Tattoo Thoughts

My new piercing has made me reflect on beauty

nose-1

I have more tattoos than I can count, but it’s taken me ten years to put a small hole in my nose. Post-piercing, I now feel so different that it has required a good week or so to put my emotions into rambling words. Here goes…

I wanted my nose pierced as a teenager and at the age of 28 I finally did it. So, why has it taken me over a decade to finally grow the balls and actually get around to something so simple and affordable? It was watching a recent tattoo documentary that encouraged me to find the answer to this question

The other week, I shared the Vice Grace Neutral video which (as you’ll gather from my giddy words in the original blog post) I thought was fucking awesome. I’d never really fully engaged with the fact that tattooing is illegal in South Korea (yes, that’s right, illegal), and this short film delves into why.

Why would certain cultures ban, or glorify, a specific body modification? Be it tattooing and piercings, or cosmetic surgery, fake-tan, make-up and hair dye… nearly all of us find our own unique way to alter our bodies. Sadly, some of those ways are frowned upon by others, either individual people, particular cultures or even entire countries.

At a young age, I vaguely remember being told (by certain family members, friends, whoever) to “not pierce my face” (these days, that warning has now become “don’t tattoo your face”). Either way, why was I being discouraged? The answer is simple:

The majority of people want the outside world to adhere to their own conception of what beauty is.

Watching this video documentary about South Korea challenged me to re-evaluate what ‘beauty’ was – to me, and to those around me. Was I entirely my own true outward expression of what I thought was beautiful? Or subconsciously do we always consider how we materialise in the eyes of those around us?

As I dug deeper into my thoughts, I decided that one concept for certain was utterly crazy – the idea that someone would have a strong negative viewpoint about how another composes themselves aesthetically. I just couldn’t get my head around it. Whether you want to shave your hair off, stretch your neck, tattoo your eyeballs or cover your face with material… it’s your own human right.

That’s the whole point. Those of us who do modify our bodies… we’re exploring who we are on the outside, and therefore on the inside, in an organic process that’s free from any outer rules or notions. That being said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder – that’s why we all find different people attractive, and at the end of the day, everyone is entitled to their opinion. That doesn’t mean, however, that we aren’t all still beautiful.

I’ve barely touched the surface in divulging why I felt I couldn’t make this decision before, and truly how this new tiny bit of metal has changed how I feel about myself both physically, mentally and spiritually. There’s a whole new blog in there somewhere (for another day, when I’m feeing more coherent)! For now, I’ll say…

When we can make a commitment to our bodies that’s free from any judgement… when we can truly seek out who we are in this world and subsequently find some sort of peace or happiness… that is true beauty.

“Just imagine if everyone was themselves, how refreshing it would be to walk out the door every day. The only thing that’s important is – when I see myself, I am happy. I can go to bed at night thinking ‘I truly am myself’. And when you’re 100% yourself, that’s when you’re at your most beautiful…”
Grace Neutral


Shout out to my amazing piercer Cara – if you’re looking for a piercing in the Warwickshire area, she’s your gurl.

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