Bella Mezzacapo photojournalist
In today’s day and age, more and more people are seen with dyed hair, piercings, and tattoos on their body. Yet, for some reason, they are deemed “out there,” “extra,” “too much,” and, in some instances, “crazy.” But why?
Younger people, who may have some art on their bodies or colorful hair, are getting older, going into the work force, and getting on with their lives. Yet the only thing that some people can focus on are their appearances rather than their accomplishments.
An acquaintance of mine once mentioned how they were told by a professor, when preparing for field experience, that “wild” hair colors may be against certain places’ dress codes. This person takes pride in their unique fashion sense and even does their hair themselves, so why bring them down for it? Why not bring them up and compliment them on their readiness to go out into the field as well as their uniqueness and self-image? And, if the dress code thing may be the case, why not find another placement for them where they can express their true self?
Personally, I’m not one to judge on peoples’ physical appearances. If we all sat around all day and judged each other rather than accepting and bringing each other up, what would we accomplish? Absolutely nothing.
I have four tattoos, five piercings, and my hair is not its natural color at the moment. Does this make me any less of a person or any worse at my job than anyone with natural hair and zero tattoos or piercings? Absolutely not. If you think so, please reevaluate.
If anything, people with tattoos and piercings should be praised and congratulated for their strength and ability to endure pain. It’s not easy! With that, I feel that they should be commended for wanting to stand out. Not many people can withstand having all eyes on them, as well as the judgment that comes with it.
Imagine walking into a room where you know nobody, your hair is bright pink, you have a full sleeve of tattoos, and piercings all up your ears. Not only is that hard to imagine unless that is you, but because it’s nerve-racking and takes a lot of courage.
So, instead of pointing fingers, making fun of, laughing at, etc. at our colorful-haired, tattooed, and pierced friends, compliment them. Say hello, start a conversation, or say nothing at all. But do not tear them or anyone down just because you don’t get it or because it isn’t your thing.
I challenge you to ask someone, anyone, what one of their tattoos means. Chances are you will learn something new, maybe make a friend, and even become inspired. Because, if there’s one thing I know, it’s that every tattoo has a story, meaning, or thought behind it. With that being said, let’s normalize the “abnormal.”