Wednesday, January 19, 2011

I get my highs in the piercing parlors.

I love body art. Tattoos and piercings, oh my! I love them, they're just fascinating. My boyfriend is going to start hating on this post from the first sentence.

"Why do you do that to yourself, Rowan?" He hates them. It's unecessary, he says. Stupid and dangerous.

I can't explain it to him, either. How can he ever understand it, when he finds them repulsive?

The pain isn't important. It's all adrenaline. Sure, it hurts a little, but what does that matter? It's a pinch, over in a second. Hey, I had a big brother - physical pain isn't a big deal to me. A piercing is nothing after years of nougies and indian burns and oh god, those wretched years when he was in karate! To be honest, I kind of enjoy the process. There's this fear before: is it going to be painful? But then you overcome yourself, you force yourself into that chair and sit still while they pick out the needle.

I think that's what I really love about getting pierced. It's empowering, to face your own fear and beat it. You know it's going to hurt, you don't know how badly (it's never as bad as you expect). Forcing yourself to accept pain is a crazy adrenaline rush. Afterwards, you feel ready for anything.

My boyfriend doesn't face pain the same way I do. He doesn't understand the exhilaration, and when he reads this post, he still won't understand. In fact, most of you won't, because adrenaline is an animal thing and not something you can understand from reading.

Then there's the second part of a piercing: what you leave with. You'd edited yourself - you're going to be a little different for the rest of your life. I have my nose pierced - my septum, actually. I have to hide it when I visit my grandmother, and in all honesty, I don't feel like I'm looking at my own face when I can't see it. Even after you take them out, that little scar is forever. It says "hey, I had an experience".

I get my highs in the tattoo parlor. Why do you think piercings are so addictive?

Of course, it can't be that simple. Every new piercing, there's always someone putting it down. I get the same with my hair, with my clothes. I've learned to mostly ignore it, but it still bugs me a little. I don't see why people think it's their business what's sticking out of my face or what color my hair is.

I certainly don't make other people's appearence my business. I'll ooh and ahh over a new hairdo, and maybe nag my boyfriend every now and then to grow out his hair (heeelllo, sexy ponytail?) but his reluctance doesn't really matter. We're all individuals; we should have the right to dress like individuals. If you don't like to dress up, that's just an extension of your personality - just like my flashy colors are an extension of my personality.

We all say it's so horrible that people follow trends and look "like clones" , but for some reason people never follow through. "Oh, Rowan! You're so great and unique... but you should grow your hair long and dye it a natural color." Despite all of the talk of "being yourself", no one feels comfortable letting lose. 

I don't mean that everyone has to dress like me. In fact, please don't. Please dress like yourself. If that means sneakers from Wal-mart that's cool, or $300 high tops, that's cool too. Learn not to judge - don't even judge the judgmental, because they're people too.

And WHATEVER you do, think of this: people who worry about what other people do, generally don't have enough to do themselves.

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