Many people today are getting tattoos, some covering extensive parts of their body; in many visible places whereas traditionally the artwork could be covered with a shirt or other article of clothing. Also popular are piercings, not just the ordinary one or two hole ear piercings, but all over a person's face, nose, cheeks, tongue, abdomen and even genitals. There is even a church devoted to the practice of body modification, of which piercings are just a beginning.
The artwork can be magnificent. The artists are talented, trained, and experienced, capable of producing beautiful creations. At the risk of sounding like an old fuddy-duddy I want to warn of the consequences possible, and give reasoning to consider the negative aspects of indulging our artistic tastes in such manners. At the outset I must confess to having chosen a tattoo and piercing once. Hopefully this will give weight to my words, as it can be seen that I know the issue from both the embellished and non-embellished sides.
For one, tattoos can be expensive. A silver dollar sized picture on my back was seventy five dollars in 1991. Of course, we've had inflation, tattoos have become more elaborate, and artists desire to be well compensated for their work, so I expect prices have risen considerably since then. Granted, even the specialized jewelry of body piercings are not terribly expensive, but remember diamonds are a girl's best friend.
There is a risk of infection with tattoos and body piercings. Most states have laws regarding issues such as cleanliness of shops, licensing of artists, and the use of sterile equipment. As to how well such regulations are followed or enforced I cannot attest. However, those items are not the only area of concern. With the opening of the protective envelope of...