Most of the time, I’m a fairly straight-edged law student. But like most people, I have a teeny tiny rebellious side…and I wear it on my sleeve. Or my ankle or face, as the case may be. See, I express my little rebellious streak through body modification – a have a couple of tattoos and a total of 7 piercings.
I love my tattoos, and I like my piercings. I think that’s reasonable, seeing as how I’ve got my ink for life, whereas I have the option to take out my piercings if I need/want to. Lately I’ve been thinking about how much I want to show off my body art as I “grow up” into a profession where views on appearance are still pretty strict and traditional. One thing I’ve especially be wondering is this: if in a few years my body art will almost always be hidden, will I find it strange to look back at wedding pictures of myself and see it?
Here’s a glimpse at the ink and piercings I have:
Exhibit A, taken with Shaun the day I graduated from undergrad. Let’s get a closer look, shall we?
This is my biggest piece of artwork, which I got done at two separate times. I got the flower, which you can see best in the second close-up picture, about 2 days after I turned 18. I had known for a while that I wanted tattoo before I got it and took a while to plan out exactly what I was going to get…so even though I was very young, I don’t feel like I rushed into the decision. I got the rest of it added during my winter break freshman year of undergrad, right after I returned from Tampa and the Outback Bowl. After having just the flower for about a year, I decided that it needed something to make it look like it actually belonged on my body, as opposed to just a tattoo that I decided to get there. Once the music was added, I knew that this particular tat was perfectly complete.
Exhibit B, taken right after the tattoo was finished
Even though I knew the flower tattoo on my ankle was finished with the addition of the music, I also knew that I wasn’t completely done with ink. I waited a while before getting my next tattoo, because I wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted or where I wanted it. Then the summer before my senior year of college, my sister decided that she wanted to get a tattoo…so naturally I decided to get one with her. As I was about to entire my fourth and final year of marching with the Badger Band, I knew that I wanted the tattoo to be a tribute to that. But I also wanted it to be discrete. So I got an itty bitty stylized version of our band “W” with a “7” incorporated into it as a tribute to both the band and my rank. The best part is that it’s located just behind my ear, so if I wear my hair back I can show it off…but it’s super easy to hide by wearing my hair down.
Exhibit C, my nose ring. One of the pictures you can see it best in (from our Cancun trip).
Turns out it’s kind of hard to see in pictures.
So here’s a close up. Sorry for the awful lack-of-makeup picture.
In addition to the tattoos, I have 7 piercings. 6 of them are in my ears, so those aren’t really a problem. The biggest piercing I’ve been questioning lately is the 7th: my nose piercing. I just have a cute little stud and I like the way it looks on me. But lately I’ve been seriously considering removing it…for good. Soon I’ll be attending serious job interviews and working with real clients and my appearance will be more important than ever. If I have to take out my nose piercing constantly for work, I think it would be too much work to maintain it so I’d probably just let it close up, or use makeup to hide the hole if it doesn’t close all the way. But if I’m going to stop wearing my nose piercing regularly – should it make an appearance in my wedding photos?
Part of me thinks that leaving my nose ring in for the wedding pictures (if I won’t be wearing it regularly as I progress in my career) will somehow tie my appearance to the “younger” me – the college me, the law school me. Not wearing it in the pictures would make me appear more like I’m going to for the rest of my life. To tell the truth, I’m not really sure which of these is preferable for me just yet. Because I do like my nose ring and the way it looks. And I am still young. Is the wedding the time to make this transition? Am I way over thinking this?
Do you have tattoos or piercings? Do you hide them for big events, or at least spend a lot of time debating about the issue?