Illustration by Nora Talbott
Over the years, having piercings has become more accepted in society. We’ve all seen more people have them. They have been more accepted as forms of expression. That being said, controversy has followed the feelings of some teenagers who believe they should be able to get piercings below the age of 18, without their parent’s consent, as a form of self-expression. If it’s their own body, can’t they do what they want with it?
In the state of Maryland, written consent from a parent or guardian is required for the minor to be pierced. Meaning, if a minor wants a piercing, they have to have the approval of their parents to do what they want with their own body. This restriction limits the ability of teenagers to express themselves in the way they desire.
Although it can be argued that teenagers aren’t developed enough to make logical decisions and understand the consequences, I disagree with this statement. I am not saying that we should take the age restriction away completely, but instead change the age to 16. At this age, teenagers should be able to decide on their bodies and acknowledge the consequences that come along with their decisions.
If a 16-year-old can get their license, drive a car and put their and others’ lives at risk, they should be able to make a responsible decision about their body in a way they want to. Driving a car is far more dangerous than poking a few holes in their body.
Having multiple piercings myself, I enjoy having the ability to wear different pieces of jewelry at a time. Now, I’m not saying that you should go and get every inch of your body pierced, but you have the right to express yourself the way you desire. For some, piercings are much more than jewelry — they’re art.
Each time I want a new piercing, it is a struggle to ask my parents for their approval. Whenever they say no, it pushes me further to want to pierce my ear myself. This is far more dangerous and the chances of it getting infected are much higher than getting it professionally pierced. If the age was lowered, this wouldn’t be as big of an issue.
Piercings aren’t permanent. You can take them out and have them heal. The consequences of piercings aren’t as huge compared to other operations. If later you regret your decision, you take the piercing out and learn from it. It’s as simple as that.
Seeing as piercings have been more accepted in today’s society, it should be the individual’s decision to do what they want with their body.