Real lives: Debate!

A 13-year-old made headlines last week when she had her nipple pierced. What's the fuss? says Grace, 15, who loves her belly-button ring. Not only is it dangerous, it's very ugly, counters Kierra, 13

I WAS one week old when I got my ears pierced. I was nine when I got multiple ear piercings, 14 when I got my nose pierced and 15 when I got my belly-button done (I wasn't asked my age because I look older). If I get another, it will be on my face. Piercing my genitals and nipples doesn't appeal, but I've definitely become addicted!

I feel like saying to people who object: "Don't look at me if you don't want to see it." Piercing isn't a big deal to the person being pierced. They're not hurting anyone but themselves. It's other people who have problems with it.

Just because people with piercings look different, they're seen in a negative light. Some ignorant people think that if you have piercings you are a monster or rapist, junkie or punk with no occupation or ambition. That's ridiculous. It's not like piercing changes someone's soul or personality. The pierced people I've met are easy-going and open-minded. They don't judge others because they know how it feels.

Body piercing is attractive and original. I'm glad you can get your nose pierced at any age. It should stay that way. If government legislation tried to prevent me from getting pierced I would be so angry. It's totally out of order, because it's a complete invasion of privacy. I still can't believe that for a belly piercing you're supposed to be 16 years old. It's just silly. There should be a national survey to see what children think because, as it stands, adults have all the power and we can't do anything about it. That's wrong.

I'm very close to my parents and I discussed my piercings with both of them before I had them done. My mum encouraged me to get my belly done because she thinks I have a nice stomach. She said "It's up to you," but my dad isn't particularly into piercings. He's a bit old-fashioned, but he can't really do anything about it.

The way I see it, it's your body and it's up to you what you do with it. We need laws to discourage things like underage sex. Having sex too young can damage your body much more than a piercing. Getting pierced is different. Young people should be able to do it when they feel ready. They can make that decision for themselves. The only thing I regret is the cost. My nose set me back pounds 7 and my belly pounds 20, which is outrageous. The price can put young people off.

Of course, safety is an issue. I was aware there were risks in having my belly-button pierced, but I didn't care. Let's face it, life is full of risks and if you want to do something, I say do it and don't hold back. There should be better health, safety and hygiene investigations, but bad things can happen no matter how much you do this. Maybe if tighter rules were introduced, parents would accept that their children want piercings and be less afraid.

Parents should remember that piercings can close up. They should worry more about tattoos - they're expensive and unattractive and they're there for life.

PEOPLE WITH millions of piercings look terrible. They take it too far. It becomes a weird addiction. When I think of facial piercing I see these horrible, metal faces. I can't stand tongue piercing either, because of all the gunk that gets stuck in the stud when people eat. As for genital piercing, it's disgusting. Who's going to see your private parts anyway? It's not like you can show them off.

A kid who wants multiple piercings should definitely be stopped. If you can't have sex before you're 16, why should you be allowed to have studs in your nipples?

Besides, there are too many safety risks. If you're young and you go somewhere dodgy on your own, anything could happen because there are slimy, perverted people out there. They shouldn't be anywhere near teenage girls' most intimate parts - even if it is their job. On top of that, you can get infected and that can be really nasty.

I think children should have to get parental permission for every piercing, except when they're in ears and noses. Kids would be protected if they had to get their parents' advice and consent. If parental permission isn't needed, you could get people getting drunk and deciding to have everything pierced. Some kids do it just to rebel, so making parental permission necessary would cut down on something they might later regret.

The government should concentrate on making piercing shops safer. There are still places that are really unhygienic, which gives parents even more reason to worry. If you're going to have a new law, you've also got to make people stick to it. It's hard, because teenagers aren't meant to have underage sex, for example. But they do. I know one girl who wanted to get her nose pierced and decided to do it herself with a sewing needle. The stud wouldn't even go in because the hole was bent. It was ridiculous. She risked pain and infection and it looks stupid. The only thing that could be worse is a tattoo, because that's forever.

The piercers should be the ones who get prosecuted if they don't check ID - like retailers who sell cigarettes. But parents also have to play their part. Most want to protect their children from any kind of risk, but there are parents who agree with piercings. My dad's got his ear pierced and he wants both my little brothers to have theirs done. They're only three and five. My mum is dead against it.

That's another thing. To get children pierced when they're babies or toddlers is sick. First up, making a decision about something invasive for a child that young is disgusting and unfair. Secondly, babies and toddlers aren't fashion accessories like poodles with ribbons and bows. Kids might always bear the scars of a piercing they didn't even choose themselves. It's all about being mature enough to make your own, balanced decision. And under 16, we're too young to do that.

Interviews by Clio Turton, 17, Stuart Fletcher, 16, and Katherine Faulkner, 12, all with Children's Express, a programme of learning through journalism for young people aged eight to 18.

Voices
voicesGood for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, writes Grace Dent
Sport
The Pipes and Drums of The Scottish Regiments perform during the Opening Ceremony for the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park on July 23, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Commonwealth GamesThe actor encouraged the one billion viewers of the event to donate to the children's charity
Sport
Karen Dunbar performs
Entertainers showcase local wit, talent and irrepressible spirit
Sport
Members of the Scotland deleagtion walk past during the opening ceremony of the 2014 Commonwealth Games at Celtic Park in Glasgow on July 23, 2014.
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
ebookA wonderful selection of salads, starters and mains featuring venison, grouse and other game
Arts and Entertainment
The Tour de France peloton rides over a bridge on the Grinton Moor, Yorkshire, earlier this month
film
Life and Style
fashion Designs are part of feminist art project by a British student
News
Very tasty: Vladimir Putin dining alone, perhaps sensibly
news
Life and Style
Listen here: Apple EarPods offer an alternative
techAre custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?
Arts and Entertainment
Top guns: Cole advised the makers of Second World War film Fury, starring Brad Pitt
filmLt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a uniform
News
The University of California study monitored the reaction of 36 dogs
sciencePets' range of emotions revealed
News
Snoop Dogg pictured at The Hollywood Reporter Nominees' Night in February, 2013
people... says Snoop Dogg
Arts and Entertainment
A scene from Shakespeare in Love at the Noel Coward Theatre
theatreReview: Shakespeare in Love has moments of sheer stage poetry mixed with effervescent fun
News
Joining forces: young British men feature in an Isis video in which they urge Islamists in the West to join them in Iraq and Syria
newsWill the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?
Arts and Entertainment
The nomination of 'The Wake' by Paul Kingsnorth has caused a stir
books
News
i100
Life and Style
food + drinkZebra meat is exotic and lean - but does it taste good?
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs General

    BI Manager - £50,000

    £49000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: My client is...

    BI Project Manager - £48,000 - £54,000 - Midlands

    £48000 - £54000 per annum + Benefits package: Progressive Recruitment: My clie...

    VB.Net Developer

    £35000 - £45000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: If you're pa...

    SAP Business Consultant (SD, MM and FICO), £55,000, Wakefield

    £45000 - £55000 per annum + competitive: Progressive Recruitment: SAP Business...

    Day In a Page

    Screwing your way to the top? Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth

    Screwing your way to the top?

    Good for Lana Del Rey for helping kill that myth, says Grace Dent
    Will the young Britons fighting in Syria be allowed to return home and resume their lives?

    Will Britons fighting in Syria be able to resume their lives?

    Tony Blair's Terrorism Act 2006 has made it an offence to take part in military action abroad with a "political, ideological, religious or racial motive"
    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter, the wartime poster girl who became a feminist pin-up

    Beyoncé poses as Rosie the Riveter

    The wartime poster girl became the ultimate American symbol of female empowerment
    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones: Are custom, 3D printed earbuds the solution?

    The quest to find the perfect pair of earphones

    Earphones don't fit properly, offer mediocre audio quality and can even be painful. So the quest to design the perfect pair is music to Seth Stevenson's ears
    US Army's shooting star: Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform

    Meet the US Army's shooting star

    Lt-Col Steven Cole is the man Hollywood calls when it wants to borrow a tank or check a military uniform
    Climate change threatens to make the antarctic fur seal extinct

    Take a good look while you can

    How climate change could wipe out this seal
    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier for the terminally ill?

    Farewell, my lovely

    Should emergency hospital weddings be made easier?
    Man Booker Prize 2014 longlist: Crowdfunded novel nominated for first time

    Crowdfunded novel nominated for Booker Prize

    Paul Kingsnorth's 'The Wake' is in contention for the prestigious award
    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster to ensure his meals aren't poisoned

    Vladimir Putin employs a full-time food taster

    John Walsh salutes those brave souls who have, throughout history, put their knives on the line
    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    Tour de France effect brings Hollywood blockbusters to Yorkshire

    A $25m thriller starring Sam Worthington to be made in God's Own Country
    Will The Minerva Project - the first 'elite' American university to be launched in a century - change the face of higher learning?

    Will The Minerva Project change the face of higher learning?

    The university has no lecture halls, no debating societies, no sports teams and no fraternities. Instead, the 33 students who have made the cut at Minerva, will travel the world and change the face of higher learning
    The 10 best pedicure products

    Feet treat: 10 best pedicure products

    Bags packed and all prepped for holidays, but feet in a state? Get them flip-flop-ready with our pick of the items for a DIY treatment
    Commonwealth Games 2014: Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games

    Commonwealth Games 2014

    Great Scots! Planes and pipers welcome in Glasgow's Games
    Jack Pitt-Brooke: Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism

    Jack Pitt-Brooke

    Manchester City and Patrick Vieira make the right stand on racism
    How Terry Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    How Newton tragedy made iron men seek help to tackle their psychological demons

    Over a hundred rugby league players have contacted clinic to deal with mental challenges of game