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Teen Talk: Early forms of body art still popular with teens

Body piercing and other forms of body art are among the most popular methods of self-expression that have ever existed. But what most people don’t know is that body mutilation has been a part of non-Christian cultures as a positive mark of identity that can be traced back more than 30,000 years.

In Africa, knives or needles were used to permanently mark the flesh of the body and elongate the earlobes, which was usually done for tribal purposes.

In the Burmese culture, women would wear brass rings around their necks. The longer their necks, the more wisdom and beauty the women possessed.

Tattoos were used as a symbol of passage to a new level of spiritual existence. For example, in the Armenian, Syrian and Russian cultures, a cross with the date of your journey to the Holy Land would be tattooed on your body.

Is it really just pain for the pleasure of expression? I guess everyone is their own judge, but if it’s not hurting anyone else, then why is it as big a deal as people make it seem? I know we have come far, from a conservative, strict society to a more liberal, understanding one, but it seems as though certain things just won’t be accepted by all people.

Body designing, though once looked at as a freakish fad of alternative culture, has been transformed into a modern trend in mainstream American society.

In America, we pride ourselves on how we are able to freely express ourselves, and we use body piercing and tattoos as a medium to do so.

Everyone knows at least five people with some sort of body piercing (excluding ears) or tattoo, even though they may not be aware of it. Some people are actually ashamed to show others. And I ask these people, why do something that you feel others will view as wrong? Are you afraid of judgment or false impressions?

Some cannot partake in such acts because their religion constitutes that it is wrong. Marking of any sort on the body is actually considered a sin in the Koran and Christian Bible.

I’m not saying that teenagers should run out and pierce or tattoo everything and anything on their bodies, but it is their own body, and if they have thought long and hard about their decision, then there’s no better time than the present.

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