Shellie’s Shake Down Be yourself (as long as it is within society’s superficial guidelines)

Shellie Zamponi ‘15

Shellie Zamponi ‘15

Shellie Zamponi ‘15

Focus Editor

*Be yourself.

I have heard this too much.

All of the things that are considered ‘outrageous’ are frowned upon by many from the older crowd (and even some in the younger crowd): tattoos, lilac hair, industrial bars, gauges, snake bites, smileys. They say these are not okay. Except, I think they are.

Tattoo blogs on Instagram and an Inked board on Pinterest, enticing odd piercings and lilac-colored hair-just yes. It is safe to say I like “different.”

My parents seem to have a much different opinion on these matters. Their view is that tattoos destroy your body and colorful hair makes a person a ‘weirdo.’ Which is fine, that is their opinion. I just have other ones.

These past couple of decades have opened up the doors to tattoos significantly, and even a little for unnatural hair color and atypical piercings. No longer is a tattoo associated with a skull, blue hair with insanity, or eyebrow piercings with the color black.

Over the past year, my opinion on tattoos has changed dramatically. They went from permanent mistakes to breath-taking pieces of art.

The more I thought about getting one, the stronger my heart pulled. Logic says that in 15 years it will look terrible. My heart says otherwise. It says that I am only young once, take advantage of the moment. Maybe the devil on my shoulder is whispering too loudly. For once, that is alright.

Tattoos are a form of expression, helping you find out who you are, boosting self-confidence, loving yourself wholeheartedly. They keep your passions blooming, the deceased alive, inspiration flourishing. When done right, the emotions they employ by a single glance can be the extra step you need to be successful in something.

But, a lot of people do not look at it that way.

And goodness knows why: there are too many tattoos, pink hair and belly piercings to come from mistakes. Not to mention the perceived stereotype as well-that accounts for a lot.

Imagine wiping all of those thoughts away, though, and living in a society that accepted these forms of expression. Would you change your mind?

Okay, back to the hardcore facts.

An ugly, stretched-out tattoo is ultimately your fault. Your body is yours to maintain. Consider that before that heart tattoo is imprinted on your stomach.

As for piercings and hair dye, those can be changed if you dislike them, so why not try them out? If piercing and gauging are safely done, the holes have the ability to close up. Hair color can be dyed over.

For your sake, research the professional before you have them do anything. And please, please, please, choose someone certified. Planning is key to having these things come out the way you want them to. Look into the future before you plan to tattoo your knuckles. Don’t dye your hair an unnatural color if you plan to do an internship at a hospital. Do not wear seven piercings if you plan to work at a magnet shop.

Maybe our generation will change future views on these types of self-expression, but right now, I like these types of individualism. Lilac hair, a quote tattoo and my lonely set of studs-yep, those will be my forms of expression.

*As long as you do not want tattoos, colorful hair, or any piercings aside from earrings.