tattoos and body piercing

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athena
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tattoos and body piercing

Post by athena » May 30th, 2010, 4:10 pm

Feelings are a strange thing. What is beautiful to some is disfigurement to others. When we look at a loved one and feel repulsed, by what is disfigurement to us, things get very complicated. I could not have been more horrified when I looked at my granddaughter this morning, if her face had been disfigured by a fire. If it were a fire that disfigured her beautiful face, I would never show that I feel repulsed by her looks.

However, this is not the first piercing in the face, but is the second disfigurement of her body this month, and a month before she put studs in her lips. Each time I see these disfigurements, it hurts. I have been as flexible and accepting as I can be, but now I see not only a new disfigurement, but that this behavior is out of control, and will most likely will get worse, like an addiction.

I am so repulsive by the number of piercings and especially the location of these new ones, I couldn't stand to look at her when I drove her to work. I will not give her a ride again, as long as the mental is in her face. This means, I will not attend family Thanks Giving, or Christmas gatherings. I will no longer care for her son, as I have been doing.

Not because I disapprove, but because it is so painful to me, to see what she doing to herself. This follows the news that her younger sister is hanging with drug dealing, gang members, and her going to jail for beating someone up.
I think the rash of body piercings and another disfigurement of her arm, is a response to her sisters choices. All this follows my daughter's years of addiction, and more pain than I want to remember.

My grandmother never said a critical thing. My 90 plus year old neighbors, would never say a critical thing. They would just avoid contact. If I had money, I would be packing my things and moving far away. No explanation, just end contact.
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Post by Scott » May 30th, 2010, 5:11 pm

A haircut can look bad and another haircut can look good. Moreover, looking good or looking bad is subjective, so the same person's haircut can look good to one person and bad to a different person.

The same can be said about tattoos, body piercings, clothing outfits.

There seems to be common tendencies of differences in opinion between generations and cultures. I would never wear the kinds of clothes or outfits that many worn by most of the elderly people who I see; they are silly in my opinion. They probably often feel the same about people my age. I think my fiancee's tattoos and piercings are more attractive than the kind of makeup styles often worn by people of other age groups or cultures or the perms and styles done to their hair--and I would be a detriment to her appearance in my opinion if she had them removed. If one of my friends had their tattoos removed and piercings surgically fixed threw out their wardrobe and then died their hair, had a permanent done, and bought clothes all according to the standards followed by elderly people's generation I would think they looked ridiculous.

Though to call anyone disfigured over such a thing is strong language. It'd have to be really bad tattoo, haircut or piercing.

In some cultures, a woman who removes her leg hair might be considered disfigured. In some cultures, a woman who didn't bind her feet, starve herself, or use neck-enlarging rings may be or have been considered ugly beyond disfigurement.

***

In the following pictures, I think the tattoo and piercing are best in appearance:

Image
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Only one of these people looks ridiculous to me and its not the one of the ones with a piercing or a tattoo its the one with a girdle:
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Post by athena » May 31st, 2010, 9:45 am

Thank you for assuring me not everyone would think my daughter is demonstrating a serious emotional/psychological problem with self mutilation.

Does this go with seeing her as beautiful although she is well over 200 pounds? There is a culture in Africa where fat is beautiful. I hope she will meet the man who thinks she is beautiful, and who will love her and her son. Your comments have given me some hope.

Because I believe my granddaughter is self mutilating with her weight and what she has done to face, I am depressed and finding it hard to feel interested in any of the discussions. Mind you I have coped with pink and blue hair, and many tattoos, and other body piercing. But when I asked about the cross scared into her arm, she said everyone needs a release, and couple of weeks later there is another piercing so I can't even look into her eyes without seeing what I perceive as an indication of a serious emotional problem. This is not "displeasure" with how my granddaughter looks, as my daughter puts it. It is concern and pain.

Mom has a self destructive history and her daughters are following in her foot steps, and I hurt terribly.
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Post by Dewey » May 31st, 2010, 12:08 pm

The inter-generational differences of opinion are easily bridged with respect to clothing -- superficial, easily-changed, of the moment. But not so with the tattoos and piercings – invasive, intimate, long term, even permanent. One can kid around about the suspenders, ties, and bustles but not about the tattoos – all of which is exemplified in the above, somewhat defensive, remarks and illustrations .

More than generational difference is at play here. Or, so it seems to me as the grandfather of a potential tattoo addict.

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Post by athena » June 1st, 2010, 7:08 pm

Dewey wrote:The inter-generational differences of opinion are easily bridged with respect to clothing -- superficial, easily-changed, of the moment. But not so with the tattoos and piercings – invasive, intimate, long term, even permanent. One can kid around about the suspenders, ties, and bustles but not about the tattoos – all of which is exemplified in the above, somewhat defensive, remarks and illustrations .

More than generational difference is at play here. Or, so it seems to me as the grandfather of a potential tattoo addict.
I appreciate your understanding. I have accepted bright pink hair, bright blue hair. I have accepted my very large breasted granddaughter, walking around town without a bra, dressed in a men's wife beater T shirt and boxer shorts. I have accepted several body piercings, and tattoos. It is the number and frequency of this self mutilations, done because she says needs a "release", and in the past spoke of cutting herself with a razor blade. It is also the placement of the piercings near her eyes, so I can even look her in the eyes, without feeling terrible pain. I could not be more hurt if her face were scarred in a terrible fire. This is not "disapproval" it is unbearable, emotional pain to see what my beautiful granddaughter is doing to herself. And it is fear these self mutilations will not stop, mixed with hope that my reaction will help her stop mutilating herself.

Grandpa has moved far away so he doesn't have to deal with this stuff. While I have signed for electric service, and loans, and repeatedly loaned large sums of money, and was giving my granddaughter rides to work 5 days a week and taking care of her child once a week. Now I can not bare to look at her face. Maybe it is wrong of me, but I think my feelings deserve some consideration. That no one in the family thinks my feelings need to be considered hurts even more. I am strongly considering moving far away like grandpa did, so I can stop the hurting with denial. But first, I need to have enough in my bank account to cover the loan I signed for, and then enough for moving.
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Post by Scott » June 1st, 2010, 7:43 pm

I think every teen could benefit greatly from some one-on-one time with a professional psychologist. It's expensive, though. Maybe you and the rest of the family could work out something.

In any case, it'll always help in itself that you care about her, Athena.
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Post by wanabe » June 2nd, 2010, 1:32 am

athena,
Do not fear the differences between the generations. Your family is not trying to hurt you they just have different ways of expressing them selves.

They are not telling you to get tattoos so you should not tell them to live like you. You should not feel pain when you see her decorations(this is how she perceives them) you should attempt to understand each one rather than fearing them. It will broaden your perspective.

I think it would be rather cowardly of you to leave your family and from what little I know of you; would be against your nurturing disposition, to give up on her.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
Even if some one has a tattoo addiction, it has a rather limited space, so it could be a rather cheap addiction, all things considered. Smoking adds up at near 10 dollars a pack over alive time, and it kills you faster.

I think that psychologists are a crock; psychiatrists on the other hand may help.
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Post by athena » June 3rd, 2010, 12:29 pm

Thanks everyone. It is great to be heard, and every time someone says it is just a generational difference, it helps how I feel. If my family made it as okay for me to feel hurt, as everyone thinks I should make it okay for them to do as they please, maybe things would be a whole lot better. Strange how that works.

I have done a lot of thinking about feelings since the conflict came up. Wannabe, wouldn't it be nice if we could choose our feelings, like we choose the clothes we want to wear?

I just deleted my life story. It felt really good to write it out, and think of how each of you would react, and thereby, gain more awareness of myself. You all are doing more for me than is evident. Thank you.
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Post by wanabe » June 3rd, 2010, 11:08 pm

athena,
One can choose their feelings... easier than the cloths we wear.

Realize that it's just as much a decoration, as it is a mutilation. This may be rather grim; but you could look at it as every time your grand daughter gets a piercing or tattoo, is a time she did not cut her self(purely a mutilation). It's a time SHE didn't feel the kind of pain she doesn't like.

She has found a crude way to control her emotions. I believe with all your wisdom you can find a refined way to control yours, and perhaps even teach her.

A method in many books is to simply repeat: I am ________ and remember how you felt last time you felt __________. You will then feel_________.(Some people like to replace "I am" with "you are", so as to feel they are not lying to them self. It has the effect of a third party stating a fact, rather than you talking to your self.) This must be done with sincerity of course, but it does work. An augmentation of this is how many people begin meditation.
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Post by reflected_light » June 4th, 2010, 9:19 am

Mom has a self destructive history and her daughters are following in her foot steps, and I hurt terribly.

That is quite the selfish statement, not that I am against selfish acts, but self-pity is a real ugly one.

Your daughter sounds like she is struggling with self-image issues and is living a life where indulging in self-detrimental activities (tattoes and piercings aside) help her cope.

Scorn only deepens the hurt and fortifies the feeling that noone understands her, except those friends she has whose behaviour she is emulating.
I have been down that road and it takes a lot longer to get back than it does to get there.

The tattoes and piercings are trivial, it is your grand-daughters health you should be addressing.
It would shock you to see how fixing those problems of self-image would help to fix those of self-detremental behaviours.
Sounds like she needs help, but I don't think she will let you help her.

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Post by Alethia » June 5th, 2010, 3:45 am

Humans have always engaged in body art (piercings, scaring and tattoos) for reasons of beauty, bravery and transitional milestones.

Now such acts are considered by many to be social defiance, mutilation and ugly. I find that sad; especially given that other forms of body art such as results born of cosmetic surgery are perfectly acceptable to that same many.

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Post by Belinda » June 5th, 2010, 5:17 am

Athena, I am sure you are helping her, Maybe not so much now, but after you yourself are dead, she will remember that you cared so much about her, and she may even realise that you were right to be so concerned about her, and this knowledge will do her good.
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Post by athena » June 7th, 2010, 6:55 pm

Belinda wrote:Athena, I am sure you are helping her, Maybe not so much now, but after you yourself are dead, she will remember that you cared so much about her, and she may even realise that you were right to be so concerned about her, and this knowledge will do her good.
Thanks Belinda, but I think, what she will remember is how uncomfortable others feel around me. I was very impressed by my grandmother, who also made others feel uncomfortable. She was a school teacher and in her presence grown men would sit a little taller. I do not remember my grandmother as a loving woman, but one who set high standards of obedience to what is right. Times have changed. We do not greet teachers with their sir names, nor expect deference to our elders. I don't expect my family to ever hold the values that are important to me, and I sure don't want to live by their values.

Alethia, looking old has its social problems, and I am not opposed to the cosmetic surgery that corrects this problem. Nor am I opposed to having a nose job, or surgically correcting a deformed lip and palate. Hum, this could become a discussion of what is beautiful and what is not. I am working very hard to achieve a more attractive appearance. I am motivated with the knowledge that there are social benefits to being attractive, and that is more challenging as we age, so I enjoy the challenge as well. I am thinking of the ancient Greek concern with beauty.

http://www.newworldencyclopedia.org/entry/Beauty

The Greeks made a study of beauty and associated it with being divine.

Wannabe, the problem is bigger than the studs, and after reflected light's statement "That is quite the selfish statement, not that I am against selfish acts, but self-pity is a real ugly one." I am not revealing more. It is usually a mistake to reveal anything personal, and leave oneself open to cutting comments, but darn sometimes what you all say is very helpful, so it is hard to resist turning to you all when my feelings about something that troubles me are running high. I did consider your advice, Wannabe, and I spoke with my daughter before posting my reply. She has a lot to do with my decision to avoid her and her children.
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Post by reflected_light » June 7th, 2010, 10:23 pm

Athena, while I am not apologetic for my statements, I would hate for anyone here to feel hesitant to speak honestly about how they feel.
I make a point of doing so, for me I no longer see the benfit of 'buffing' someone's conscience just because they are feeling hurt.

I have ran into my fair share of critisism in these forums too and it has helped me become more reasonable in my thought. Many ideas I held as truths have been dispelled because of arguments spoken against my beliefs.

I try to keep an open mind, one that can yet turn it's beliefs on its head if new information so demands it.
I do not know if I will be so willing or able to do so in another 30 years, and maybe that's what it comes down to Athena...age.

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Post by athena » June 8th, 2010, 12:06 am

Hi folks, I finally got the courage to speak with my granddaughter. She did not answer her phone, but I left a message. I want you to know this because you have played an important role in helping me work through this dilemma in my life. Finally I watched a movie that pushed that thinking to a turning point.

I don't know if the courage to speak with my granddaughter will stay with me. What happens next depends on her. I have made my move, and now it is her turn. I expect her to ignore my phone call. She may be strongly motivated to resolve her own problems without my assistance, and if she can, that is good thing. Our paths are different paths, and there may be no meeting of the paths. In winter things die to make way for new life in spring. It is her time now. I am of the past.

Hopefully, discussions will give me hope for the future, and I will worry less about my grandchildren's and great grandchildren's future.

Wannabe, my concept of good manners means I acknowledge your opinion that I have a closed mind, possibly because I am old. You might change your mind about what is so for old people, in another 30 years.
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