This i can predict will become quite controversial but I hope it becomes thought provoking, especially for a new generation that inherited certain "traditions" from its predecessors, without testing them first, through the filter of discretion and humane ideals.
Have you pierced your ears as a teen? Who hasn't right? Maybe your mother/parents did it for you when you were a child. Or even earlier, as an infant. What is the difference betweet that and these cultures that the chop the girls' clitoris or the boys' penis? Not much actually. Lets see a bioethical definition. Whatever intervention on the human body is: 1)irreversible. 2)painful or damaging in any way, and its not meant for medical healing, is an act of barbarism. Pure and unadulterated animosity against another human being or even one's self.
I can already see your faces, if you are a parent that "helped" your kid to "make that choice" of being pierced, aka you made that choice for it, and i bet its a quite unpleasant expression. But i cannot sugar coat the truth. "Its fashion" you'll say. Or... "everyone does it". In my country they even have a saying "compared to beauty pain is insignificant". Which is a very perverse saying in my opinion and betrays a frightening, overbearing vanity and deification of human appearence with absense of reason or humanity.
But this saying permeats and describes the "beauty culture" almost globally. Thus we see the Japanese that forced their girls to wear super tight shoes that hindered the development of their feet. Cause according to their perverted stadnards of beauty the feet of a woman should be extremely small. Or other acts of barbarism like in the victorian era when girls were forced to wear extremely tight corsets that were damaging and deforming to their vital organs' occupying space.
Or these African women who are forced to wear these rings that elongate their neck. And if you remove them, their neck cracks because of atrophy, so it can only go upwards from then on. All these are acts of animosity which we have made a social contract, based to what each society views as acceptable, to be considered tolerable or even desirable. And if its the "others" that suffer it/do it, thousands miles away from us, who cares right? Not right.
Its sad how society today, while preaches its supposed intellectual and technological superiority recreates more persistently than ever, an animalistic, barbaric depiction of the human species. One we see in movies and documentaries and laugh at/pitty, big bones piercing ears and noses of wild people, we see now "developed countries' " people to desire to pay to be deformed like that with modern materials instead of "bones". Resulting in, its extreme expressions, to almost unrecognisable as humans, modern looking cannibals.
You will say: how can the mutilation of a woman's clitoris, even be seen as equal to an "innocent" ear piercing. Well if you knew about traditional chinese medicine and acupuncture, the practicioner asks you if you have pierced you ears. Why? Because even the soft part of your ears is connected according to their practice with its equivalent vital organ/function/part in the body. So you've already damaged for them the equivalent/connected part. In a chinese court i could even sue you accusing you with a crime against a human being if you pierce your daughter's ears. In the future, if we develop at all as a civilization that is, hopefully the laws will be even much more sensitive and conscious with these existential and humane matters.
Ever wondered why we use gold for ear piercings? Because the poor human body sees the intrusion as a pathogen and tries to heal the area. And the dangers of infections and irritations are immense. Even gold is irritating for some children and their body doesn't take it well.
Then we have tattoos. The frenzy of our era. Its considered so "cool". Almost everyone does it so why not me, right? Millions of young girls and men damaging their natural beauty and body, making it an ugly canvas of toxicity and abnormality. And i won't even get in the usual rational argument of what if you hate it in a month or a year. Or what will you do if your body changes and its smoothnes deforms.
Want to make a henna tattoo that lasts for some weeks? No problem with me. Want to make a normal, permanent tattoo though? Houston we have a problem. How do you think exactly the ink is permanent on your skin and your body fails to regenerate the area? Because the inks contain heavy metals that have necrotic properties and hinder the tissue regeneration. Yet almost everyone pays ridiculous amounts of money to mutilate themselves.
And the usual poor excuses:
1) "Its to remember a person I love."
Thats a superficial, lazy and insulting in the memory of the person way to do it. Want to remember a person you love? Keep their remembrance in your heart. Keep their words and actions and perpetuate their message and offering to the world. Thats how you keep someone always with you.
2) "I love the X message/phrase."
Same thing. Make it a way of life. Make your very living example a shouting testimony of this idea.
3) "I like it aesthetically."
Well I dont. In a more developed culture this right now seemingly ridiculous argument, wouldn't be a laughing matter at all. If it messes with my own sense of aesthetics, and invades my own individual right to not have to watch an act of barbarism, who gives you the right to force it on me?
4) "I want to express myself."
Want to express yourself? Write a book, provide an everlasting legacy to humanity, build some infrastructures. Dont make a useless memo than only your lover will see and that will fade with the rotting of your skin in the grave.
5) "I do it for fashion."
Would you do it to your pregnant wife/self? If you wouldn't do something to your infant, you shouldn't do it to yourself either. It's a small thing you'll say. We begin from small acts of barbarism/animosity to gradually get to the level of full fledged strategically planned genocides. And what were tattoos anyway? Society is perfect in forgetfulness. Tattoos where invented to mark people like animals and reduce them to prison numbers in concentration camps and jails. And now you take that horrible, blood drenched symbol, and mark your body with it. Cause its "cool".
And have you noticed the pattern in both these practices? There is usually no satiation to it. The addict wants to do more and more. More piercings, more tattoos, like they are never satisfied with their own image. I have noticed this pattern in several of my friends.
That, is not born to grow into.... that thing below.
Whoever finds my take exaggerated or extremely prude or alien to the "enlightened modern values", remember that all genociders in the history, began with the small things. Give no space to barbarism. Feed with nothing, the monster of human violence. Cause it grows beyond control, one blood drop at a time. And one sacrifice of human dignity on its altar at a time. Saying "I do it to just my body, i can do whatever i want to my body. My body belongs to me". WRONG! your body belongs to Humanity. And you have responsibility towards it. YOU might not care for enacting an act of barbarism against your own body, but I care.