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Readers' Responses: Opinions on Body Art

Read what readers have said about body art—tattoos, piercing, body painting, and unusual hair decorations in Young People and Body Art (Issue 13).

A tattoo
What do you think about body art?

Send your opinions to us.


I myself feel that tatts are a creative way of self expression and hair dying is just plain out fun. My opinion about piercing. It's cool, but I've only done it for the fun of it. : )

Adrienne from the U.S.

I think if you want a tattoo or tattoos on your body, it is up to you and nobody else. I like tattoos on my body and on other people too. I hate when people think things of you because you have a tattoo or tattoos. Most of the people who don't like tattoos are from the old school.

Mike from the U.S.

I am a 27 yr old male from Cleveland, Ohio USA. I have 15 tattoos, my entire right upper arm is covered, I have some on my legs, and left arm. The myth that tattoos are for criminals, or lower class citizens are old and dried. In fact, of today's youth I would guess at least 40% have tattoos or some body modification. In order to have something done it usually costs a substantial amount of money, my upper arm alone was 500$.

This said, if you were a lower class citizen I would expect you would spend the money on food or necessities, not body art. I am by day a buyer at a suit and tie job, who is successful, self supportive, and I think a genuinely good person. Most nobody knows I have body art at work, but the ones who do are not persuaded by it. Tattooing now is just a moral booster for some, a fad for others, and some just really do like the art. I am not disappointed-nor do I regret my ink.

Jason Collapse from the U.S.

I think if you want a tattoo or tattoos on your body, it is up to you and nobody else. I like tattoos on my body and on other people too. I hate when people think things of you because you have a tattoo or tattoos. Most of the people who don't like tattoos are from the old school.

Mike from the U.S.

In my opinion, body art is an art like others. Some people may like them as well as some may not. We can compare it to the abstract art which was rejected at first by the general opinion, but recognised by some elites artists it survived and finally revolutionise. I guess it is the same for body art which represent a real art for some (including me) and a silly way of self affirmation for others. For myself, I find the drawing fantastic and I am amazed by their sophisticated shapes which must be very difficult to reproduce on skin. The only reason I want tattoo myself is because it lasts for ever, and I can't be sure if I won't get bored of a drawing and want to change to another. Best regards.

Keyser Soze from Singapore

I think body modification is interesting. I personally don't have anything against bod mod; everyone has the right to do what they want with their own body. I think it's fine if it means something to the one who does a bod mod, such as a special moment in their life etc; but if it's just a fad, it's not that great.

Stephanie from France

Well I conducted a little search over the net about body arts and I must say I was quite impressed by the amount of technology they now have for transforming the body (teflon...). I must say that some people really go crazy sometimes.......see ya.

Kimew from Singapore

What do I think of body art? You can't say it's bad or good, that's not the point. Body art is beautiful, that is true, when it does not make you look like a freak. Tattoos and piercing in general are nice things when they are small and simple. However, there are other types of body modifications such as branding and cutting (scarification), this body art is quite scary to tell you the truth and I think it's a little too much. People who have tattoos never do it just because they think it's pretty, there are other reasons, there are always other reasons. To have a tattoo or a piercing means something, teenagers have them to show their parents how they are able to do things if they wish (rebellion, liberty), adults have them to show that they love somebody or to show that they belong to a special group of people.

Julian Morse from Singapore

Piercing on the ears and on the navel don't seem too excessive. But getting pierced on other parts of your body might be dangerous for your health.

Z .

I think you own your body, for this reason, you can do what you want of it. I'm really not a body art addict, but I think it can really be nice and is indeed a form of art (some might contest it though). What I dislike about this trend is that it is really a way of looking rebellious, but I think it can have a deeper meaning as it is really a part of history of some culture. Finally, I'll say that some extreme tattoo and piercing are unjustified and useless.

Zazou from France

Body art is a way to say to the world who you are or who you believe you are. For this reason I can understand some people want to experience body art. But this is rarely the major motivation of tattoos, branding etc. It is often a provocation for teenagers, a rebellion. Personally, I'm too much of a sissy to ever try anything that hurts. I have my ears pierced -classical way a hole on each side- and I wouldn't want to do it again. I do find some tattoos real nice and if there wasn't this pain obstacle I might try a discrete one.


I think that body art completely degenerated passed these last years. When I search pictures about body art, I land on sites were we see male or female genital piercing, I think that this is horrible, it is sado-masochism!!!! I think this is horrible, people want to suffer! But off course I respect people who have limits in body arts...

Guillaume Gerard, French from Singapore

I think tattoos are a great way to express yourself or make something special stay on you for the rest of your life to remind you of something great...

I think piercing and tattoos should be a bit provocative because the person who gets one wants it to be seen and looks for a reaction of the people who see it.

However I think that the most impressive and good looking tattoos are the Maori ones that are traditionally on the face and when you see a real Maori with the face tattooed all over and imagine the pain that they go through is really amazing.

Mikko from Singapore

If I see somebody on the street, having a tattoo or a piercing it doesn't matter. But having guys with all the body covered or having extreme piercings is, I think completely stupid. Some are S&M and that is their problem but it can be offensive. Hair decoration is good, it's quite cool I think.

Moi from Singapore

I think body art is pretty cool. A small tattoo on some part of your body can look very nice. You just have to be sure you want it. A tattoo is something for life. You can have it removed, but it's expensive. If your tattoo isn't nice, it's like having a bad hairdo all the time. Body piercing is nice to, as long as you don't over do it.

Some people will have piercing competitions, and others do it so they can get in the Guinness Book of World Records. For some people, I'm sure there is a spiritual or religious meaning, but if body art is just done to show off or to look cool, it loses it's meaning.

You can just have a small tattoo or a few piercing because YOU want to, and because YOU like the idea. That is a good reason for getting body art. I personally think I'll get a tattoo at one stage of my life, but not right now. I'll do it when I'm ready, and that's what count's.

Dominique from France

I have absolutely nothing against body piercing as long as it is limited....the same for tattoos...but I find that body modification is totally unnecessary and you have to be totally mad to make a modification to your body especially when it is taken to the extreme....especially the male and female genital is a total suffering session for the body me it has absolutely no point to get modified....again..... tattooing and piercing as long as it is moderate....there is no problem.......well thanx for reading this and I hope that people will stop extreme body modification.....

Aymeric, French living in Singapore

I am a Finnish student living in Singapore. I go to the French school and we have been lately talking about body art and branding. If you go around the internet you'll find millions of disgusting pages of tattoos and piercing which are really repulsive. I only have my ears pierced and I am not thinking of getting more, nor a tattoo.

I think that religious and cultural body arts are real art but most of the people who take tattoos do it just like that and will regret it later!

Anonymous from Finland

Hello, I am writing to give you my opinion on tattoos and body piercing. I just wanted to say that I really like both and I already have two piercings and planning to get a tattoo (a tribal one), because I like the designs. Thank you for your time, with love and friendship,

Maretti Mauro from Singapore

To my mind, tattoos, piercing, or branding, well body art, is a way to express yourself, even though some people go to far, for example tattooing your hole body is too much and most of the time not very nice. Here in Singapore we don't see many people in the streets exhibiting their body, showing their tattoos or else. However many teenagers like to look rebellious, they have unusual hair decoration, a style at odds with the current style.

Having a tattoo or a body decoration is your responsibility, you have to assume it during your entire life. Personally I don't have any piercing nor a tattoo, I think it's very artistic and creative however you have to dare to do it and overcome your fear.

In some case body decoration is pushed to the extreme and can cause skin problems, but I think people should think before acting.

Marie Dekker, French but living in Singapore

Hi there, First of all I would like to congratulate you for the nice opinions that you put on the net because they come from people who have tattoos or piercing and people that don't have anything.

According to me, I think that body art is a nice way to be original and I think that you are right when you says a tattoo reveals a personality. The great thing is that you have so many choice that is difficult to see people with the same one unless it is a heart or something!!! however, I think that body art is limited: you can't just do it on all your, body, etc. Thanks for listening to me.

Maud from France

Hey, I don't have any piercing or tattoos. I don't have anything against it. However, in my opinion it mustn't go to the excess. A small tattoo or a piercing can be nice, can be original and creative. It is a way to express yourself, your feelings. Body art is nice but it can be really disgusting as well.

Thanks for reading my opinion.

Clarisse from France

I think anyone should be able to get a tattoo or body piercing done and not be hassled about it, just as long as it is not degrading. They just have to remember that a tattoo is for life. They also have to remember to keep their work of art hidden so they can get a good paying job. Some places will not hire you if they know that you have a tattoo or body piercing.

I got my tongue pierced in June of 1999 and my navel was done in April of 2000. I have 3 tattoos. I got my first tattoo in June of 1999 after I graduated high school. It is of 2 Hawaiian flowers with a tribal behind it. It is located on my lower back. It has 6 different colors in it and is about 6 inches long and 5 inches wide.

My second tattoo is on my left hip and it is another Hawaiian flower. It is teal and light green and is about 4 inches long. I got this one in August of 2000. And my last tattoo is of a butterfly. I got this one in October of 2000 and it is located on my right ankle. I am going to get another tattoo pretty soon of a frog sitting on a lily pad.

Georgiann Den Beste from the U.S.A.

My grandmother died when I was 16 years old and she was a second mother to me; very special. I wanted to do something to remember her and express my feelings towards her. I asked my mom if I could get a tattoo. My family is very religious, therefore I had to ask my pastor if it was "the right and Christian" thing to do. He said that there is no where in the Bible that says absolutely no tattoos and as long as it is not against God, it should be okay.

Well then I went to tell my dad, (my parents are divorced). I wasn't seeking his approval, but thought it to be the respectable thing to do being that I was only 17. I didn't get his approval.

I wanted something to represent my love for my grandma. I wasn't putting a demon on my body or skulls or what not (no offense to those who have these such tattoos on their bodies).

I have a number of tattoos today, and they all represent something dear to me. What is the big deal? I live a good life and try hard at everything I do and still am a strong believer. I think that God is a little bit more understanding than that. Those with tattoos don't care if you have one, but those without care if you do...

Melissa from the U.S.

I think that tattoos are a great form of self-statement. Young or old, there could be symbols that give us strength or courage, or cheer us up....something we need to see from time to time to help us stay sane. If it's something like that, I don't think age matters. I mean, I wouldn't want to go out and see a 10-year-old girl getting a Harley Davidson tattooed on her arm, but I think that teens anywhere around 14 years old should have a say in what gets put on their bodies. 

I mean, look around. In the US, you see girls with navel rings, eyebrow rings, tongue rings, 5 or 6 holes in each ear, sometimes even nipple rings. But you can't let someone get a tattoo? I don't think that's right. Sure, the ring can always come out, but it's still just as dangerous as a tattoo, especially if it's a tongue ring. Or if you want a more permanent example, think of all the drugs teens are doing these days. 

Would you rather have your kid getting a permanent design on their skin or getting permanent holes in their brains. The choice is obvious. There are a lot worse things kids could be doing, so I think parents should be a little more lenient about the tattoos, and start orrying about more important matters.

Cara from the U.S.

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