Tattoos and Piercings

Topics: Tattoo, Body modification, Body art Pages: 5 (1620 words) Published: November 29, 2013
Is Beauty a Choice?
If given the choice, would you value your beauty over your health? In many cases, health and beauty have gone hand in hand; if you have one, you likely have the other. However, this is not the case with body decorations like tattoos and piercings. These body decorations have been around for many centuries; from the ancient Egyptians to the Native Americans, they are cultural all around the world. Since this time, they have been linked in many situations to similar diseases. If people harm their bodies just to obtain beauty, then why would it be a part of their culture? The harmful effects of body decorations only weaken a society; but, since it is a part of their culture, it continues to be a common occurrence. In order to prevent this growing trend from attacking the society any more, people need to be aware of the side effects that come from them. Body decorations cause harm to your health and well being by giving you awful diseases, reducing your chances of getting a job or respect, and they could permanently harm your body.

Some people believe that tattoos and piercings do not affect your health or well being. They feel this way because they believe that body decorations help express yourself, they are becoming more accepted by society, and there is a lack of evidence for safety concerns on body decorations. Since expressing yourself is a form of speech, it is allowed by the 1st amendment. The 1st amendment is why tattoos and piercings could never be outlawed, because it would be interfering with people's unalienable rights. As tattoos grow more common in society, they are also more accepted. In the "2007 Vault Employee Tattoo and Body Piercing Survey", they surveyed a number of employees on the topic of body decorations. In their survey, they found that 49% of companies do not have a policy on body decorations, and 98% of people have not been fired or punished because of having body decorations (2007 Vault Employee 6-7). Another reason people do not think body decorations affect your health or well being is from a lack of evidence. As said in an article tattooing and its health risks, "because of other public health priorities and a previous lack of evidence of safety concerns, FDA has not traditionally regulated tattoo inks or the pigments used in them" (U.S. Food & Drug 1).

However, even though some of the information is true, its relevance to the topic is faulty. People usually resort to the 1st amendment when defending body decorations, to save from laws being put in place against tattoos and piercings. But, laws against body decorations is not what people need, what they need is awareness of what risks come with tattoos. Along with these risks are the judgment of others and diseases. Yes, tattoos and piercings are becoming more accepted, but what about the other 51% of companies that do have policies on body decorations? Also, even though there is a lack of evidence on health concerns, that doesn't mean it's still not happening; there are hundreds to thousands of cases each year where people are either infected or diseased from body decorations.

Not only diseases, but also infections are common when getting a tattoo or a piercing. The most common of diseases is hepatitis: a disease in which the swelling and inflammation occur inside of the liver. In the article, "Hepatitis Warning Over Tattoos and Body Piercing", the author explains that people going to tattooists that are not trustworthy or certified are at the most risk of getting hepatitis (Hepatitis Warning Over 1). The reason for this: many uncertified tattoo artists rarely clean their equipment, and do not know the dangers of not cleaning it. So, if one person that has a disease gets a tattoo, then the unsanitary equipment will transmit that disease to the next person that gets a tattoo. Another problem that is very common in piercings or tattoos is infection. As said in "Tattooing Has Health Risks", "Unsterile tattooing...

Cited: "Hepatitis warning over tattoos and body piercing." Independent on Sunday [London, England] 18 Oct. 2013: 18. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
Mientka, Matthew. "Tattoos Are Dishonorably Discharged." Newsweek 4 Oct. 2013: 1. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
U.S. Food & Drug Administration. "Tattooing Has Health Risks." Body Piercing and Tattoos. Ed. Sharon Bahadosingh. Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2007. At Issue. Rpt. from "Tattoos and Permanent Makeup." 2006. Opposing Viewpoints In Context. Web. 22 Oct. 2013.
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