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"Kids" and modifications?
Topic Rating: +2 (2 votes) 
December 17, 2011
11:27 pm
Ascetic Athlete
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I dont know why but this popped in my head today and Im curious to everyones thoughts.

 

We all understand, for the most part, the modifications and/or rituals that we do to express ourselves. Obviously there are some people who do not understand and judge us for what we do. But at what point would we begin to look down on it ourselves. What do you guys (and gals) think is an appropriate age for the modifications and/or rituals to begin. Is it acceptable for a 10 year old to do suspension if they want to? Should a 13 year old be allowed to get subdermal implants if they wish to? Basically I am just wondering what do most of you see as appropriate age of understanding at which a child should be able to make such decisions for themselves? 

"Body modifications say a lot about ourselves, it says even more about those who surround us"
December 18, 2011
12:24 am
Oakbear
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I'm quite conservative on this one i think, largely based on my own experience of exploring my identity as a teenager. Most teenagers think they know their mind, and in a sense they do, but generally have limited capacity to fully understand the long term rammifications or how they may develop.

For example i'd have had a loads of tattoos at 16 if i had the resources and bottle, which i think i'd really regret now. I wonder if more extreme mods were as common as they now are what i'd have wanted?

If a modification is really important to you then it can wait for the right time.

I understand 'mistakes' can be an important part of the journey, but if we are able to offer guidance we have a duty to help those new to this path with how to make responsible decisions.

I think some early exploration with modification is healthy, but one should measure the reasons for wishing to modify, the permenance, potential harm, and perhaps intensity of the experience with the maturity of the child.

Maturity and actually undertaking the right research, and waiting in a patient fashion, are more closely linked than i feel some people appreciate….

 

For me i was around 18 when i was ready to begin seriously, and older before i was ready for more permenant mods. I didn't get a tattoo or stretch a piercing until my late 20's.

I'm sure many people are ready earlier, but when I see so many people with terrible tattoos and kids with messed up lobes it makes me wonder….

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
December 18, 2011
4:15 am
strommer
Portland,OR
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i started piercing myself at the age of 10 and definitly regret alot of the choices i made back then mostly using saftey pins or dull jewelry to pierce myself looking back i shoulve waited til i could get the proper tools i still have my snake bite i got back then but i think with the proper education and thought put into it and definitly depending on what kind of mod they want its ok dermals might not be the best choice for a kid because there still growing and it might cause complications but tribes have been modifying kids of all ages for hundreds of years with no issues but i do believe its a personal choice and dont agree with giving babys mods

December 18, 2011
4:19 am
strommer
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and also i should have waited to get my ink done like oakbear i have a sleeve of crapy ink luckly for me the artist that did it appologized and offered to fix it now that he knows what hes doing

December 18, 2011
12:10 pm
vampyremage
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I agree with many of the above that the age of majority in whatever country the individual lives in is probably a good age for most modifications.  There is a certain amount of maturity not only in choosing something that one is not going to regret but also in caring for that modification.

 

I might make certain exceptions for things like most piercings which are far more common and accepted in mainstream culture now days and tend to be less permanent and leave less scaring behind when removed.  Even then, however, I would want to be certain that the individual has the maturity and knowledge to actually take care of such a piercing properly.

December 19, 2011
5:49 am
DutchessOfNill
Wenatchee, WA
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I don't think that there is an 'apropriate' age, as all people grow and mature differently.  I agree with those who stated that more permanent mods like implants or tattoo's may not be the wisest choice for a young person to make (I got my first tattoo at the age of 15, and it has long since been covered up), but I have recently caved to my own child wanting her ears pierced and she is very young. Admittedly, I would have liked to detract her from wanting it done for a few more years, but I'm seeing the silver lining now and am really embracing this as an opportunity to educate her and teach her what took me years to learn on my own.

I think that what the parent demonstrates to the child is going to be of greatest importance.  If the parent respects their body, teaches their child to, and instills in them the knowledge they need to make educated choices, then it should be allowed with the guidance of the parent after the said child has voiced interest.  If nothing else, for the sake of preventing mods that are preformed on their own or by scratchers, because lets face it, if a kid wants to do it, they are going to do it.

December 30, 2011
6:02 pm
astral_phoenix
Bel Air, Maryland
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I agree with the factor of waitng. If a modification is truely important to you then you can most certainly wait and meditate on it. If it doesn't feel right when at the legal age for it, then it wasn't ment to be.

"People living deeply have no fear of death." – Anais Nin
January 1, 2012
3:23 pm
Zawmbabe
Leadville, CO
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I don't support kids getting pierced up just because it's a 'fashion statement'. However, if there's a 16-17 year old 'kid' that understands that there are spiritual purposes in getting mods, then I say go for it. If they have the proper tools, did the research, and everything, I don't see why not.

I started out with just a small nose stud at 14 though. But, I definitely don't regret any of my mods, in which most of the ones I've had, I've gotten around the ages of 15-18. My current mods are a big part of myself, as well as the mods I've had to take out, or the ones that have rejected. They're who I am. I think kids who get them as a fashion statement don't take the time to research, or think about what they're doing before they do it.

By using your body, modifying your body, you can go into different states of consciousness and discover the true nature of life and yourself.• ~Fakir Musafar
January 2, 2012
3:19 pm
Breanne Redin
Bath, Maine
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I know that if my parents had piercings that as a kid i would have wanted some too, not for fashion but because i look up to my parents and would want to be a part of their religion whatever that may be. That's when I think the really young kids, like 3-5, might start asking for say a basic ear piercing. I would allow my child to get a basic piercing at a young age, if they truly wanted it (and I would make sure, asking and asking, and make sure they'll on the older range of that spectrum.) and then go for it.

As far as teenagers wanting tattoos or more extreme mods…. I'm not sure. Becuase I know now that half of what I wanted as a teen would have never been ok to me now as far as tattoos, and I'm not sure a teen will fully grasp everything, but I would allow certain piercings for spiritual reasons, and only if it wouldn't cause them much trouble with school and all. As far as more extreme mods beyond the typical piercings, I would probably say no until they're of an age to legally get it done themselves.

everything else I think would really be dependent on teh child's maturity level, how much they know, why they want it, and just how permanent it is.

January 6, 2012
8:38 am
Ignacious
North Carolina
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When i got my first piercing at 14, a simple earing.

If I had known what i know now, I still would have got it, and the ones that followed, but maybe been more careful on it.

Most kids don't bother to look up what they are getting into, they have their friends do it, inexperienced hands at a shop that is obviously NOT hygenic, etc.  

If a younger person knows WHAT they are getting into, and is willing to do the research, or at least ask questions, let them go at it. If not, they can wait till their older.

 

Now more extreame or permenant modifications i believe need to be regulated. Mostly 'cause these kids are going to get something they regret, get hurt, catch some weird disease, etc.

January 12, 2012
1:39 am
madeofpaper
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my opinion is that i don't think any child under the age of 12 should be allowed to get a body modification of any kind, period. after that, ear piercings are ok, maybe any other kind of piercings as long as the child has the ability to take full responsibilty of caring of the piercing. getting tattooed should stay at 18 (where it is 18, i know some places do 16).

as long as it isn't a permanent or "extreme" modification, 12+ i think is acceptable because hopefully by then the individual can be responsible. if it is a piercing it can easily be taken out and the worst that can happen is it will leave a small scar.

i do not believe in the piercing of an infants ears under any circumstance and i don't really support it being done on a young child, either.

January 12, 2012
3:01 am
strommer
Portland,OR
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so i work for spencers gifts and we sell body jewelry (realy crapy body jewelry) so today a younger girl about 16 came in and started asking questions about her stretched lobes witch she kept refering to as "gauges" witch i cant stand but i went to help her and she wasnt sure what size she was at cause she kept removing them so they would shrink up then she would strech them and take em out so i asked to see her ears and she was very close to tearing them at the bottom of her lobe as a result of having them pierced when she was an infant and i tried to tell her not to strech them any more cause she was gonna end up deformed and that people shouldnt pierce children cause there bodies are not fully developed she refused any of my advice (even though my ears are at a inch and 3/8ths so i probaly know a bit about it) and proceded to purchase 0gauge plugs and it reminded me of this topic and how people shouldnt pierce infants  cause you have no idea what there gonna look like when there grown im sure her parents probaly took her to the mall to have them pierced with a gun any way but still just a all around bad idea

January 21, 2012
10:54 am
BringOutYerDead
Belgium
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I think, as being inspired alot by Fakir Musafar, who started experimenting also at a very young age, there should be no limit. I don't see any limits for myself, when it comes to age. But a certain maturity is required. Maturity doesn't come together with age. I think putting an age on piercings is certainly necessary in some cases, but not in all. It's impossible to find out if someone is mature enough to get that piercing or not, the person has to decide and find out for himself. Like I decided for myself to wait with tattoos till I'm older, same for heavy mods. When I'm older, and I'll have kids, I'll make up some rules for them on the subject of mods. I'll have discussions with them and if I think they are ready for a mod, I'll give them permission. 

Age is relatively. People, in Western cultures, are getting mods at an earlier age than they used to get them 2 generations ago. So, in this way, age isn't something you should your decisions should be based on. To me, it's all about maturity and being ready in a spiritual way.

- Free Mind,  Free Body.
January 22, 2012
3:40 am
Ignacious
North Carolina
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Fakir Musafar is an amazing man, but his passion for the modification arts was honest. Most people getting mods are, zerox's. They don't care about what their doing usually, they don't have the maturity or the honest care for what they are doing. Regulate them. 

If a person truely loves mods. They'll find they'll own way through.

January 23, 2012
5:53 pm
Mars87
Saint Louis
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I believe 11 for initial ear piercings, 15 for a cartilage piercing or belly button. I would not allow any facial piercings until research on he child's part was proven and that it was not for popularity reasons. And tattoos, not until 18. I didn't truly understand my obsession until the past few months, but I've had it since I was maybe 7 or 8. I believe that Fakir Musafar is an extraordinary being, and was able to transcend his own age and time. But that is rare. Children are children until 18. And unless an interest beyond social admiration is shown, without my push, I would not be willing to support them. And suspension needs to be left until an older age when the body is fully developed and understood.

February 29, 2012
6:25 pm
Pierceriain
Winnipeg, MB, Canada
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This is a really tricky subject and for me being a professional piercer for almost a decade i can understand both sides here.  Ill admit to standing more on the side of anyone under the age of maturity should not be aloud to get anything done.  Just like we don't allow underage people to drink, drive or even to have sex.  These are things that should be taken seriously!  But also i do believe that your body is yours and your more then welcome to do anything to it that you choose to do so.  So there's a ton of gray area in regards to this.  First and for most tho its the piercer responsibility to insure that the person no matter what the age, be it 14 or 55, have complete understanding of what it is that they are getting done and any side effects or issues that can arrise from having something done.  If the piercer feels that they don't; its up to them to not do the piercing. 

With all that being said tho there are some medical reason to not get anything pierced at a young age.  One being that its easier to become allergic to substances when your body has not fully matured yet.  When your immune system doesn't know how to react to something, like metal from the jewellery for a piercing, it could turn against that material and for the rest of your life your now stuck with a metal allergy.  Now i know thats not something life threatening but its deff super annoying to anyone with it cuz the simple act of wearing jeans or any sort of jewllery will cause the area to become red, inflamed or even cause a rash. 

Also i shouldn't have to say this but anyone who isn't of legal age should not be getting any genital piercings done!  this does include nipple piercings people.  I don't care if your a guy or a girl this is just wrong.  I don't care if their parents come with them and are ok with it… ITS JUST WRONG!! 

I tried to keep this as short as possible but i have tons more to say LOL

Thats what she said!!
March 1, 2012
3:45 am
Oakbear
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I think the issue of whether someone fully understands is interesting. After all, how many people who get pierced really comprehend it fully? Just look at any piercing forum on the internet and you'll many people with a poor understanding of the procedure, healing and possible consequence.

"The individual has always had to struggle to keep from being overwhelmed by the tribe. If you try it, you will be lonely often, and sometimes frightened. But no price is too high to pay for the privilege of owning yourself." - Nietzsche
March 1, 2012
4:07 am
vampyremage
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I can certainly second what Oakbear just said.  I think maybe it would be more accurate to ask whether or not someone is capable of understanding what getting a piercing might entail.  There is a certain age at which an individual is expected to be capable of both understanding the risks inherent in getting something done to their body and, if they do not understand, be capable of taking the appropriate steps in order to gain understanding.  After that age I think it becomes partly the individual's responsibility to try and educate themselves about the risks and difficulties in doing such a thing.

 

That is not to suggest that it is not also the piercer's responsibility to educate the individual, but beyond a certain age the individual should be capable of at least expressing if there is something they do not understand so that the artist is able to better explain in such a way as they will understand.

 

Below that threshold age, I think it could be argued that it is not an expectation that the individual is capable of understanding sufficiently to know the questions to ask and the research to go through.  There is a higher threshold of what's acceptable to do to a minor because there is a lower expectation of understanding.

April 4, 2012
1:35 pm
jimmyenglish
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This is a very touchy subject with me, as I am constantly having minors come in to receive a piercing. State laws prohibit me from piercing any minor without parental consent. They also go further to preclude from doing specific piercings to minors even with parental consent. In addition they restrict me by not allowing anyone under the age of 15 to receive any piercings other an ear lobe. I have pierced the lobes of a child as young as three months. I fully agree with the statutes put in place by the government. These were morals that were instilled in me from the start. With any procedure I require my clients to be fully informed. I will sit down and talk to them prior to perching them. For more extreme mods ( longer healing, significant risks, or overly apparent) I will often inform my client of the risks and responsibility involved and ask them to think about it for a t least a week. If they return after that I will do the piercing. My general morals dictate that if the person is old enough to understand to significance of care for their safety and the ramifications that may be present then it is a conscience choice. Of course I also look into anotomical maturation as well. Hence I will not perform a genital or nipple piercing on a person still in a pubesant stage of growth. I also consider any other risks. Each one is really a case by cas basis. When it comes to minors as young as three months, I view those a a parental right of passage much like those still practiced in tribal cultures. At this point I stress to parental figure that it is their responsibility to ensure it is taken care of and the risks are assessed. Personally I feel that it should be an individual choice and not a mandate of the parent. But I also realize that I have the skills, knowledge, and compassion to assert the given piercing in the safest way possible, and feel that in certain situations is it better to disregard m personal preference (not ethics or morals) and do it for the client(s) safety and well being.

Jimmy "English" Lesniewski
April 5, 2012
12:38 am
Jamesryan
Utica, USA
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Here in my county in NY there isn't much regulation aside from the requirement of parental permission (parent present as I witness them sign the consent forms for their "child"). I, on the other hand, have higher standards than my state and county. As a rule in my shop, no one under the age of 14 will get anything pierced. No one under the age of 16 will get any sort of facial or oral piercing. And, of course, no one under 18 will receive a modification below the belt. 

James R. Somers ModernPrimitivism.com
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