What Do You Think?: Body Piercings
Sunday, May 5, 2013 at 8:12PM
Lynda Rae in body piercing, image, piercing, self-esteem

What do you think about this scenario?

Angelina just entered 8th grade and has fallen head over heels in love with a 9th grade boy at the near by high school.  He is so edgy and different that she worries she is too simple for him and he will never feel the same way about her that she does about him.  Angelina knows that he likes girls that are counterculture and dye their hair or have piercings so she starts thinking about what she can do to be more like that.

Her 22-year-old cousin just got her dimples pierced and she always gets so much attention from boys that Angelina decides she wants to do that too. However, she is too young to get a piercing without parent permission so she chooses a sketchy shop where they won’t ask too many questions and begs her cousin to go with her and pretend to be her guardian.  She knows that her parents would never allow her to do it but if she already has it done what can they do about it then?  Angelina tells her cousin that she will say that she got it done by herself so that no one will get blamed, and her cousin agrees to help her out.  They make a plan to go to the piercing studio the next day and Angelina is so excited to get her new sparkly dimples so she can show her crush.

Questions For Discussion:

1. Do you think Angelina is making a good decision?  What is she motivated by?  Why do you think most teenagers get piercings?

2. What are the potential positive and negative outcomes of getting her cheeks pierced? (Physical, social, financial, emotional etc) How could such visible piercings make her life more difficult now and later on in life?

3. How will Angelica feel if her crush still doesn’t want to be with her even after she gets pierced?  Have you ever changed yourself (appearance, actions) just to get a person’s attention?  How did that work out?

4. What do you think about her cousin’s part in this, is she doing the right thing by helping Angelina?  What would you do if you were her?

5. How will Angelina’s parents feel when she comes home with piercings?  What do you think they will do? 

Factoids:

    Have less self control
    Have low self-esteem
    Are more likely to engage in dangerous thrill-seeking behavior
    Act impulsively
    Have more negative emotions
    Tend to lash out verbally when angry

    Abuse alcohol, tobacco, or drugs
    Engage in sexual activity, especially risky sexual activity
    Gamble
    Display antisocial behavior
    Have suicidal thoughts
    Have mental problems

    Contracting a disease such as HIV, Hepatitis C and D, or tetanus.
    Getting an infection at the piercing site   
    Allergic reaction to the jewelry
    Nerve damage
    Heavy bleeding
    Keloid scarring (thick scarring at piercing site)
    Dental damage (tooth/gum) from lip, tongue, and cheek piercings

What Mentors Can Do To Help:

Resources:

"Piercings and Tattoos" (Teen Help.com)
"Body Piercings" (Center For Young Women's Health)

Article originally appeared on Fighting Back Mentor Program Resource Center (http://mentor-center.org/).
See website for complete article licensing information.