Wednesday, September 15, 2010

TATTOOS & PIERCINGS: MY DEEP, DARK SECRET

I’m here to admit a deep, dark secret I have…when I see someone who has a lot of tattoos and piercings, I automatically think…alcoholic, drug addict, devil worshiping, axe murderer…Some even scare me a little.















(Okay! Don’t hate! I’m being honest here.) And I feel very ashamed, because I know better than to “judge a book by its cover”, as the old saying goes.

When my daughter, Hollie, turned 18, she came home with the side of her nose pierced..cu-u-ute!! Then she came home with a tattoo…um oka-a-ay…then another piercing…uh oh!...then another tattoo…and another…and another…(Hollie! What are you doing?)

But when I look at Hollie, with all her tattoos and piercings, I don’t see an alcoholic, drug addict, devil worshiping, axe murderer, I see someone who wants to be a youth minister, photographer, and tattoo artist; someone who is caring and has a big heart…but a little moody at times.
















So I started thinking…just maybe I should stop ASSUMING that every person with a lot of tattoos and piercings is an alcoholic, drug addict, devil worshiping, axe murderer. Sometimes I see other people looking at Hollie that way, and secretly, I want to punch them. (Hey! I said I was being honest.)

Everybody is guilty of having judged somebody at one point in their life, either because of the way a person looks or the way they're dressed or the way they act, maybe even because of the kind of car they drive or where they live. But the Bible tells us in Luke 6:37 “Judge not and ye shall not be judged; Condemn not and ye shall not be condemned, forgive and ye shall be forgiven."

Hollie says the reason she got the tattoos and piercings is so she can reach out to others like herself, because most of this large group of people don't attend church because "Christians" judge them (because of the way they look), and she wants to show them that Jesus loves everybody no matter what they look like, and that they can be a Christian and go to church even if they do have tattoos and piercings.

I think we can all learn a lesson from Hollie and the above Bible verse to not be so judgemental of others. If we spent more time getting to know a person first, instead of instantly judging them, this just might be a nicer place we live in. WWJD.

P.S. If you do have a lot of tattoos and piercings, don’t worry, I know longer think you're an alcoholic, drug addict, devil worshiping, axe murderer!




 


32 comments:

Stuff could always be worse said...

I agree with you about judging, Christians have turned some away, because of that. I am one and I try not to judge, My son got his tongue pierced and then a small tattoo. He wants to be in the military and he will likely regret some, but it is his life.
Thanks for the post and following.
Kim

Martha said...

I look at tattoos and piercings as that persons' expression of who they are and that doesn't need my judgement. Just respect. Maybe someone will give me a hard time because I don't dye my hair or have botox? Get over folks.
Of course I live in Los Angeles where it's the norm to have tattoos and unusual if you don't.
Great post, thanks for visiting my blog also.

kasandria said...

Thanks for sharing!
Kas

Monkey's Momma said...

One of my bloggy friends is married to a youth minister. He has several piercings (eyebrow, lips, ears) and lots of tattoos.

I think it is just an expression of who they are and what they believe. I have one tattoo myself then I got when I was in my early twenties. Looking back at who I was then reminds me NOW of how far I have come.

Patty said...

Great post! I admit until my brother joined the Marines and became "one of them" I had a lot of the same preconcieved notions and thoughts you did. Then of course I went over to the "wild side" and got a tattoo. ;) Not that it is easily seen.

Momstart said...

I make terrible assumptions too. Oh man, I hate myself sometimes

thatgirlblogs said...

when I turned 40, I got a smallish tattoo on my inner right wrist. something I thought I'd NEVER do. It was one of the biggest "charges" I've ever had, so fun/loved it. I don't know that I'll ever get more, but I used to feel the way you did also. My drug of choice is diet pepsi ;)

great blog, found you on SITS.

God's Not Finished With Us Yet... said...

Thanks for sharing your honesty and rawness in this post here Laura. I love to read stories of others exposing their real 'secrets' or feelings in efforts to help others who may be able to relate in some manner. My older sister has tatoos and a pierced tongue, which I personally don't like; to me it's on the gross side. But I've never judged her; that's just how my sister is and I love her just the same. However, I did have stereotypes and judged men who looked 'rough' to me and drove big bad lookin' motorcycles in groups. I was always a little 'weary' of them when they did cross our paths from time to time, which wasn't very often. Years later when I developed a great friendship with a girlfriend of mine I slowly began to drop this negative impression I had on such groups. My friends father had a business of selling and repairing motorcycles and he was the most sweetest, kindest men I've known. He was not a heavy drinker or 'hell raiser' (so to speak) but simply had a love for bikes, mostly Harley's. It was through time spent with my friends family that I too began to understand the joy and freedom feeling of driving on the back of a motorcycle and feeling the awesome wind surrounding your body! It was great. And though I haven't done this in a very long time, I still had learned years back to let go of various 'assumptions' and stereotypes I had of certain people or groups. This whole new way of thinking began by being around my friends father so much, learning that he was a very sweet and loving family man, who simply loved bikes, and there was nothing more to it; that was it, he just loved motorcycles and why should he be condemned for that, ya know? And then later I had learned from my sister's church that their pastor led a motorcycle ministry group just of men who loved to ride. They had leather jackets with crosses on them and other patches that spoke of God's love for all, and various scripture verses. It was so awesome!

Thanks for sharing your story. And your Hollie sounds like a precious one, very rare, that desires to take the road less traveled to be a witness to those who aren't like her, but instead she becomes like them to be more affective in her walk. How very treasured she must be to God's Kingdom.

Bless you my friend for sharing this post, and sharing Hollie's heart to all of us. May we all learn something from this secret you've shared!

Lotsaluv,
Sarah

Veronica Lee said...

Thanks for the follow. I'm now following your lovely blog.

Alicia said...

This is a great post! I agree completely with everything you said! AND I LOVE your pink and black polkadot background!!! :)

The Crazy Suburban Mom said...

Great post! I find frequently you have to know and love someone first sometimes before what you used to think peels away.

tracy

Anna said...

I really enjoyed reading your post. Sometimes it is hard to catch ourselves judging others, let alone admit to it. It definitely isn't our place to judge others, that's God's job, we just need to love and accept them, which is quite an undertaking sometimes.

Stopping by from SITS.
Feel free to stop by my blog. Today is the last day to enter a PartyLite candle giveaway.
http://annathanmagz.blogspot.com/2009/06/candle-giveaway.html

Whitney said...

I think I subconsciously think the same thing when I see them. My daughter got her belly button pierced when she was 15 (I took her--she had a convincing argument). I allowed her to get her cartilage pierced on her ear. I flipped out when she pierced her lip (at 16). Mostly because we didn't talk about it first--but I really hate the look. She took it out after about a year. When she turned 18 she got a tattoo. Shortly before she turned 19 she got 4 tiny little stars in various places on her body. I try not to say anything. Except to point out that visible tattoos will make it harder in her job search. Sheesh--didn't mean to be so long, just, I completely understand...

Laura said...

I am so glad you changed you mind.. I wouldn't want to read your blog with my tattoo... lol.

Like the other woman that commented I didn't get my first until well into my 40s.. to my husbands protest.

I would get another I just cant decide what or where. (the first is on the inside of my left wrist)

Great read thnaks

shadow said...

I enjoyed reading your blog,
thanks for visiting my blog also
http://dog-directory.blogspot.com/

Chandy said...

Hello, thanks for stopping by my blog and having the same china pattern like I do! I so love it and I can't blame you for not wanting to sell it. It's priceless to me!

Lucy postpartumillness.com said...

I personally love certain tattoos on people. When done right on the body I think it can be beautiful artwork.

I think tattoos really tell about who a person is or was. When I see gang tattoos or images of evil it just makes my heart sink. I always hope that its just a symbol of a past life and unfortunately they have to wear it around forever.

Heres my Thursday post http://postpartumillness.com/node/166

Mandy said...

Just stopping by from SITS and reading new and old posts of yours. I love your honesty. I have several tattoos myself and it bugs me when I get "those looks" from people. I just want to scream at them, but instead I politely smile. I'd like to rush up to them and tell them "I love Jesus and live everyday for him. I'm a loving wife who homeschools my 3 kids. My favorite book to read is the Bible and I love to do volunteer work in my free time." I owe them nothing and I shouldn't care about their judging stares, but sometimes it does hurt.

Bianca @ South Bay Rants n Raves said...

I agree with your post! We're all guilty of judging others before we really know them so it's good to take a step back. When I look at that picture of your daughter, I think that she's very pretty! I don't care about her piercings. If I may share a story with you, in my freshman year of college, I was randomly assigned to room with goth girls. Yes at first I was intimidated by their attire & their friends' when they;d dress up to go out but they were the sweetest people I met. Also when I worked at a hotel, there was a convention for the store, Hot Topic which catered to the same gothic subculture & let me tell you, I always looked forward to this event because it was a breath of fresh air for me. Other convention groups would be so uptight, would complain all the time, but the Hot Topic folks were so easy going. I always speak highly of them. So yes, never judge a book by its cover.

Happy SITS day!

Viagra Online Without Prescription said...

Well I think it's great you learned how to erase that stereotype in your judgments; especially because your daughter might have been the most affected given the contrary.

Jenn Erickson said...

Very beautifully said! Often it takes something close to home to help us see the broader picture.

Frankly, I feel a lot more comfortable with people who express themselves outwardly. While you still can't jump to any generalizations about them, I feel more at ease with someone who is in touch with some form of expression, rather than the quiet, "normal" looking one's who often are hiding the more dangerous secrets.

Whew, I got kinda dark there. Sorry.

Thank you so much for participating in the SIT B2B Day 3 discussion on Blog Frog!

Best,
Jenn

Miss Innocent said...

im already a twenty something.. but im still interested in reading your blog!!! :)

im the youngest in my family and still a teenager by heart. lol

amy said...

I have 3 tattoos & 3 piercings myself. And I am not those things. I am a life coach. A helper at heart who educates parents on online predators, the bad people. I've always loved tats & piercings.

Minna said...

Your daughter is beautiful, both inside and out!

http://furthurtothefuture.blogspot.com/

Kathy said...

I loved and related to this post! As a pretty conventional person, even one who lived for many years in NYC, I admit to sometimes making assumptions based on tatoos and piercings. I also have to say, that most of the time that idea had been spun on it's head as I have met wonderful, caring young people (and not so young) that choose to express themselves this way. I'm in the reiview your aritle group on VoiceBoks, and I will send you a private message, but Ijust wanted to say thanks for a great piece.

Kenya G. Johnson said...

Go Hollie! I love her thinking. I have met some great people behind "sleeves".

Five Little Chefs said...

I am trying to hard to teach my little ones that everyone has choices. Some may make choices that are not ok in our home but they still are good people. They made a difference choice. There is nothing wrong with that because everyone gets to make their own choices.

Kaylee's Education Studio said...

Focus should definitely be centered on whats inside a person and not what they look like.

Aliy Hurd said...

So very true I am guilty of judging but at the same time I think it is awesome. Some tattys are so beautiful.

Mrs. Settles said...

The same thoughts have crossed my mind a time or two as well. Usually, I wonder what kind of hole is in that person's heart that they feel they must fill with body art.

You and Hollie are absolutely right!
God sees the heart, but man sees the outside. May we view every person through God's eyes!

Blessings,
Marcia

Shannon Milholland said...

Wow, girl this is such an honest post. I think many of us have been tempted with thoughts like that from time to time and telling the story from the perspective of a mom made it so powerful. Thanks for sharing!

Czjai Reyes-Ocampo said...

My husband and I have extra piercings, and we're both planning to get inked sometime soon. :)

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