also she/ they might just be curious. I have several tattoos and piercings (though not as many piercings as in my twenties) and my mom was always curious as to why a person gets this done. She would ask "so where does one get a tattoo"? She's never going to get one, she's just curious by nature.
Some of the things she's asked people have been translated as judgement or disapproval but knowing her and what she really wants to know, it's not a judgement. She is just inquisitive and genuinely interested in how and why things are the way they are and why we do the things we do. It's almost naive and innocent, sweet. I know not all people are as kind as my Mom (who is the greatest mom and the world is a better place because she's in it) but there is a chance that some people are just plain curious, gay, straight, orange with yellow polka dots, they just wanna know "why"??

vaknitter
05-23-2010, 10:40 PM
Haha - having spent lots of time with the older generation, I would guess the lady didn't phrase her quesion to ask what she intended. I would say that if they take the time to ask, then they are not judging you and walking to the other side of the street so try not to be aggrevated and just tell them that there is no real meaning to it, it's just decoration.

I work with the public, but never realized just how ridiculous people can be about not respecting personal boundaries until I got pregnant. People do not hesitate to tell me I am big, small, touch my stomach and ask about a million other personal questions. The kicker is that people seem offended when I dodge their attempts to touch my stomach.

Gertie
05-23-2010, 11:03 PM
Check this (http://www.cometosilver.com/silver/me/tattoo_ani.gif.php) out!! It was posted years ago on KH.


To me, using one's person as an art canvas isn't offensive. It can be kinda fun to see the hair color du jour.

trvvn5
05-24-2010, 07:06 AM
Haha - having spent lots of time with the older generation, I would guess the lady didn't phrase her quesion to ask what she intended. I would say that if they take the time to ask, then they are not judging you and walking to the other side of the street so try not to be aggrevated and just tell them that there is no real meaning to it, it's just decoration.

I didn't really think of it this way, but you are kind of correct. I would imagine that if she was truely being offensive then she never would have asked the question. She would have just kept it to herself and not bothered. So I guess she could have just been truely curious and didn't really know the appropriate way to ask the question.

N0obKnitter
05-24-2010, 10:00 PM
Haha - having spent lots of time with the older generation, I would guess the lady didn't phrase her quesion to ask what she intended. I would say that if they take the time to ask, then they are not judging you and walking to the other side of the street so try not to be aggrevated and just tell them that there is no real meaning to it, it's just decoration.

I work with the public, but never realized just how ridiculous people can be about not respecting personal boundaries until I got pregnant. People do not hesitate to tell me I am big, small, touch my stomach and ask about a million other personal questions. The kicker is that people seem offended when I dodge their attempts to touch my stomach.

Por dio it is a good thing I cannot have children, because there would be an "incident" in such a happenstance. What is it with people?!!?!?

badboy1cdx
05-25-2010, 12:20 AM
Growing up, my parents never really respected anyone that had a bunch of tattoo's or guys that had a bunch of piercings. I was always told that such displays would really hinder me in future career options. Personally, I don't think I'm all that close-minded about body decorations and couldn't really say if what I've been taught is true or not. I know that when I was in the Navy, the men were not allowed to have piercings and as a teenager working in a fast-food joint, the workers had to remove any piercings and cover the holes with tape. (Shrug) Make of it what you will.

My dad never denied the fact that he did have a tattoo, but he always stressed the fact that it was in a location where no-one would know about it unless he wanted them to. Following his advice I did get one tattoo myself while in the navy, but, like him, put it in a place where it wouldn't normally be seen. It's a picture of the US submarine service "silver dolphins" and means quite a bit to me. This is a representation of it:
http://i151.photobucket.com/albums/s125/badboy1cdx/silverdolphins.jpg

Overall, I think the point my parents were trying to teach me was that if I was to get some work done that it should really mean something as others might not be very accepting of it. Maybe the people who have asked you about your piercings see them in the same sort of way my parents did and are subtly trying to get you thinking along the same lines.

trvvn5
05-25-2010, 06:30 AM
Overall, I think the point my parents were trying to teach me was that if I was to get some work done that it should really mean something as others might not be very accepting of it. Maybe the people who have asked you about your piercings see them in the same sort of way my parents did and are subtly trying to get you thinking along the same lines.

See. I think herein lies my issue with the question in the first place. Its not anyone's place to be suggesting anything about what I do with my body. There's judgement in the question. I just wish people had the capacity to live and let live. To look at someone who is different and think, thats not really something I'd do, but thats cool for them.

bowl510
05-25-2010, 09:42 AM
I have 2 tatoos. One on the back of my leg of a bull skull which represents that I am a Taurus. The other is on my left shoulder and it is a picture of my cat. I had this cat for 19 years before she passed away from old age 2 years ago. She is on my shoulder as a reminder of my very first cat that I had after I moved out from my parents. When I was growing up the thought of getting a tatoo was unthinkable. My parents did not agree with tatoos. So I waited until I was in my 30's to get my first tatoo.

KAYinPA
05-23-2011, 01:50 AM
trvvn5,
I've read some of your posts, and you sound like an intelligent, talented man. I wouldn't worry about why people are asking about the 'meaning' of your earring; there's as many reasons as there are people asking. If it were me, I'd ask simply out of curiosity, because I hadn't seen it before. Women tend to wear certain types of earring styles. Our 'younger generation' may wear something different, and if it's not recognizable, as in my nephew's tattoo, I might wonder from where it came, if I wanted one, or just plain curiousl I've hesitated at times to ask those personal questions, because I didn't want to give an impression of 'judgement', when that was certainly not intended. So, I just say 'nice earring', and go on.
...from the 'other side' of the river...

KAYinPA
05-23-2011, 01:54 AM
...OK, so what does 'trvvn5' stand for??? **KIDDING!! ***

fatoldladyinpjs
05-23-2011, 08:44 AM
Some people are just nosy. I get offended when a perfect stranger asks me personal things. I just say, Why do you want to know? That usually shuts them up. But the lady might just have asked you because she was curious and it fascinates her. I work in a place where I see people with interesting things all the time and I ask about them. I'll admit, I'm guilty. The latest one was a lady who had a purse made of a license plate. Another lady had a purse with pictures of all her grandchildren. Come on, you know you gotta ask.

I grew up in the hippie fashion craze in the 1960's. The 70's it was the disco era. The funniest thing I saw was a guy dressed in a fur coat like a pimp, 6 foot 7, wearing 8 inch platform shoes, having to duck through the door to get into the club. In the the 80's it was the goth thing. Your old lady probably has a raccoon coat and a flapper dress hanging in the back of her closet. The fads may change, but people in all generations have done this. You're always going to find some old person who doesn't like it and thinks you should be more conservative. They were always telling the kids to stop protesting, cut their hair, and get a job back then.

I don't even bat an eye when I see those strange fashions now. But then, I live in the same apartment building as my adult twin sons so I see it every day. They're into the punk band scene with the studded leather jackets, mohawks, and green hair. They're really nice kids, just look strange. It gives the neighbors something to talk about. Recently, the twins decided their job prospects would be better if they both dyed and cut their hair conservatively. They haven't looked alike for ten years. I really have to look hard to tell the little stinkers apart now. Normal is strange.

Rick Nelson, song Garden Party: You can't please everyone so you've got to please yourself.

MerigoldinWA
05-23-2011, 07:13 PM
Some people are just nosy. I get offended when a perfect stranger asks me personal things. I just say, Why do you want to know? That usually shuts them up. But the lady might just have asked you because she was curious and it fascinates her. I work in a place where I see people with interesting things all the time and I ask about them. I'll admit, I'm guilty. The latest one was a lady who had a purse made of a license plate. Another lady had a purse with pictures of all her grandchildren. Come on, you know you gotta ask.

I can relate to this, but is it nosy? Just why does a person have a purse made with a license plate? I am interested in things and people and like to talk to them and ask questions, I also give out a lot of information about myself. :) It just seems natural to me, being friendly not being judgmental. If people don't want anyone to notice them or say anything to them maybe they shouldn't carry, dress, decorate themselves etc. so as to be noticed. (I'm not saying I wish they would, but I do wish they wouldn't be offended if I notice.) I'm a conservative person myself (at this stage of my life), but I've been around the block and seen a few things and am pretty live and let live. But I don't get people being offended because someone talks to them or asks them questions about something about themselves. Answer them or tell them you don't want to, but I think it is being pretty judgmental to think they are being condemnatory for being interested in why someone might have blue hair for instance. It sort of seems to me such things are an invitation to conversation. I'm not talking about being preached at or put down or ridiculed, but honest conversation.

My husband stands out in most groups, always has. He doesn't do it purposely to be noticed, he just looks the way he wants to, but he is not offended if someone asks him about the way he looks. In fact he is self confident enough not to get bent out of shape if someone makes a negative comment (this doesn't happen much anymore).

What I'm mostly saying is why can't people talk to each other anymore? Do people have to be so individualistic that they each have a little box around themselves and maybe a no trespassing sign? I'm just naive enough to think that a person who has a Mohawk might like to tell his/her story. Maybe I should put a disclaimer here...I live in a small town and have always lived in smaller communities. I think there is a different feeling with city folks, but I still don't get it. If I do travel through a city I talk to people and I have to admit a lot of the folks act like they are surprised to have anyone talk to them.

trvvn5
05-24-2011, 09:48 AM
What I'm mostly saying is why can't people talk to each other anymore? Do people have to be so individualistic that they each have a little box around themselves and maybe a no trespassing sign? I'm just naive enough to think that a person who has a Mohawk might like to tell his/her story. Maybe I should put a disclaimer here...I live in a small town and have always lived in smaller communities. I think there is a different feeling with city folks, but I still don't get it. If I do travel through a city I talk to people and I have to admit a lot of the folks act like they are surprised to have anyone talk to them.

I grew up in a small town as well. And I've been told on multiple occassions that I have Irish charm. I have no problems talking with people and I'm very open about things as well. I can usually see why people ask about my tattoo. I think tattoos tend to have meaning. It when they ask about the piercings that I get confused. I think this situation would have bothered me less had she asked, "Does that piercing mean something?" as opposed to "What does that piercing mean?" There's an underlying assumption in the later question as opposed to the former. And I think I've just become used to being judged by an older generation for my eccentricities that I'm a little trigger happy on the offended front. But you're right Merigold. We should be able to talk to one another about things we're curious about. Looking back on this situation now some time later, I'm realizing that I was a little quick to be offended.

MerigoldinWA
05-24-2011, 02:16 PM
Thanks for the thoughtful response trvvn5. I have been known to cry at no trespassing signs. I hate to be shut out of beautiful places, but I also understand why it has come to be that way. People are disrespectful of other people's property, destroy and throw trash around. The same is true in human relations. I wish we could all free free to be open, but people have had trash thrown on them. I look for a better day.

ArtLady1981
06-01-2011, 07:11 PM
I think questions like that are rude and intrusive. And I do not think they are sincere about really wanting to know why or what. I think their question is a ruse to pronounce judgment on your piercings. And the questions are forcing you to justify what they clearly do not like.

Their questions are like a fist in a velvet glove. I detest this line of questioning.
Really gets my hackles up, can you tell?

If they were your friends, they wouldn't need to ask. Anyone else shouldn't ask.

That said...you can usually tell the subtle difference between "fist" questioning and the sincere questioning.

But, I personally don't ask questions like that. Not even of my own adult children. I wait it out...and usually figure it out for myself. Or they eventually comment and a lightbulb goes off in my head. But the casual acquaintance...the person you rarely see, the person you just met, the person that you will never see again...why do they need to know your reasons? They're either pronouncing judgment, or they are just plain nosy.

Some folks have absolutely NO FILTER on their mouths.
Whatever ever is rattling around in their heads just rolls right out that big mouth.

Amen.

saracidaltendencies
06-01-2011, 11:12 PM
I know I commented much earlier in the thread but the way I see it is if you have piercings (which I do, eyebrow, tongue, and septum...had my lip for a while, years ago but had to take it out due to a recurring infection and being pregnant with my son) and tattoos (which I also have, 10, currently), you have to expect to be questioned or judged. Now I'm not saying that's fair because it's not, but, that's how people are and anyone who goes against the grain needs to understand that others will be curious and/or judgmental. If you react negatively you're only going to reinforce their judgmental and most likely negative view of you. You CAN'T let it get to you. Answer their question(s) with a smile even if you do feel offended because if you act completely un-offended you don't give them the satisfaction of being condescending, AND, you just might actually make them change their mind about you. Believe me, I've had all sorts of people try to judge me and stereotype me and I LOVE to be able to prove them wrong...If you take offense and get angry you're giving the person who is passing judgement exactly what they want, and/or, exactly what they expect...On the flip-side, however, there are people who truly are just curious or just want to strike up a conversation but don't quite know how...

ArtLady1981
06-01-2011, 11:58 PM
Good points, saracidaltendencies! Totally agree with you!
There is absolutely nothing to be gained by lashing out at rude, nosy people.

Hope my post didn't insinuate that I think that is the way to deal with them.
I might feel hot inside, but I'd never let them see it!

Actually, a good way to respond to a question like: "What does that pierce mean?"
is: "What do you think it means?"

Or, when asked: "Why did you have your xxx pierced?"
respond: "Why do you think I did?"

They'll say: "I don't know."
And you'll say: "Neither do I!"

If they have any brainy ideas to share...just say "You're right!"

End of that discussion. Your body parts and body art. Shees.

And now on to the more important things..."what do you think about xxx?"
Boy, in today's world...you'll have no end of xxx topics to ask them about.

saracidaltendencies
06-02-2011, 11:57 PM
Hope my post didn't insinuate that I think that is the way to deal with them.
I might feel hot inside, but I'd never let them see it!

No, no, not at all! I just personally have never understood it really when people get offended when they are questioned about things like piercings or tattoos because a lot of people are nosy and are judgmental and for a person to think they'd escape the nosiness and judgement when they have a head-full of piercings and/or body-full of tattoos, well, that's being pretty naive. I have always believed that if a person doesn't want attention or is uncomfortable with receiving attention, well, they shouldn't do things that will definitely draw attention. Again, no, it's not fair but you can't expect the world to change for you...lol...I just think if a person wants to go out and get pierced and tattooed (ME!! LOL!) they need to realize that people will be nosy/judgmental and they have to be willing to accept that they will be questioned and looked at in ways that might be offensive. But, you just have to rise above it and prove them wrong and maybe, just maybe, you will open their eyes to the fact that not everyone who has piercings and/or tattoos fits into a nice, neat little packaged stereotype. No one does.

ArtLady1981
06-03-2011, 12:25 AM
No, no, not at all! I just personally have never understood it really when people get offended when they are questioned about things like piercings or tattoos because a lot of people are nosy and are judgmental and for a person to think they'd escape the nosiness and judgement when they have a head-full of piercings and/or body-full of tattoos, well, that's being pretty naive. I have always believed that if a person doesn't want attention or is uncomfortable with receiving attention, well, they shouldn't do things that will definitely draw attention. Again, no, it's not fair but you can't expect the world to change for you...lol...I just think if a person wants to go out and get pierced and tattooed (ME!! LOL!) they need to realize that people will be nosy/judgmental and they have to be willing to accept that they will be questioned and looked at in ways that might be offensive. But, you just have to rise above it and prove them wrong and maybe, just maybe, you will open their eyes to the fact that not everyone who has piercings and/or tattoos fits into a nice, neat little packaged stereotype. No one does.

Well said, Demonica, well said! You are spot on!

Thanks for sharing your perspective from the 'tattooed & decorated' side of the table! :hug::hug:

Jan in CA
06-03-2011, 01:57 AM
Very well said Sara! I completely agree with you. No point in being bitter or making a big deal about it. :thumbsup: I do think people should be more considerate, but I agree they are often just curious.