Thursday, March 22, 2007

Reprint of a post I made to a yahoo group back in 2003

From: Natalie
Sent: Tuesday, August 26, 2003 8:16 PM
Subject: RE: [] tattoos, piercings, clothing...

I'm totally for unconventionality but when it's done for the right reasons - individuality starts from within the person not from the outside. Getting a tattoo of a big Grim Reaper on your arm just because you think it's cool is not a smart thing to do. But getting the same tattoo because you almost died in a huge car wreck but they brought you back to life in the ER, thus beating the Grim Reaper, well, that's totally different.
I myself was always different on the inside, went outwardly different in my early teens (not too extreme because I knew the limits of the society that I wanted to one day live in), and at 20 went back to being different pretty much on just the inside. To this day, I am glad that at a young age I was made cognizant of what I wanted my future to be like so that the decisions that I made during my 'turbulent' years did not adversely affect my life today. My parents rarely said things like "what will the neighbors say" and "you don't know what you are doing". Instead they usually said things like "what do you think that tattoo would look like when you're 80" and "what kind of job do you see yourself having if you don't go to college". I was never bugged about hair because they knew that kind of thing can grow out/back - no long-term effect. And I always wore location-appropriate clothing and makeup (ie; I didn't wear my bondage pants to church) because I knew that there was a time and place for everything and consequently I respected the generally accepted code of conduct for wherever I was.
A girl/woman dressing like a 'tramp' needs to be aware that people (strangers) are going to treat her differently based entirely on her outward appearance. A guy with a big ring in his pierced nose needs to be aware that the HR department of the accounting firm is going to put his resume further down in the pile based entirely on his outward appearance. That's just the way that our (US) society is. If you, as the discriminated person, are ok with that then there is no problem - you realize that you have to try harder and that makes you a stronger person. But if you go around whining "why do all the guys think that I will sleep with them on the first date" and "why won't these firms hire me" then you've got some problems - you are clueless to the fact that how you look really does make more of a first impression than your personality.

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