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Today's Teens
What are they thinking?

 2:49 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I've lived in Southern California now for almost 20 years. I've seen a lot of trends come and go. One trend that disturbs me is the whole body art thing. I have a tattoo but it is concealed on my back shoulder. I have a pierced ear (left) but haven't worn an earring in decades. What I don't have are any other forms of body art.

We have a outdoor mall here called The Block. I tend to wander over there every now and then to do some shopping. It happens to be a big hangout for today's teens. Wow, are some of them scary or what?

  • What the hell were they thinking when they decided to run a bone through their nose?

  • What the hell were they thinking when they put those 2.0 diameter discs in their ears?

  • What the hell were they thinking when hey lined 10, 15, 20 earrings up on one ear?

  • And, what the hell were they thinking when they piereced their lips, eyebrows, cheeks and eyelids?

I have a beautiful and intelligent 7 year old daughter. Every time we pass a teen who has taken the above route, we both look at each other in disbelief.

I look at some of these teens today and think to myself, "now, how do they expect the "general population" to react to them? Positive? Negative?

And, exactly where do these kids work? I mean, if I come up to someone who has a bone in their nose during a checkout process, I'm leaving.

I'll know it is really bad when I see our Governor with a pierced lip or something. ;)

I am not impressed with this trend at all. If you want to look like a tribesman, then freakin move to a country where you'll be accepted.

And, as a parent, it is my responsibility to instill in my child that what they are seeing is not normal accepted behavior for the most part. Yeah, yeah, yeah, kids will be kids. Sorry, I don't accept that. Kids will be what their environment molds them to be. Kids are what their parents allow them to be. I'm all for letting kids be kids. But, there is line, don't cross it.



 3:15 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I once had a conversation about this with my then-teenage son who asked what I'd think if he did such-and-such with his hair. I told him I'd far rather see him experimenting with wierd hairstyles than with tattoos or piercings.

He looked at me with disdain and said, "Mom, you can't experiment with tattoos!"

10, 15, 20 earrings up on one ear

The overall effect is like they've had an unfortunate incident with a fishing tackle box.

The part I don't understand is why people get multiple piercings then wear tinny junk instead of quality jewelry. Both as a fashion statement and a statement of personal value, it's confused.

I'm certain that some of our responses are as much a negative reaction to the aura of tinny junk as to the piercings themselves.


 3:21 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

What the hell were they thinking

They weren't.


 3:27 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

What the hell were they thinking

They were thinking something along the lines of 'what can I do to make sure I don't look anything like my parents'.

Aw, c'mon, don't you remember being a teenager? Weren't you even a teensy bit rebellious?


 3:28 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Tut Tut The OLD people of today :oP

Whatever next!

What are they thinking with their beige cardigans, blazers and chinos.

Why do they all wear the same old person hairstyles

How can they go out in public with shorts and socks?

What were they thinking when they bought that Honda Accord?

Why do they all complain about the youth of today when in their time they wore Spandex pants and platform shoes. Tye dyed dresses and flowers in their hair. Quiffs and Winklepickers and blue suede shoes.

It's a fashion statement you miserable old fogies ;o)

Do you not remember the things you wore as a youngster and your parents saying to you "you are NOT going out like THAT!?


I'm 34 and although I agree with your opinion on the more extreme looking kids we should let them get on with it. They'll grow out of it.

Heh Heh sorry couldn't resist



 3:30 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

First, I'd rather see someone covered in tattoos than someone who shouldn't be wearing spandex in spandex.

Second, I have absolutely no tatts, piercings, etc, but I don't judge people who do.

I work with a girl who is covered in tatts and has several piercings...and she's a complete professional dealing with our customers and is a mature and responsible person.

This reminds me of the Tie vs T-Shirt topic from a few days ago.

Why judge people?

[edited by: Gibble at 3:30 pm (utc) on July 20, 2007]


 3:35 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

They'll grow out of it.

Um, no.

The stuff PageOne was talking about in the opening post is body modification that 's PERMANENT.


 3:41 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Sure Buckworks I agree.

I have a full sleeve tattoo from shoulder to wrist and I love it. I have had it for 14 years and there ain't no gettin rid of that one.

Thing is I can put a shirt and tie on and look a damn sight smarter than most 'executives' and no one is any the wiser because it is completely hidden.

I would never tattoo an area that would be visible whatever I wore. Piercings are not permanent although those great big holes probably will be.

There's gonna be some odd looking old people in 40 or 50 years time.



 4:01 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Yes, I was a kid once. And no, I surely wouldn't want a son to grow up the way I did, nope. But, I'm one of those rare cases they say. ;)

I remember piercing my left ear at 15, that was "sometime in the 70s". Back then, it was the left ear you pierced. The right ear meant something else. ;) Today, it doesn't matter, men are piercing both ears and wearing diamonds the size of marbles.

Yes, I was a rebel in the true sense of the word. But, the 70s were a bit different. I'm sure the teens of today will look back 30 years from now and say the same thing.

And yes, I am talking about extreme cases which seem to be the "norm" here in Southern California. I don't think we would see this level of concentration in other states although I could be wrong.

Black hair, black clothes, black shoes, sterling silver, chains, makeup. Its a punk/goth mix that makes you think Halloween 24/7/365.

I passed a teen the other day, couldn't have been more than 15. I saw him coming at me from a distance and wasn't sure what I was seeing. At first, I thought he was wearing one of those cold weather hunting caps that has those flaps that cover your ears. Then, as he got closer, I realized that he had these 2.5 to 3.0 black discs in his earlobes. They were dangling to about mid neck level.

In addition to that, there were two black tusks coming from both sides of his nose. I had this vision of a 1970 Cad with those Bronco Horns on the front hood.

On top of that, I think that kid had a piercing in every available area of his face.

Sorry parents, I just find that unacceptable. How about we ship these kids off to Zimbabwe or something? Let them live the life they are dreaming about?

Don't judge people.

You see, I've accepted the fact that we all judge each other. Whether its consciously or sub-consciously, there are a multitude of things that occur when we see/meet someone. First Impressions are Lasting Impressions.

While I'm not going to condemn someone because of their lifestyle choice, I am going to react to them as most would. Or, at least as to how my generation would.

I've had my tat for almost 30 years. I wish I never got it. Even though it is in a discreet place and a true work of art, I don't want it there anymore. And the options for removal are still not foolproof. I've actually had thoughts of having it redone. :)

Body defamation (that's what I call it), is something that may not be concealable in some instances. For example, I don't think that kids ears are going to recover from the disc implants.

Hey, what ever happened to fighting? I've had my share of spats growing up as a kid, it was part of life. I surely wouldn't want to fight one of these kids today. I'd be afraid of really hurting them. I can see it now...

"What did you say to me?"
"You heard me."
"Come here..."

Inserts pinky into eyebrow ring and gives a quick tug. Ooouch!

Plucks nose bone with thumb/middle finger plucking style. Causes massive bleeding. Ooouch!

Grabs ear discs and gives a slight tug downwards. Hey, those things fly. Ooouch!

The overall effect is like they've had an unfortunate incident with a fishing tackle box.


I don't think many of these kids go swimming. Lucky for them, eh? :)


 4:11 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it all boils down to permissive parents. Kids DO listen to their parents. If you take the attitude that its OK, some kids will push ever thing to the limit. My Dad would of knocked me into the next county if had come home
with a tattoo, pierced ear, etc. "As the twig is bent so shall the tree grow".

Old fashioned attitude? Maybe, but I haven't spent any time at the laser specialist getting anything remove that is embarrassing now that I am older! KF


 4:30 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Anybody considering a tattoo should go visit an old Navy or Marine veteran -- The appearance of an old tattoo is quite similar to that of Kaposi's sarcoma.

Flowers in your hair is one thing, self-mutilation is something else.


Automan Empire

 4:41 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Gaah! I'm in Southern California too, and am in the same leaky boat with my 16-yo stepdaughter.

She thinks her friend with "snakebites" (two shiny metal balls below the lip), at least one lip ring, and a nose ring, is just so COOL! She also thinks this girl's mom is COOL for letting her get that at age nine!

I see a lot of people who have ruined a perfectly good young body with ridiculous, short-term-interest tattoos. Also a lot of people with blotchy, old tattoos, looking ridiculous.

To paraphrase an old saying, if you don't want a piercing at 16, you have no coolness. If you still want one at 21, you have no brain.

(Watches liver spots burst out on 40-yo hands)


 4:44 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

The more things change, the more things stay the same.

Every generation has their kwirks, every generation grows up, and thinks the next one is crazy.


 4:49 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

And, exactly where do these kids work?

The interwebs?


 4:57 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

And, exactly where do these kids work? I mean, if I come up to someone who has a bone in their nose during a checkout process, I'm leaving.

So let me get this straight.

The person has a job...and you'll go elsewhere because why?

I don't get it? You didn't even give them a chance?

They could be great at their job and enjoy it. Yet, you'll go elsewhere, to some other kid who may be a complete ass, hate his job, and do a horrible job merely because he doesn't have any visible tatts or piercings?

Sad. How very sad.

I have more respect for them, they probably aren't judging you because you don't have tatts or piercings, like you are them.


 5:22 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

hmmm, I am walking into it here aren't I

some examples I read are extreme, would I like to have my earlobes sagging down to my shoulders? not so much, but I do have my ears pierced and they are of a bit higher guage than the norm. Does it cause people to view me in a certain light, absolutely, do I care, not so much.

being 6'3" with a shaved head, tattoos and earrings does have a certain pigeon hole effect but it makes it easy for me to bend those same prejudices back far enough that it's uncomfortable once they've met me in either a business or personal setting.

There are extremes, permanent modification is something that is taken all too lightly. Foolish tattoos probably annoy me more than most. I don't think you should tattoo your face or anywhere that you can't cover up (as ska mentioned) but again that is my choice, there are times when it is ill thought out to sport heavy tattooing. What you get tattooed is also something very personal yet there are myriad symbols I really don't think artists should ever tattoo as the person getting it may find themselves in a heap of trouble they never counted on.

I've done my hair many colours (before I kept it shaved) and worn jewelry that I wouldn't recommend and I have a few tattoos and I will have more.

If my daughter asks if she can get one, well, we'll spend a fair amount of time talking about it and she will be required to study the history of the art and she will wait until she is 18. Then if she still wants one she can go with me or not go.

it's just education

my Mom used to hold all the stereotypes, thought I would never have a job and become who knows what because I had a tattoo. She has been known since then to go up and ask people about them to better understand. My Dad still ignores them but that's fine too.


 5:28 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

This thread is getting sticker and sticker!

Without getting into the "olgies". (sociology,physiology.etc,etc}
Lets remember since time memorable, whether you belong to a tribe, group
race or nation if you choose to operate out of the excepted norm you
must expect the consequences. Whether it is being unemployable, shunned
socially or excluded. They have chosen this style of appearance.
Are they to be admired for their individualism or pitied for their choices?
Maybe 100 years from now we will all be tattooed and pierced. Thank goodness
I wont be around then! KF


 5:31 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Lets remember since time memorable, whether you belong to a tribe, group race or nation if you choose to operate out of the excepted norm you must expect the consequences.

For a society that drives for individual freedoms, don't you think it's about time we start evolving socially as well?


 5:32 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I think it's more important that we think about what these kid's actions are telling us, what they think about this world and their perceived place in it. It's more of a statement on where they think the world is going than a "fashion statement."


 6:03 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

What the hell were they thinking when...

It's going to make them popular and laid?

Every time we pass a teen who has taken the above route, we both look at each other in disbelief.

My mom and I did that in the sixties everytime we passed a stinking hippie. Aside from the long hair and weird clothes, which were freaky enough on their own, I was baffled by their aversion to soap and water. It didn't stop us from going to the free Dead shows in the Park, but man... what were they thinking?

Shall we bring up the Mullet?


 6:08 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Hey P1R.....you have become the enemy.
Remember the old guy next door who wouldn't let you have your ball back when you were seven years old?


 6:12 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

Long hair, weird clothes, lack of hygiene, all things that are superficial and can be changed easily.

What these kids are doing to themselves today is not of the same caliber. We're talking mutilation in some instances. Let's take the ear for an example. Ever see the holes left in an older woman's ear who has worn weighted costume style jewelry? Those holes open up after a while and the lobe also begins to sag.

Now, take that kid I just saw with those big black discs in his ears. Do you really think the ear is going to bounce back to its original shape after he decides "what the hell was I thinking?"

I really have concerns for my daughters generation. Thankfully our government is still heavily lined with those old fogies. :)


 6:20 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I agree with KF. During the 90s, I had a pretty long pony tail (at times down to my lower back). I knew, and accepted, that because of it, I was limiting my job choices due to my appearance. Especially since I lived in Korea most of that time. (Note- I kept it well-maintained and you probably wouldn't even notice it if you just looked at me straight from the front.) On the other hand, I felt more comfortable working at the places where I did since they didn't automatically exclude me because of my appearance. (Although there was one place where my new manager informed me AFTER I was hired that I would be cutting my hair. That's another story, but suffice it to say that I won that debate. :))

When I started my own business in 2000, I finally decided to cut it back to normal length, mostly because it had started to look ratty and I was ready for a new image. But yes, also because I knew it would be a big negative to most potential business partners/clients.


 6:40 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

I'm with you on the irreparable modification thing but not all the way. Some of the more extreme modifications make me think the kids will regret it when they get older but most I don't really worry about.

Face and hands are always a touchy spot, I know lots of people who have done things to both but it is always an interesting conversation to ask them their motivation.


 6:45 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

>>Thankfully our government is still heavily lined with those old fogies

Every time I see a politician I think,

Consummate liar. Extreme desire to control the lives of others. Conformer. Moral compass guided by public opinion polls. Narcissist.

Then I have to remind myself that they aren't all like that. Just most of them. The sad part is that sheeple elected them.

I would think that people that take body art to an extreme would think societal condemnation to be a badge of honor from a superficial society unable to think past their own hangups.


 6:46 pm on Jul 20, 2007 (gmt 0)

And the whole holes in the ear thing, while I don't get it, and in the extreme cases don't find it attractive at all, I'm sure a few extra bucks when there older on some cosmetic surgery can make it look "normal" again if they so choose.


 7:19 pm on Jul 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Consummate liar......

Don't forget sociopath. :-)


 7:38 pm on Jul 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I would think that people that take body art to an extreme would think societal condemnation to be a badge of honor from a superficial society unable to think past their own hangups.

Good point. While examining the portfolios of various tattoo artists I saw a rockabilly kid walk in, browse the examples on the wall, then turn to a tattooer and say, "I want this one."

At what point does it stop being body art and becomes a case of keeping up with the Joneses?


 9:21 pm on Jul 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

I reckon you can have a piercing/tattoo just now and it isn't going to make one bit difference to how people perceive you

ref the OP P1R you're just being a parent! I got my first and so far only (but not last) tattoo on my 30th B'Day I took the decision with every "but it's permanent" ringtone in my ear.. everyone I know thought I was mad.. but ask them now and they're possibly slightly envious?

thing was at the time my niece was coming up for 16 she wanted the body piercing/tattoo, everything, so it was decided she would come see me get my tattoo ..

.. she decided for herself she would never have a tat (which I presume was the desired effect) but instead she got a piercing , which subsequently went septic

now I'm older ask me what I want or more importantly what I would have my son do.. I'll be getting another tattoo soon, my son says it's cool, but you know what I'm old (and ugly) enough to know what's right and wrong, despite his blessing.. if he wants one I will point him to a reputable piercer/tattoer but then I presume that's part of the 'new life' lesson?

..but more than that ... if that's the worst he does I'm happy :)

[edited by: SuzyUK at 9:22 pm (utc) on July 21, 2007]


 10:27 pm on Jul 21, 2007 (gmt 0)

Just my own opinion here: Let it be.

This 42 message thread spans 2 pages: 42 ( [1] 2 > >
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