Body Art


Body Art

What comes to mind when you think of body art? Tatoos? Piercings? Face paint? Well, if you wear earrings, that’s body art. If you wear cosmetic makeup like eye shadow, that’s body art. There are many forms of body art. It’s everywhere, on young and old alike.

Some forms of body art have a specific purpose. The application of Henna, also know as Mehndi, tattoos has it roots in Vedic customs.

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Per Wikipedia:

Mehndi or Henna is derived from the Sanskrit word mendhikā. [1] The use of mehndi and turmeric is described in the earliest Hindu Vedic ritual books. Haldi (staining oneself with turmeric paste) as well as mehndi are Vedic customs, intended to be a symbolic representation of the outer and the inner sun. Vedic customs are centered around the idea of “awakening the inner light”. Traditional Indian designs are of representations of the sun on the palm, which, in this context, is intended to represent the hands and feet… The term henna tattoo is figurative, because true tattoos are permanent surgical insertions of pigments underneath the skin, as opposed to pigments resting on the surface as is the case with mehndi.

Tattoos can also indicate membership in social groups, like gangs. This photo is of a member of the Latin Kings gang:

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

Photo Credit: Wikipedia

People are getting tattoos to replace using makeup, like permanent eyeliner. I could never do that. Having someone using needles on my eyelids… no matter how safe it is makes me shudder just thinking about it.

People also get piercings for all sorts of reasons. I have seen groups of friends get together and get an ear piercing to mark an occasion. There are shops set up to do piercings on just about any place on your body that you want one. Some of the places that people get piercings on their bodies make me wonder… I have nothing against it. I just don’t get it.

How do you feel about body art, and at what age is what type of body art appropriate? For instance: young children with pierced ears.

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Comments (5 )

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  1. JeriWB says:

    I've always wanted to try henna. However, I'm sooooo glad I didn't get a tattoo when I was 17. My mom even went in to the shop to say it was okay. It was going to be a birthday present from my friend. Then it snowed and I wrecked my car. So getting a tattoo was not going to happen. Thank goodness to since it was a rose wrapped around a dagger. Ugh.

  2. Elizabeth Scott says:

    As a fan of tattoos I will say that I love all forms of body art. Some I do not consider something that I would do (certain piercings) but I do not begrudge anyone who wants to express themselves any way they wish.

  3. Dan Meyers says:

    We've definitely seen some major forms of body art – especially since we're currently in India. It's very impressive here, but I think the coolest cultural body art we've seen so far is in French Polynesia with their warrior-type tatoos

  4. I am a fan of piercings, tatoos, and sometimes even brandings when done creatively. I think the branding thing has fallen to the wayside though. I have considered getting an eyebrow pierced or maybe going with and industrial (Upper part of ear pierced) but this is where the age thing comes in. I am just a bit too old to go with piercings like that now. On the flipside of age, we held a rule and my daughter is holding to it with her kid, children should not get their ears pierced until they are at least 6 or older. Taking care of a piercing is a big responsibility. This is something they need to do themselves. It can be a great way for teaching them lessons that they will carry later into life.

    Tattoos on the other hand are not as age restrictive. I know a few I would still like to add to my collection.

  5. Jeannette Paladino says:

    It's true that even ear piercing is a form of body art, and frankly, mutilation. A sister-in-law waited years to have her ears pierced because that's how she felt about it. I also know Americans of Indian descent who still use Henna to decorate their hands for a marriage. However, eventually it fades away. Tatoos, unfortunately, don't. So you're stuck with them forever even you decide you don't like them anymore.