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Reassure me that all tatooed, pierced young people aren't drug using losers

percussiondadpercussiondad Posts: 503Registered User Junior Member
edited December 2012 in Parent Cafe
I do not like the heavily tatoed person as do they not realize what it will look like when they are older and wrinkled. Our D has shown us a very classy tattoe she is thinking about getting and she wants it somewhere that it can be hidden given the circumstances (on the top of her foot OUCH). I love that my W's first comment though was 'you know if you a tatoe you cant have an Epidural and believe me you will want one'. It was a joke unless your tattoe is in the small of your back but she had perfect timing. Our D laughed said yes MOM:)
Post edited by percussiondad on

Replies to: Reassure me that all tatooed, pierced young people aren't drug using losers

  • missypiemissypie Posts: 16,621Registered User Senior Member
    Of course, I know that not all tatooed and heavily pierced people are drug users and losers, but my 11th grader is worrying me.

    I've known for several years that she is physically attracted to that "type." She really wants to start getting piercings, but she's a bit over a year from being "legal".

    Last night when she was talking about this, I told her about my concern about drug use in the guys she crushes on, and instead of reassuring me, she started telling me that drug use is not so bad. She was talking about weed. She said she doesn't see why it's illegal and I basically told her that the cops don't care what she thinks and if she dates a guy who has it in her car, she could be in legal trouble, too.

    Short of putting her in a convent, I am hoping to find a college with smart, motivated pierced tatooed guys. Tell me that they exist.

    (I am virtually certain that she is not using drugs herself.)
  • RTRMom2RTRMom2 Posts: 551Registered User Member
    She's probably a very creative, independent person - I have one like that, too. It's a different world for me and her father as we are both analytical conservative types. I don't have any words of wisdom other than it may (or may not) be a stage she is going through.

    To answer your question, though..I think there are many guys and girls who like to express them selves though piercings and tattoos (and strange hair color) who are smart, non-drug using upstanding citizens. It is difficult as a parent of a teen, though. I've had to move very far outside my comfort zone to understand and accept my daughter's need to express herself in her physical appearance.
  • cromettecromette Posts: 2,614Registered User Senior Member
    missypie - I wish I could reassure you, but I hate that stuff, and my bias is the other way. In my experience, most heavily tatooed and heavily pierced people have substance abuse issues (including alcohol in there), and other social problems as well.

    Obviously, with the exception of a few fields, it's difficult to find a job with those physical alterations.

    I DO have a few fine, outstanding friends that are heavily tatooed but keep them off of areas that would be visible while wearing a business shirt. Crazy piercings don't fly in our workplace.
  • toledotoledo Posts: 4,026Registered User Senior Member
    I hate tatoos and piercings. My son wants to get a tatoo proclaiming he is "straight edge", which means no drugs, drinking or sex. I'm trying to reason with him by saying, "What if you change your mind?"
  • percussiondadpercussiondad Posts: 503Registered User Junior Member
    My post should have been #4 or #5 and not #1 Sorry about that
  • cromettecromette Posts: 2,614Registered User Senior Member
    Toledo - LOLROF!!!! Too funny!
  • sylvan8798sylvan8798 Posts: 4,096Registered User Senior Member
    Tatoos have become so commonplace that not allowing them in the workplace will soon be a thing of the past. Several of my (female) students were showing off their tats last week. One girl, who is quite pretty and could be a model, has numerous piercings and tatoos. I tend to doubt that she has "substance abuse issues". That sort of stereotype is passe.

    I've taken the approach of discussing with D what sorts of things are potentially attractive vs yucky or at high risk for infection (eg. belly button piercings). If she wants a tatoo, she needs to tell us so we can make sure the shop is clean, has a good reputation, etc.
  • AllThisIsNewToMeAllThisIsNewToMe Posts: 1,923Registered User Senior Member
    Fix missypie's daughter up with Toledo's son. Problem solved!
  • absweetmarieabsweetmarie Posts: 1,905Registered User Senior Member
    In my experience, working with people who are pierced and tattooed, those stereotypes have not been borne out. The look can be off-putting; I get that. I don't care for the look myself. But please don't make assumptions based on the fact that someone likes these forms of expression. Really. One of my best employees is a tattoo and piercing enthusiast. He is smart, thorough, professional, intellectually curious, service-oriented, etc. Is my experience the rule? Maybe not. But please verify your concerns based on something other than the way a person looks. You could be surprised.
  • cromettecromette Posts: 2,614Registered User Senior Member
    absweetmarie - agreed.

    You have to give EVERYONE the benefit of the doubt.

    But the stereotype exists, at least in my region, for a reason. So while I may decide to give Mr. Tattoopierceface the benefit of the doubt, the question probably wouldn't even arise with Mr. Cleancutnormalhair - and I could be wrong about him too! ;)
  • RTRMom2RTRMom2 Posts: 551Registered User Member
    Good point. My daughter tells me that it's the rich, preppy white kids who have more of a drug problem here in our town.
  • cobratcobrat Posts: 6,271Registered User Senior Member
    She's probably a very creative, independent person - I have one like that, too. It's a different world for me and her father as we are both analytical conservative types. I don't have any words of wisdom other than it may (or may not) be a stage she is going through.

    Or it could be her way of expressing her authentic self and trying to suppress it may actually hurt her in the longer term.

    I personally don't like the look of piercings and had worse stereotypes about tatooed folks*, I had to get over that once I attended HS and much moreso at Oberlin where people creatively express themselves with tatoos and/or piercings. While some were drug users, just as many were not and had no issues adjusting to upper-middle class corporate norms upon graduation.

    * Gangbangers, yakuza, military personnel with chronic disciplinary issues, etc. The former two are reasons why many Japanese hotels/hostels will deny service to tattooed folks...they don't want to risk allowing what they perceive as the "criminal element" into their establishments and driving away other guests.
    I would be much more concerned about groups with heavy drinking than the folks who smoke pot ...

    Emphatically seconded based on my experiences. Pot smokers may be flaky, but they generally stay out of your way in the course of your daily life. Heavy drinkers....not really.

    If anything, heavy drinkers IME tend to be the ones who publicly harass people, vandalize property, and start fights on public streets...and that was AFTER I graduated college and living in the greater Boston area.
  • sseamomsseamom Posts: 1,697Registered User Senior Member
    OP, I am only half-joking when I say your D should move to Seattle! Our state is about to vote to legalize pot (it's tipping that way in the polls), and all manner of piercings and tattoos, and strange hair colors are seen in many, many workplaces here. I have a niece who graduated 2nd in her class, has many tattoos, but they are all "hide-able"; because she is a teacher. I have a brother who has many tats and piercings who owns his own very successful business. I agree with the others-WE may not like it, but to many kids these days it's fashion and not a counter-culture thing, and while I'd insist that illegal is illegal as far as pot goes, many of your D's generation see it as far less of a problem than drinking.
  • cromettecromette Posts: 2,614Registered User Senior Member
    While that look may be becoming more acceptable, especially in some areas - in a large portion of the nation, it will still be difficult to get a professional job with excessive and visible tatooing and piercing. I don't foresee that changing in the next 5 years much at all.

    I would advise any child of mine against it, in general. And if they just HAD to have a tatoo, I would advise them to get one where it would not be visible in business dress.
  • swimcatsmomswimcatsmom Posts: 14,863Registered User Senior Member
    I hate tattoos. And i have in the past been (well probably still am) somewhat guilty of the sort of prejudices that are not uncommon when I see tattoos on people. That said, my son has several. Hard as we tried to instill the idea in him that they were not a good idea, he wanted them and he got them. He did follow one piece of advice (yay!) and that was to only get them in places where they would not show when wearing a short sleeved shirt. I think that has helped as far as work issues. He is about as far from a drug using looser as you can get. Quite conservative behavior wise, has always been very ethical, very hard working and is much more sensitive than his previously wild haired/bearded appearance would make people imagine (yay for his current job that requires him to be clean shaven and short haired - he has wonderful thick hair but when he grew it long it seemed to grow outward rather than downward - I swear he could have played the part in those caveman ads without any enhancements).

    I try and not be judgmental of other tattooed people because I realize how wrong those stereotypes are based on my son. But I still hate the darn things. I think I managed to dissuade my daughter from the idea for long enough that at 23 she seems to have gone off the idea. Hope so anyway. Her best friend is talking about getting one and my daughter keeps trying to convince her it might not be a good idea as she is an elementary school teacher in a very bible belt State.
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