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Children and Body Modification

Discussion in 'Tilted Life and Sexuality' started by Dahliance, Oct 8, 2012.

  1. Dahliance Vertical

    I read an article on Yahoo about a North Carolina woman who is faces charges after giving her 11-year old a tattoo. The woman is a tattoo artist and for some reason didn't know that it was illegal for anyone under 18 to get a tattoo in NC; no matter what a parent might say.
    My own opinion is that parents cross the line with their kids all the time without their children's consent. I get disgusted when I see infants with pierced ears, the child has no way to consent to that! Body modifications are a personal thing. If a person knows enough to make an informed decision about getting a piercing or tattoo including the drawbacks and potential health risks the option should be available. In NC it was illegal for the tattoo artist mom to give her well educated 11-year old a small heart-shaped tattoo but I have yet to see a single place in our nation that would site me for abuse if I had gotten my infant daughter's ears pierced.
    Does that seem right to you?
    Don't get me wrong. The law is the law but it seems to me it should be all or nothing.

    In extended conversation about this same topic on another site someone brought up National Geographic. I am talking about in the US or Canada where modification is more or less decorative and pretty much meaningless as opposed to tribal markings, piercings and other mods or mutilations that denote status and family in other cultures.
  2. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member

    Ear piercings are typically less permanent than tattoos, right? I understand that many people, if they stop wearing them for a long period of time, will have the hole close up. A tattoo is a little more permanent than that. I see your point, but I don't think getting a little girl's ears pierced is equal to tattoing her.

    That being said, I had a redneck, white trash second cousin who had his two kids both get tattoos at 8-9 years old. This was probably 20-22 years ago, but to my knowledge he never got in trouble for it. It surprises me that this story made national news.
    • Like Like x 1
  3. Xerxes

    Xerxes Bulking.

    I wonder where this thread will wind up ... :rolleyes:

    Yea, I am against any form of permanent modification in the hands of parents. You don't have kids so you can shop them up or make them as colorful as you would wish.

    Kids are not curtains.
    • Like Like x 3
  4. If all or nothing would that include circumcision? Even for religious reasons? There's another thread here on that subject.

    I don't see pierced ears as exactly the same as if one decides to not wear pierced ear rings after a while the piercing grows together, right? But ink is forever.
    • Like Like x 1
  5. Dahliance Vertical

    Nothing surprises me these days.
    I don't know what the norm is for other people but I got my ears pierced at age 13 and ended up Nickel sensitive. I have gone years at a time without wearing anything in my ears and the holes have never closed up.
  6. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I think that in a society that condones infant male circumcision, it is hypocritical to criminalize consensual tattooing for minors who have their parent's permission.
    • Like Like x 3
  7. Dahliance Vertical

    In early conversations about this subject I had brought up circumcision. In Cali when my son was born we were required to pay for his because it was considered an elective. I think that in the US sometimes things are allowed to slide on a religious belief principle but I am no lawyer or judge so I can't be sure. Circumcision can be done by a doctor so I am not sure if it would count in an all or nothing scenario. However if I had tried to circumcise my son I think I should have been locked up for evaluation.
  8. Fangirl

    Fangirl Very Tilted

    Different states differ in their laws regarding 'body modification'. You won't get an 'all or nothing' consensus as this is a state law issue, not federal.
  9. Dahliance Vertical

    Shoot I live in South Carolina and it is decided city by city or county by county as to whether tattooing is legal at all.
  10. Fangirl

    Fangirl Very Tilted

    I was thinking more the lines drawn that define the definition of child abuse or endangerment but I think I'm understanding your point about how little uniformity exists just within one state.
  11. Borla

    Borla Moderator Staff Member

    I have zero interest in a tattoo for myself. But I don't understand why it would be illegal for an adult to get one if they so desired, no matter where they lived.
    • Like Like x 2
  12. genuinemommy

    genuinemommy Moderator Staff Member

    Parents really do need to be informed about their children's rights. I consider the tattooing incident up there with this category.
    I do not place infant ear piercing in anywhere near the same category. It is a harmless cultural practice, easily healed if the child ever decides they no longer want to participate. Tattoos are far more permanent than ear piercing.
    • Like Like x 1
  13. blueStorm

    blueStorm New Member

    PA, USA
    As a tattoo artist, the mother should, of all people, comprehend the permanency of tattoos. And an 11-y-o isn't capable of making such a permanent decision.
    All parents try to instill in their children the ability to make intelligent decisions and the habit of thinking about the long-term effects of something before they do it.
    Those points are true of any parents, I think, regardless of parenting style or culture.

    But to take it a step further, my personal opinion on the subject is that the process of letting your child to become their own person - a unique individual - should be done safely. You can let him/her explore different interests under your supervision without permitting such drastic, permanent measures. (Or much less, imposing them upon your child yourself.) The girl is 11; she doesn't know what kind of person she's going to be. What if throughout her teens or college years, she leans more toward metal music or sports/tomboy looks? She could possible end up hating the little pink heart. So I think it's a case of bad parenting. Just a thought.
  14. greywolf

    greywolf Slightly Tilted

    I'm not a fan of tattoos, but for anyone who wants one, it's their body, not mine. In a discussion of it, I'd come down against, they'd probably come down for it. My issue with tattoos for children comes down to choice. Who's doing the choosing? If it's up to a 5 year-old, it's likely to be Barney the Dinosaur or Thomas the Tank Engine or something like that. Ten year-olds might want a Power Ranger or whatever is the fad at that age. What parent wants to allow their child to inflict that on him/herself as an adult? But if we leave it up to the parent, then THEY are inflicting their preference on their child as an adult.

    Yes, as parents, we of necessity make choices for our children that affect them as adults, but is this really one of the ones we SHOULD?
  15. Dahliance Vertical

    I am right there with you. I don't know how to explain it, that is how it is here. The county I live in(I guess it is county)has only legally permitted tattooing businesses for a little over a year and a half.
    I moved here from the West coast 6 years ago and it was a little like moving to another country with different customs and social norms.

    To genuinegirly; Parents need to educate themselves on their children's rights. If they allow someone else to dictate them then that person is raising their child not them. Arm yourself with knowledge of what people can and cannot do in relation to your child so that when the need arises you can properly advocate for that child.

    To bluestorm; I am not sure what the regulations are in North Carolina where this mother "moonlights" as a tattoo artist. If she is not required to have certain certifications then she may be ignorant of the law. This does not free her from her obligation of responsibility. It does mean that the infliction of harm was unintentional. The 11-year old growing up around the tattooing would have more information about tattoos than the average person so I believe she was able to make an informed decision even if she could not legally give consent. The fact that it was mom that did it puts it categorically speaking in the same place as the tanning mommy or plastic surgery mommy.
    Maybe she should have started her off with Henna.

    To greywolf; I always thought I wanted to get an elaborate tattoo until I started to get one. I couldn't stand the noise and ended up with a small line to show for my trouble. It is up to the individual. I advised my kids that should they go in for tattoos as adults make them discreet.
    Last spring my 14-year old daughter told me that she wanted a piercing on her face. She raised the money for it, she studied extensively the care of facial piercings including optimal diet and nutritional supplements for avoiding infection. She watched video's of it being done and even looked up pictures of severely infected facial piercing. She turned 15 at the end of the summer and decided to do her ears first because she was unsure if she would be allergic to metal. She did the ears on birthday weekend and since then has told me that she would like to wait on the facial piercing. I would not have let her make the same decision at age 11, not even about the ears.
  16. rogue49

    rogue49 Tech Kung Fu Artist Staff Member

    Well, there are several items to evaluate
    • The woman is a professional tattoo artist, so health standards are kept and she is qualified.
    • The extent of the tattoo is minor, a small heart near her left shoulder.
    • No harm came to the child, nor was it likely.
    • The 11 year old is self aware and made the request. (please remember in the past and other cultures 11 is considered of age)
    • The artist being the parent, can allow it...so now we're only talking about local laws that the parent was ignorant of.
    I'm not going to make a difference between between male circumcision, minor piercings or a minor tattoo.
    It is dependent on the extent of the act, the health of the child and the agreement of the parent.

    The only thing I would argue was whether the parent who was a professional knew or not the laws of the area.
    I would say that she did, or being a professional should...so she can be prosecuted as willingly ignoring or negligent of those same laws.
    • Like Like x 2
  17. snowy

    snowy so kawaii Staff Member

    It can have consequences, though. Piercings can and do get infected. A baby could have an allergic reaction to the metal in the earrings. Certainly, these consequences are less severe than having a baby tattooed.

    Babies cry enough as is--why would anyone want to pierce their ears and risk them crying more if the hole gets infected or they have a reaction? I'll pass, thanks.
  18. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    I'd place piercing the ears of an infant slightly lower than tattooing a willing 11 year old on the ranked list of okay things. First, there's no such thing as a consenting infant. Second, it isn't necessarily true that piercings will always heal to leave no permanent marks, though I suspect they do most of the time, assuming no 1/2 inch plugs in baby's ear lobe. At least tattoos can have sentimental or inspirational value for a kid. One of the only statements an the pierced ears of an infant can make is "My parents view me as an accessory."
    • Like Like x 1
  19. PonyPotato

    PonyPotato Very Tilted

    Columbus, OH
    Snowy, you can also have an allergic reaction to the ink or get an infection from a tattoo needle. Also, a piercing takes far less time to perform (seconds) than a tattoo (depending on the size, minutes to hours).

    Personally, if I have kids I'll wait until my child is old enough to decide for themselves that a) they want a piercing, and b) that they're willing to do the cleaning and care for it to heal properly. That's what I had to do, and I turned out okay.

    When it comes to tattoos, though, any kid of mine will have to wait until they can legally go on their own (18) to get one. If you want something on your skin that badly now, wait and see how you feel about it in a couple years when you CAN do it on your own. If you still want it that badly, go ahead!
    • Like Like x 2
  20. Bodkin van Horn

    Bodkin van Horn One of the Four Horsewomyn of the Fempocalypse

    It's got to depend on the kid and the piercing and the tattoo, though. I mean, a responsible 12 year old could take care of a nose or tongue piercing, but that doesn't mean they should get one. And anyone responsible enough to take care of a piercing could take care of a tattoo.

    There are definitely piercings that I wouldn't give my blessing on and tattoos that I would. I wouldn't let my kid get whatever tattoo they wanted, but I think that there are definitely conversations that could be had and compromises that could be made. And if they end up regretting the tattoo? Meh. Regretting a tattoo is not the end of the world. In fact, if your biggest problem is the regret you have for a tattoo, you're pretty much in awesome shape. Most people have more pressing things to regret, like not studying for the SATs or failing to get laid enough in college or not being able to save for retirement.

    There is probably a fairly long list of conditions that would need to be satisfied for me to consent to one of my underage kids getting a tattoo. That being said, I like to think I'm a reasonable guy, and so would be willing to sign off on a tattoo if it met the criteria.