Just a poke and a scratch

According to this article, 1/4 of people between the ages of 18 and 50 have a tattoo and 15% have a piercing.

I guess if you were to put Kyle, my roommate, his girlfriend and myself in a room, the tattoo statement would ring true. I have a few and it seems like they’re becoming a lot more popular these days.

I got my first tattoo when I was 18, after I had graduated from high school and moved to Kamloops. I drew it up myself after hours of boredom in my first-year Microeconomics course and after thinking about it, I got tattooed…

My first tattoo!

It was an interesting experience, but in the end, it was worth it. I’d eventually like to get it touched up since I was a little jumpy in some areas, but the pain left me wanting more! I eventually got a few more tattoos:

Cherry blossoms. They go from my left hip to my right shoulder.

Chinese characters. My grandparents gave me a Chinese name when I was born and also wrote it out in REAL Chinese characters.
This says “Miu Seng,” which if I remember correctly, translates into “beautiful flower.”

My dog paws are the most visible tattoo I have.

It’s interesting to hear people’s comments about my tattoos; Once a random stranger actually grabbed my shoulder (gently-ish) and demanded to know what my Chinese characters meant. That was weird, but I expect it because people have a natural curiosity.

My ears, however, are the modification that get the most attention:

Okay, so I get bored …

I started stretching my ears when I was in Grade 12 and finally stopped a couple years ago. They’re about 1/2″ in diameter when I have jewelry in them. Needless to say, I get a lot of comments on them, most of them neutral, curious ones, some good and hardly negative. The most common question? “Did it hurt?” My answer? A little, but not quite. It’s not a stinging sensation, but  more of a burn I guess. I’ve always got a professional to do it with a taper and lots of lube, lol.

The next common question is “Well, what are you going to do when you’re older?” (which is usually asked by older citizens) to which I respond “Well, I figure I’d hang my cane from them so I don’t misplace it.” Like my tattoos, I started stretching my ears knowing that people were going to ask questions. I didn’t do it because I wanted attention, I did it because I like the way it looks, but I was very well prepared for comments and remarks.

My biggest concern has always been whether or not my stretched lobes would hinder my ability to get a job. Personally, I think businesses have become more relaxed about these kind of issues. My current boss actually bought me a pair of awesome plugs for Christmas! But still, it’s a concern. I try to keep my hair covering my ears for important events where I have to meet bigwigs and especially at job interviews. I figure, if I’m the perfect match for the job, who cares what my ears look like? Of course, if it’s a conservative business, they may have concerns, but they couldn’t fire me over it, could they?

Anyway, I like my ears the way they are, and a random stranger recently told me that they suit me very well :)

I’d like to know, and be honest, What are your opinions on people with tattoos and piercings? Is there a line between “too much” and the “perfect” amount of piercings or tattoos?

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12 thoughts on “Just a poke and a scratch

  1. I really want to get a tattoo ~ I’m just a wimp when it comes to pain. (I got my ears pierced when I was 21 and I thought I was going to die.) I think if someone wants lots of tattoos/piercings, it’s up to them – I don’t think it should hinder what jobs they can get or anything like that! My supervisor hired a girl last year to be our receptionist and thought she was the cutest thing – until she wore a short-sleeved shirt to work, revealing arms entirely covered in tattoos! My supervisor HATED her after that and I think she was just waiting for her to mess up so she could have a valid reason to fire her.

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    • I’ve “eased” employers into my stretched ears and tattoos as well. They could choose not to hire me because of them, but they can’t fire me because of them! Equal opportunity suckas! Haha … sorry.

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  2. I’ve always wanted a tattoo but I’m too much of a wimp and I couldn’t decide what I would get that I could live with forever.
    I do think there is a fine line between too much, but then again I think to each their own… Our society is becoming more and more accepting every day and I think someday it won’t matter at all.

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    • I also think that things have to be tasteful, well thought out and done well (as far as tattoos go). I know a couple people with random tattoos on their arms that don’t relate, but then I know people with beautiful sleeves.

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      • Yeah, I have seen some sleeves gorgeous enough to make me consider it… But I just don’t think I can rock the tattoo sleeve look.

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  3. I had no idea you had so many tattoos! Cool! Love the flowers.

    I am not a fan of the ear stretching thing (no offense) but I think tattoos are cute. I have two.

    My best friends sister is MAJOR into body modifications. She had her ear lobes SCALPELED out so they’d stretch to over 1″ and she also had her arm cut open and metal balls put in it so that she has a bumpy arm. AND she had her tongue split. She also has multiple, multiple tattoos. To each their own, but in my opinion when it’s that hardcore it’s just unattractive!

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    • None taken! lol I appreciate people’s opinions because everyone is entitled to one, it’s just when they start to ridicule you that it gets to become hurtful. I’ve had a lot of people give me sh!t for stretching my ears, but they’ve never disowned me.

      I would never scalpel my ear lobes. Ouchy! I guess I believe in “slow and steady.”

      I interviewed a guy last year for a news feature and he did all that kind of work on people, minus tattoo work. He’s an amazingly smart person and extremely talented in his field.

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  4. Love the Chinese characters on the back of your neck! Especially because it means something to you. I hate it when people go and get random meaningless crap tattooed on them just for the sake of it.
    Ear stretching grosses me out…mostly because my sister did it, and whenever she would take the plugs out (to clean it I suppose?), she’d come find me and make me smell it. haha, sounds odd, but that’s just who she is. It always smelled so gross! Ha!

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    • I find it amusing when people get kanji tattooed on them. Half the time, they get it wrong and really, why not get the English version of the word? Does it really mean more to have it in another language, especially if you have no relation to it? Blaaah.

      Haha, I think the “funky cheese” smell is common with all pierces, but more so with ears. I take my plugs out to clean them and they usually smell funky.

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