Piercings Vs Tattoos

An image of Kai Sterck and their ear piercing. It has been a hot debate between tattoos and piercings on which one is ultimately better. While some may argue that tattoos etch permanent memories onto one’s body, others enjoy switching between their piercings to express themselves as who they are as an individual. “Tattoos are better because you can express yourself more clearly with a tattoo than an earring,” says Santa Rosa High School student Marty Geffner. While he may not have a tattoo or piercing on his body, he enjoys temporary tattoos. Photo taken by Kai Sterck.

Article by Jerral Agbayani

K: Hey, so I heard that you prefer tattoos over piercings… Why is that??

J: Piercings may scar, but tattoos are forever.

K: You can zap them away though.

J: For a hefty price.

K: Yeah, and that’s not a good thing lol 

J: Only if you regret it.

K: Yeah I’m sure, but didn’t you get one that said-

J: -We don’t talk about that.

K: Just like Bruno?

J: Shhhhhh…  OwO

K: ANYWAYS, wasn’t this supposed to be a debate?

J:  Fine, the reason tattoos are the better choice is because, aesthetically, the tattoo becomes a part of you, as long as it doesn’t fade away. It provides intimacy with one’s skin and what tattoo you get could be a way to express yourself to strangers even before you get to know them.

K: Hmm good point. Don’t get me wrong, I love tattoos and I would love to be covered in them one day, but piercings are more fun and are an “interactive” option. I have a septum piercing and I can’t wait to continue changing it with fun designs and colors. I have my ears pierced too and I use that to express how I’m feeling, or even add on to my look that day. It’s awesome.

J: While it is indeed an enjoyable experience to have the freedom of changing your outward appearance, tattoos are a go-to because it is more of a personal option, and revealing them to whoever you choose could help strengthen your bond with them..

K:  Well I mean, piercings aren’t just for the sole purpose of looking swag, they also have personal meaning whether they’re intended or not. Permanent jewelry is more than a simple adornment, it can be your own unique and adventurous statement.

J: How so?

K: While there are people who get piercings just for aesthetic value, or a way of self expression, some people get piercings for religious or spiritual reasons, or even conform to their culture. I’ve tried my best to do some research on this topic, so it can be as accurate as possible, so bare with me when I explain the different piercings. Pierced ears (cultural and fashionable as well as many of the other piercings listed) have been a part of Ethnic tradition/representation for many Indians, Hispanics, as well as Africans. In India, nose piercings have been associated with “easy childbirth,” reproduction, and in some nomadic tribes nose piercings were a sign of wealth. The Dogon people of Mali (located in West and South Africa) pierced their lips to symbolize the world’s creation by their ancestor spirit. The labret piercing which is also located on the lower lip was a symbol as well as an expression of social identity for the American Coast West Indians.

J: Ooo, interesting I didn’t know that. Well affection can be shown in many ways, and one thing someone who might be bad can’t change is a more permanent appearance. That’s how you find the right people, people who are unbothered by who you choose to be. While you can change your piercings for your partner’s preferences, you’d be unable to change a tattoo, unless they forcefully do so.

K: You can also show affection as a sign of  devotion with piercings, the only difference is it doesn’t have to be on your body forever, and if you wanted to remove it, it wouldnt cost you anything. Many people get piercings such as tongue piercings, belly button piercings, nipple piercings or piercings on their genitals (ouch).

J: I would say it isn’t necessarily a bad thing to change your piercings for your partner or vice versa, as long as you two love one another, but when it comes to those hideous abusive relationships many of those kind of people tend to look down and make their partner feel bad for wanting to do what they want. That’s why, when you come into a relationship with someone who might potentially be a ‘bad guy,’ they’re less inclined to have ever been with you in the first place, which is how you could indirectly avoid bad confrontation with someone who is a ‘bad guy.’

K: Well ‘duh,’ but most importantly, no matter if it’s a simple ear piercing or a piercing hidden beneath the clothes, the most important meaning of your piercing is what it ends up meaning to you.

J: Good point, you’re right. Anyways tattoos are a great provider of imagery that you can’t get out of a piercing.

K: But dude, piercings are also a great provider of 3D jewelry that you can get from a tattoo… Overall, jewelry as well as tattoos are such a great way to express yourself, your personal style, and your personality (especially when there’s a hidden meaning behind them, then it feels special).

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