Piercing has become more than a fad. It’s been around too long and too popular to be labeled as such. Teenagers and piercing is becoming a parenting issue that five years ago parents of ten year olds thought they wouldn’t have to deal with. Well, it’s still around and parents of kids of all ages are now dealing with the issue of piercing various body parts in the name of style and self expression.
Piercing is about more than just something to do. Of course, kids think that this is a cool thing to do to themselves because they believe it looks cool. And for some people, some piercings can actually be attractive. Depending on the size, location, and style of the stud, some piercings can be pulled off tastefully. However, many simply look, well, junkie. And for many teenagers this would be the appeal. There is an edge to having these done and it creates a look that speaks of teenage and young adult angst as well as presents the whole “tortured and soulful” look to the rest of the world. For some teenagers, this is their opinion of self expression.
Hopefully your teenager asked you whether it was okay or not before they went out and had something pierced. If you have agreed to this idea, it would be recommended to go with them at the time of piercing. Your consent means that you have consented to piercing anything, and the only reason for a girl to pierce her genitals has everything to do with sexual pleasure, which would tip you off to the more pressing issue of sexual activity.
If your child comes home from wherever they have been with a piercing, they most likely had it done by a friend. Piercing shops require that you show identification to prove your age before piercing anyone or anything. Thus, either your kid has a fake ID, the piercing shop messed up, or it was done by a friend. In the event of the latter, the risk of infection is very high, especially if it was a tongue or nipple. When the tongue is pierced professionally, instructions are given to avoid certain foods, kissing, and other oral activities such as smoking for at least 2 weeks to prevent infection. Nipple piercings are likely to become infected because of the ducts that lead to the mammary glands in the breasts of a teenage girl. Taking the piercing out actually increases the chance of infection. However, the good news is that even if they managed to pull this off without your permission, the eventual removal of the stud will take care of the hole over time. You should be more concerned with who your teenage daughter is intending to show her pierced nipple to than the fact that there is now a hole in her body that will one day grow back together.
I’m not implying it’s not upsetting. What I am implying is that while piercing of the nose, lips, eyebrows, ears, and other facial features is done for effect. Piercings of the nipple, clitoris, penis, tongue, and in a more abstract way the belly button is a sexual gesture. Very few teenage boys pierce their penis.
When approaching the topic of teenagers and piercing, it may be prudent to deal with why they want something pierced before dealing with that something either is or is about to be pierced. The piercing itself is usually a side effect of another desire, sexual or otherwise.
Whether or not you choose to allow your teenager to pierce their body is up to you. Long gone are the days that pierced ears (as in one hole in each ear) are the great debate. Out of the teenagers with piercings, 13% have piercings that their parents aren’t aware of. This is a pretty high number considering the health risks that go along with piercings done professionally, let alone those performed by a friend. In most cases it is harmless to allow your teenager to get a piercing. Except for the fact that most parents don’t like the way it looks, a lot of the same arguments for not piercing are very similar to those surrounding the piercing of the ears once upon a time. An eyebrow, a nose, and in some cases a belly button piercing is usually just for effect and means nothing more.
Teenagers and piercing is destined to be a debate between parents and kids for a long time to come. The phenomenon has lasted long enough that it will be around for many years, and those teenagers who are denied now will most likely do it at the first available opportunity come the ripe old age of eighteen.