A piercing look at the pointy end of fashion

I COULDN'T help but stare at them - they were such a cute couple ... I was mesmerised as they giggled, cuddled and looked adoringly at each other.

Young love is a beautiful thing, I thought to myself.

I was indulging in a bit of people watching while I waited for my daughter to finish work and these two sure were fun to watch until I realised what they were about to do.

"Don't do it", I wanted to yell.

This gorgeous girl with her cover-girl smile was about to get her lip pierced and her cute boyfriend, with his carefully tousled hair, was getting a matching one.

"Does your mother know what you are doing?" I wanted to ask as they selected their preferred pieces from the display at the beauty salon right beside where I was meeting my daughter.

"Do you have a job? What will your boss say? Who is going to give you a job with that stuck on your lip?" - these were the questions I wanted to ask them as they filled out a questionnaire for the beauty therapist.

I maintained my silence but I was hoping they would change their minds and walk out. They didn't - so while they were out in the back of the salon having their faces defaced I took a closer look at the people around me.

Maybe it was because I was looking for it but I started to see piercings everywhere.

Nearly every young person who walked past me had some sort of piercing that I could see (who knows how many had piercings that I couldn't see). Lots of eyebrows, lips, noses and belly buttons were decorated - there were even a few shiny bits of metal and sparkly jewels stuck into arms, hips and backs.

I guess I'd been happily unaware of just how popular these trends were but on that day at my suburban shopping centre there was no denying it.

Obviously I'm a bit old-fashioned when it comes to piercings in general - but especially on the face. My own kids seem to have skipped the piercing obsession with the exception of my youngest, who fought long and hard to be allowed a belly button piercing for her 16th birthday.

Thankfully with the battle won she seemed happy to stop there.

Given the sheer number of piercings on display around me I was feeling quite grateful that my kids had never felt strongly about having holes punched in their bodies. Same goes for the ridiculous stretcher style ear piercings - there would have been an all-out war in our house if they had come home with those.

Over the years I've been careful not to be too vocal about my dislike of facial piercings - the last thing I want is for my teenagers to see a piercing or three as the ideal way to push my buttons and assert their independence.

As I watched these two young things walk out of the beauty salon rubbing their newly pierced lips I couldn't help but think about the fights I had with my mum about getting a second piercing in my ears. That was considered quite daring in the day (showing my age a little here) so I guess teenagers and their desire for self-expression really haven't changed that much.

These two teens would never know it but watching them also made me think about why I judge people with piercings so harshly.

Why can't they have a good job even if they have a piercing in their lip, nose or eyebrow?

What's so different to the piercings in my ears?

That didn't stop me from working hard or taking my job seriously.

So, instead of turning away as they came towards me I looked a bit closer and was surprised to realise they were still a cute couple and, dare I say it, their piercings actually suited them.

Not that I would ever admit such a thing to a teenager.

And, of course, if it was my child who was coming home to show off their new jewellery I am pretty sure I would not have been quite so accepting.

But it does beg the question - do we all judge a teenager by their piercings? If so, is that fair?

On the issue of piercings ...

This poll ended on 07 July 2013.

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