Expressing Yourself in The Real World


Hannah Crowell, Writer/ Comic Artist

In this day and age, people are becoming more accepting.  All across the country we see movements, whether they be feminist, pro-choice, or LGBTQ+, popping up and actually starting to making a difference. Even with this newfound sense of courage in our country, we still see discrimination among adolescents and adults for ‘unseemly’ sorts of expression.

For centuries, people all across the globe have been inking and piercing their bodies for the purposes of religion, honor, or entertainment.  Most people who ink and pierce their body have a valid reason, and that is their personal decision.  More often than not, people who choose to express themselves this way are ridiculed; they are given funny glances and snarky remarks whether it be from their families or complete strangers.  These people themselves are judged and labeled as “bad” because of this personal choice.   

This topic is particularly touchy in the workplace.  In most jobs, visible tattoos are not allowed and excessive piercings on one’s body are seen as unofficial.  People are forced to cover up their expensive sorts of expression so other people don’t get scared or offended.

To children and the elderly, tattoos are seen as “scary” or “threatening” and it would be understandable to cover a tattoo that is vulgar or inappropriate, said Rusty, a paraprofessional at GHS.  Rusty, himself, has tattoos which most students don’t know about, considering he has to keep them covered up.

Job opportunities are limited for most people who express themselves in these fashions.  “It shouldn’t limit your job options,” remarked Sarah King, a GHS senior.  Many workplaces, such as Starbucks, limit how many piercings you can have and the sizes of gauges because they’ll be distracting to customers– even hair color is limited to only natural colors!  The only reason they should not be allowed is if the metal of the piercings could be potentially hazardous in the workplace.  

“You should be able to express yourself however you personally deem fit,” said Rusty.  People should not be judged by their appearance and should be able to express themselves without feeling deterred by others. It’s the 21st century– shouldn’t people be allowed to make decisions about their own bodies on their personal beliefs?