Piercing and tattoos, specifically. What do you think about them? How do you think they look? What kind of assumptions do you make about the people who have them? Would you have it done? If so, what and where?
I was signed up to take an art workshop on body modification about five years back. It looked like a great class. But it ended up getting canceled due to lack of interest. I was interested, bastards! But not enough people signed up. How Idaho.
I share that little piece of history to make the point of how long I have been interested in something that you would never guess just by looking at me. And why wouldn't you guess this is something I'm interested in? Because of the assumptions you make about the people who have it done. It's really that simple. Are the judgments fair? Judgments, in general, are not meant to be fair. They are meant to make you feel better by putting other people down. If I can not lift myself up, I will knock you down.
I am in the unique position (again) ;-) of starting my life over. I intend to live an authentic life, expressing myself in ways that feel right to me. However, as much as it shouldn't matter if there is a little ring in my nose, it does matter! I think about the way people will interact with me. How they will treat my son after they see me. Do I curtail my need to express myself authentically in order to be socially accepted? Do I want to be socially accepted (by people who wouldn't be in my social circle anyway)?
As long as I stay in Europe, it isn't an issue. But, if I move back to the States it will certainly narrow the field as far as employment goes. And if I move back to the States, I will need to find a better job than working at the bagel shop. I have a child to support.
The idea that I can not look the way I want to because of the narrow-mindedness of people who do not know me is frustrating, to say the least. I will still be the same kind of person. Just as responsible as before the tattoos and piercings. Just as capable of showing up on time and getting my work done.
So, it seems there are a few different ways I could handle this situation.
1. Have it done, like I want, and do what I can to stay in Europe.
2. Have it done and work in a bagel shop if I go back to the States.
3. Have it done, purchase a deserted island, and only allow people of the non-judgmental persuasion to inhabit it.
4. Don't have it done. No, that's not really an option.