Minors or persons below eighteen years of age generally need the written or personal consent of a parent or guardian in order to have any part of their body pierced. This is an additional layer of caution that has been put in place in order to safeguard the heatlh and well-being of the minor, and also to ensure that he or she will receive the proper guidance regarding post-piercing aftercare and other important information.
As someone who is still not of legal age, you should understand that in the eyes of the law, your parents have full responsibility over your safety. This is the reason why in most jurisdictions, establishments are required to procure approval from the parent or guardian. In the unlikely event that something adverse happens to you after you have your body piercing, your parents should know what is going on and act accordingly.
You’re lucky if your parents immediately allow you to get your nose, tongue, lip, ear cartilage, or any other body part pierced. Parents who will give their immediate blessing to this are, unfortunately, not the majority. Most parents will show some level of opposition once you let them know that you would like body piercings. For girls, ear piercings are generally accepted, but for some parents even ear piercings in guys are an issue that need to be tackled.
What are some tips that can help you to convince your parents to allow you to get body piercings?
Establish a pattern of trust
Parents want their children to grow up as responsible and mature adults, so they will want to mold values and practices towards this ideal while their children are under their care. As the minor, you would want to show your parents that you are learning your responsibilities and growing into a mature young adult who can be trusted to make the right choices.
What areas in your life would allow you to show your parents that you can be trusted? For most young people, the most obvious answer would be schoolwork. A teenager who consistently gets good grades, can be trusted to complete school-related assignments and projects with minimal supervision, and is involved with extracurricular activities will be more likely to get parental approval for body piercings rather than someone who has bad grades, attendance problems, and a penchant for school-related trouble.
Perhaps you have chores or errands assigned to you at home, such as cleaning certain areas of the house, taking your younger siblings to day care or soccer practice, helping with food preparation or grocery shopping, or maintaining the lawn and backyard. Are you doing your chores regularly even when not being reminded to, or does it take several reminders before you get to your assigned tasks? Just like schoolwork, you will gain more trust from your parents if you are responsible with your chores.
In this day and age, there are opportunities for teenagers to earn some money doing various informal jobs or part-time employment. Jobs can be as simple as babysitting, walking the neighbor’s dog, mowing lawns for homeowners, house cleaning, or keeping a newspaper route. Or it could be any part-time job that attracts young people who are still in high school, including working in fastfood restaurants, joining catering crews, paid internships in different vocations, working in retail outlets or grocery stores, etc.
Whatever your employment status may be as a minor, if you are earning your keep and being responsible with your job, your parents will be more likely to grant you more freedom and choices. They may even allow you to slowly be more independent when it comes to your own hard-earned money and what you would want to buy with it. Minors who are trustworthy are a dream for parents, and responsible minors gain more freedom and approval from their parents because they can be depended on.
Be honest and open
Your parents want to maintain an honest, open, and mutually benefical relationship with you. If you are secretive or not open about your own activities or interests, your parents will assume that you are hiding something from them. But if you talk to your parents all the time, and share your experiences, your interests, and activities with them, a stronger bond is formed and your relationship is enhanced.
The teenage years are usually the time when kids become withdrawn from their parents, but if you want to foster a healthy relationship with your parents and be able to talk to them about your different decisions, such as getting body piercings, your line of communication with your parents should not be broken. Rather, you would benefit even more by finding ways to communicate better and more honestly with them.
If you have plans of getting any body piercings, be transparent with your parents about why you want them and why you think piercings would look good on you. When your parents have a better understanding of why you want to get pierced, this could help alleviate any worries or anxieties they might be having about the process in general, especially when they realize what you think about piercings.
Remind them of youth
Young people are curious, inquisitive, and experimental, and it is easy for adults to forget that time in their lives when they were teenagers and also rebelling or refusing to conform to the standards of society around them. As a young person now, if you can show your parents the culture or generation you exist in and why body piercings have become a part of modern trends and statements, then they will also be reminded of the time when they were growing up and discovering their own identities.
Every generation has had its share of conflict with the previous generation and a general desire by teenagers and young adults to be different from their parents. They see the mistakes made, the pitfalls that can be avoided, and a “system” that needs improvement or a complete overhaul. This results in a drive towards changing the rules or breaking boundaries that have been set, regardless of whether these limits are helpful or not. It is a process that is echoed throughout history and part of what makes society a continually changing organism.
Fashion trends, in particular, are always evolving and mirroring the general tastes and preferences of the market. It is noticeable that many trends are not entirely new, but reinventions or re-imaginings of styles and accents from previous decades that have been repurposed to suit contemporary consumers. Fashion designers and clothing retailers stay in touch with discussions, behaviors, and patterns of the younger market, influencing the overall mainstream segment. This is why fashion collections over the years are very often influenced directly or indirectly by the societal changes and upheavals happening around them.
One reason for the pushback you may be getting from your parents regarding body piercings is the possibility that they view piercings as the same as when they were younger. As mentioned earlier, body piercings first became popular in the West as part of the hippie culture in America (although they have existed for much longer in other cultures). Body piercings were a symbol of change, rebellion, and non-conformity, and had a close relationship with the liberating attitudes of the ’60’s. The progressive attitudes towards sex, drugs, and music blended well with the trend of tattoos and body piercings, making these previously taboo types of body art much more acceptable.
In your parents’ minds, piercings might still be the rebellious symbol that they remember from previous decades, and it is up to you to show them that among today’s youth, body piercings have become mere accessories or personal enhancements without much of the societal statements that they used to carry. Although many people still get body piercings as a form of protest or personal statement about an issue they may be passionate about, for the vast majority, getting tongue rings, lip rings, or nose piercings is really just a “cool” thing to do.
You need to be able to reassure your parents that your desire to get body piercings does not mean that you are about to engage in promiscuous sexual behavior, try different illicit drugs or go binge drinking with your friends, join some strange new cult or live communally with a bunch of hippies in some impoverished country overseas, all of which are scenarios that piercings used to be associated with decades ago. Once your parents understand that for you, piercings really are just that, then they may be more open to the idea.
Have real-life examples
Do you have any close friends, family members, neighbors, or other acquaintances who have body piercings? If you do, and they are good examples you can refer to your parents, they may be able to assist you somewhat in getting approval from your parents. For instance, do you have older cousins, uncles, or aunts who sport body piercings and can help talk to your parents about it? If they can share their own experiences regarding body piercings, and show that their piercings did not have any adverse effects on their careers or personal lives, then they can help immensely.
Same goes for any of your friends or neighbors who also have body piercings. Think of someone who is your age or close to it, has body piercings (preferably same as the ones you want for yourself), and is positively seen by your parents, for instance, a friend who has many extracurricular activities and awards, or is active in sports or community work. This friend can be a good example you can show to your parents when trying to convince them that piercings are okay.
Now, if you want to make examples of other people who have body piercings, you want to be very careful of the ones that you do choose. If you mention an older cousin or relative who seemingly has no plans in life, is involved in illegal drugs or alcohol, and is overall a bad example to younger family members, this will not help you convince your parents that body piercings are fine to have. Pick out a friend or relative with a good track record and is someone that your parents will actually want you to emulate.
Point out pop culture examples
This might be more of a long shot, but you might be able to make your parents see body piercings in a more favorable light if you point out celebrities or famous personalities they like who also sport body piercings. Once they see that many of the people they find interesting or notable also have piercings, this could lead to eventual approval for your desire to get piercings on your own.
Find out who they idolize or follow, and you just might get examples of successful personalities with piercings. For instance, does your father follow professional athletes from the NBA, NFL, MLB, NASCAR, or other major sports? Many of these athletes do have body piercings, although they do not wear them during games or events. Popular piercings among male professional athletes include ear and eyebrow piercings.
Perhaps your parents are avid fans fans of films or television programs. Even if they are not, they would have some knowledge of who the big-name personalities are. If your mom likes to listen to famous music artists or watch primetime series on broadcast networks, point out some of the celebrities they like that also have body piercings. This tactic can make them more open to the idea of piercings.
In addition, if your parents are in the business community, there are several successful businessmen, entrepreneurs, and CEOs who also sport body piercings. You can refer to these notable personalities when showing to your parents that they really aren’t all that bad, and that piercings do not necessarily mean a lack of respect towards authority or a lack of vision and ambition to make oneself a better, more productive individual.
Show you are physically ready
No matter which part of your body you are planning to get pierced, it will definitely involve an aftercare regimen and hygienic maintenance for a certain period of time. Not being informed or responsible enough to maintain the aftercare procedures during the first few weeks after getting pierced can result in infection or other problems, so it is only natural that parents will want their children to be physically prepared and matured first before getting piercings.
Think about your personal hygiene procedures and assess how well you take care of your cleanliness and overall health at the moment. If there are areas that need improvement, you should work on them right away. This will not only reassure your parents that you are well aware of the hygienic considerations for piercings, but will also make you more prepared yourself once you do get your body piercings and need to follow the aftercare procedures.
You should also calm your parents’ worries about the health and safety concerns of body piercings by involving them in the entire process of selecting where you get your piercings and finding out how competent they are, as well as their compliance with general health regulations regarding body piercings. It would help to give your parents an idea of how body piercings and their maintenance have evolved over the years especially if your parents have no personal experience whatsoever with piercings.