Disclaimer: I’m not a teen! And who wants unsolicited advice, anyway? There’s a reason why Charlie Brown’s adults go, “WahWahWah” and you mostly see the grownups’ feet in E.T.
How Do I Convince My Parents to Let Me Get a Piercing?
Good question. And, unfortunately, I don’t know the answer. As always, though, I do have a few thoughts on the subject.
- First, read How to Make Friends and Influence People, by Dale Carnegie (Link to Google Book). You can find it at any library. Despite the cheesy title and dated anecdotes, the information and advice in that book is priceless. I’m serious!
- Try to negotiate with your parents, and be prepared to compromise. Be calm. Don’t whine.
- Do your research, and present them with facts about piercings. Be ready to answer their questions and counter their arguments. Print out the FAQs or the Piercee’s Bill of Rights from the Association of Professional Piercer’s website.
- Show your parents you can be trusted with other stuff, and they’ll be more likely to trust you with this.
- Use this time to plan, to ask questions. There are several good discussion forums about piercings where the people will take the time to encourage you and respond to your concerns. Learn about proper aftercare so you don’t get suckered by inappropriate recommendations from well-meaning friends or less-informed piercers. Take a look at the resources on this site, or leave a comment here.
- If at first you don’t succeed, back off and try again later. Be patient. Your body will survive without extra holes for a little while longer!.
Sadly, there will be parents who will never agree. Some parents can be persuaded, others never will–too stubborn, too prideful, too religious, or just opposed. Body piercing is not for everyone, and there are always people who react with revulsion or disgust no matter how old you are.
In fact, body piercing may not be for you, either, so take some time to think about who you are and what your lifestyle is and will be. Don’t be like the girl in Part 2 who stretched her ears at age 13, only to need surgery later when she wanted to enter the Air Force; or the young guy who had always wanted to be a fireman, only to be told he was disqualified because of his ear piercings.
Some things to consider:
The key to getting a good piercing is to find the best, most experienced professional piercer you have access to. Don’t settle for just anyone at the first tattoo studio you walk in to. Reputable professional piercers will not pierce you without a parent’s permission, and will never pierce a minor’s nipples or genitals.
Who is going to pay for your piercing? Save some money or earn some extra cash so you can show your parents you are serious. Don’t use this an excuse to self pierce. Who will pay for medical care if your piercing gets infected?
Good jewelry is not cheap, and you may need more than one piece.You should buy the best quality jewelry you can afford for your initial jewelry. It isn’t cheap, but good quality jewelry makes a difference. Implant grade stainless steel or titanium will protect you against most skin sensitivities. Well-made jewelry is also highly polished and free from irregularities that could trap bacteria, and internally threaded and well-machined, well-fitting ends mean fewer lost balls and beads.
Don’t touch it; don’t play with it; and don’t change the jewelry too soon. Leave the initial jewelry in as long as you can. Just do sea salt soaks and keep it clean. Never touch your piercing with dirty hands!
Don’t count on hiding it from your parents, your school, your coach, etc. You need to keep the metal jewelry in there as long as possible while it’s healing, and even clear retainers are visible. Taking it out and putting piercings back in for an activity, like sports, isn’t recommended either–that will only irritate the piercing and keep it from healing well.
What if I can’t get their permission?
If you can’t convince your parents, then your alternative is to wait until you are 18 or the age of majority in your location.
Please don’t pierce yourself!
It’s unsafe, because you don’t have the equipment to sterilize anything; you don’t have the knowledge or experience to get a good piercing, not to mention the awkwardness of trying to pierce yourself in a mirror, without leverage, or a good vantage point. For more on this, here’ s my post on self-piercing.
When you at last own the rights to your own body, you can treat your piercing as a rite of passage. Make it mean something to you, and come out the other side a different person. Just know that parental disapproval (and concern) never goes away, even when you are adult, so you may be trying to hide that jewelry from grandma at age 30. Some people will never understand.
This is the last in a series of posts on piercings by age group. Here’s the list of the others:
Teens and Piercings: How to Avoid the Worst Case Scenario
On the Younger Side Part 1: Babies
Too Old for a Piercing?
And, for fun: How to Sound Like the Charlie Brown Adults from Wikihow.
Thanks to mod complex at Flickr for the lip piercing pic.