I won't discuss piercings extensively on this take as we've already seen they are self violence and a vain cause of human pain. Tattoos on the other hand... .
Tattoos are a blood drenched symbol. The mark of the damned souls, reducing humans to mere numbers in concentration camps and jails. In ancient China it was considered inhuman to have it and only criminals and dessert bandits did it. In Ancient Greece it was only done by some slaves. And in various savage cultures it was meant to express social classes and divide humans, instituting a foul sense of superiority to certain groups. You are a generation that preaches so religiously its supposed anarchic ideals, and human rights and freedom.
And still you take a symbol that was used to separate humans into classes, and instilled an artificial hierarchy in society, and you even proudfully wave it around. In other cultures they used to cremate their dead and ink them in their skin to "have them with them forever" or even to "gain their powers and vitality". And you take that savage superstitious practice and reintroduce it in the modern world as "art".
The toxicity of the heavy metals can slowly with time make your body develop inflamation, sensitivities, infections, or even autoimmune diseases and neurological problems. You can't even have an MRI scan cause the heavy metals can burn your skin by interacting with the strong magnetic fields. But i guess you have made a pact with death to never get cancer or some other condition that needs to be scanned right?
Misdiagnoses are caused by tattooing as well. Doctors detected melanoma in a man or had to open the lymph nodes of a woman only to discover what actualy lied there was ink from their tattoos that invaded and was concentrated with time.
A spate of mycobacterial skin infections in 22 people across four states in 2011 and 2012 was tied to a few specific brands of ink. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, in conjunction with local departments of public health, were able to contain these infections through intense tracking and investigation.
More serious tattoo-induced skin disorders like sarcoidosis, lichen planis and lupus-like reactions are increasingly reported in current literature. These skin problems can be more long-lasting and leave permanent scarring.
A study reported in Hepatology found that “tattoo exposure is associated with HCV (hepatitis C virus) infection, even among those without traditional risk factors. All patients who have tattoos should be considered at higher risk for HCV infection and should be offered HCV counseling and testing.”
Hepatitis, which is 10 times more infectious than HIV, can be transmitted through needles used by tattoo artists. It is the reason the American Red Cross restricts blood donations from individuals with newer tattoos.
More recently, the Food and Drug Administration has become more involved with tattoo inks, stating “Many pigments used in tattoo inks are industrial-grade colors suitable for printers’ ink or automobile paint.” Like the studies started overseas, the agency is now examining the chemical composition of inks and pigments and how they break down in the body.
Allergies – Allergies to various ink pigments in both permanent and temporary tattoos have been reported and can cause serious problems.
Granulomas – These small knots or bumps may form around material that the body perceives as foreign, such as particles of tattoo pigment.
Even removal is not without its conscequences. Current lasers still have limitations in the colors they can erase with added difficulty stemming from more vibrant tattoo colors. Darker pigmented people tend to have less success with certain lasers and require more sessions to avoid skin damage.
Because the laser scatters the pigment particles under the skin for removal by the body, the issues with infections, scarring and the ink spreading become a concern again. Tattoos covering extensive areas of the body are simply too large to tackle in one session, and could take years to remove.
Laser complications include pain, blistering, scarring and, in some cases, a darkening of the tattoo ink can occur, according to dermatologists.
"It's my choice".
Is it now? How about all the rockstars, the pop "idols", the actors and symbols that defined your culture all these decades? That programmed your brain from a young age to consider tattoos and peircings cool. (Do you have any idea how shamelessly had the tobacco industry popularised smoking? Showing cool, "manly" cowboys, and strong, "independent" femme fatals smoking, followed by catchy phrases, to show that: "here, that's how you'll become too". Actors, artists, all "cool people".) Or all the anticonformist- supposed- rebels and anarchists angry teenages look up to? Unique decision? Something million others around you also blindly do? Sounds more like mimicry and fashion to me. Your friends did it, it looks "cool", why not you as well? Peer pressure, the need to stand out, industry's advertisement. Growing in a society that glorifies its ephemeral values and condemns most values of the past as outdated. How "yours" is yours exactly? You don't even get to define your own beauty and self image perception. You have the industry yearly do it for you.
The "it's my body" argument.
Well, if it is your body, the poor vessel happens to have an irresponsible owner that doesn't deserve it at all. And where this notion stems from really? If you were a woman 2 milenias ago in ancient Rome, you'd probably believe you are a Res, a disposable object, ownership of your father or husband. (you'd might as well be marked like a cow with the signature of your owner. well no problem though, you can still do it yourself today). Or if you were a slave to a squire or you were a defeated shamed warrior that sworn servantship to his victorious master. Would have a totally different perception.
So... how have we got to the point where in the name of ego and property, everything is permitted? How did this transition happen exactly? And how much of it is legit humane rights evolution and how much distorted wickedness in disguise? Where this newfound "liberty of absolute ownership" everyone so passionately preaches, originates from? The flawless, all knowing, self righteous individual. Me, me, me. My body, my self, my rights, my world, my tastes. My body, preaches the feminist and slaughters her helpless, voiceless, unborn human child. This seperation, this me against the world attitude is the source of most human misery. If i were to interpret the christians' Genesis i'd say what revelation the forbidden fruit actually gave to the First Ones, was a sense of seperation from their God and from each other. The beginning of all divisions.
Depression is the most prevailing sickness in the modern western world. Hurt narcissism, unatural expectations never- of course - being met, spiritual and physical isolation, suspicion towards others, self loathing, jealousy and envy. All these parasites that eat us from the inside. This modern version ego-god subject was a long breeded product of "Enlightment", the "Reformation", the industrial and scientific revolution, and their child capitalism. You are raised in the environment of a free market culture whose absolute value and penultimate purpose is profit. You grew up brainstormed with advertisements that appeal to your lower instincts greed, lust, rage, the need to showoff. Bombarded with messages promising instant gratification, bullet pill solutions, global adoration and acceptance, and unearthly bliss... if you buy our product.
Politicians treating you the same, parents as well. A culture that pets your ego since day 1 of your life, so you end up believing you are a special snowflake. But this phalic stage delusion gradually begins to fade as you approach adulthood and you notice you are not that special at all. The unfairness and hierarchy in the world is overwhelming, the need to excell drowns in the vastness of the homogenous masses. A longterm collection of mistakes demystifies in your consciousness your infantile divinity illusion. Thus we come to the point where we have a mass of "special snowflakes" striving to scream their uniqueness to the world. To leave their own mark (even if that is a cowardice unheard voice on their skin with no real life societal impact at all), to make everyone believe, to help themselves believe it, that they are not like the rest. That they piss on their parents values and will not repeat the same mistakes with them.
They take their long concentrated adolescent rage and resentment. Their unlovedness or the overlovedness and overprotection they received from their parents, and transmutate it in a potent motivational weapon and an unquenchable will to bestow their "unprecedented" legacy. Where all other "stupid" generations failed, they will succeed. Thus we witness the spiral cycle continuum of everchanging fashions and youth cultures (hippie, glam rock, milenials etc) with each generation. Eventually all this misused momentum seems to magically vanish of course when they hit their 40s- usually- and just settle down in becoming a clone of their parents (not rarely worse version), of what they so mocked and sworn will avoid. And the world? Still the same.
At this point, one could blame my view as pessimistic, and that it implies we should dwell in total apathy cause no progress is ever possible. That's not what i'm saying at all. And progress is definitely possible if we take the right approach. you can't battle fire with fire. It's like the mistake the anarchists do. You can't fight the state by becoming a smaller scale, individual version of the state. Resentment and unfairness aren't resolved with resentment and unfairness. Violence with violence. The absolute authority and omniscience of the governing body, becoming the omniscience of the "individual". We need a reference frame. Universal, humane values, that enlight and unite us. We need serenity, non violent protest and non violence in general both internally and externally, constant progress, love, and one spiritedness.
We also need to broaden our horizons and perceptive ability. We are so consumed in the "moment". In now. There is nothing before, or after now, right? There were no prisoners marked with numbers, no genociders marking their victims as animals awaiting in the line for their slaughter, no savages marking themselves to satisfy the blood thirsty entities they conceived and worshiped. And the future? You have already ensured you will never get sick and need scanning, your body will never have implications because of the ink, a close relative of yours might not ever need your blood transfusion recently after you were inked. Right?
We fail to think outside time. What about your decade older self, who- if you properly develop- would probably not ever bother to talk to his immature decade younger self. Whose very body cells will have almost complete got renewed, and will be figuratively and literally another person, will have to deal with your current rushed decision. Why? Your potential future career might be sabotaged.
Your potential great future partner be turned off and leave for that old decision. (i know what you'll say here, "if he really loves me will accept it as it is bla bla". well do not exclude the possibility you might lose an indeed loving partner because of it, because he was raised with certain values, world view etc.). Making irreversible choices is not merely a responsibility towards yourself but a responsibility towards humanity in general.
You might even deprive earth from the next DaVinci or Tesla, by not ever mating with that man/woman. Or by never realising your own potential because instead of real hard earned progress and prodution of everlasting Work, you chose the superficial and easy solution, a body written message. What about if you become a fugitive for some reason?
You never know where life and circumstances will take you. You understand you will just ensure being identified and caught by your tattoo right? Or if you are an assassination target. You also completely overlook the values and feelings of other humans. In your dire need to scandalise and stand out, you disregard that a huge population percentage views that decision of yours as a blasphemy or as an omen of misfortune. But you are above others' feelings right?
You might never have children who might question you about your tattoo choices. You might never find a new faith, religion or cosmotheory which will make you regret the permanent choices of your former self. You can safely predict, that you will never live in an environment where tattooed people are heavy looked down upon or even persecuted. right? (I hope this never happens but noone knows what future societies have in store for us. The point is for people to mentally transcend this need themselves. It's sad we even have to discuss these matters in 2017).
Also what does that choice say about the potential of the psychology you are breeding? Someone who is capable to do SELF harm, damage his/her very self, for mere looks, adolescent reaction or ideology. What would he/she possibly do to OTHERS if the needed conditions came in fruition? If survival, or starvation were the motivation, or under gun threat? or intense brainwash by a totalitarian regime? What monstrosities would be possible then?
Rationalised violence is still violence despite context. Especially seeing the tendency of the masses to blindly follow fashions in indiscreet mimicry, ain't that the perfect blueprint society for the next genociding army? Furthermore can violence be quantified? So if you have one piercing or 1000, is one act of violence better than 1000 or are both classified as violence no matter the amount?
Sorry for the lengthy essay but i think it might provide to some people food for thought.