The main aim of the project:
to reveal the negative influence of fashionable trends on teenagers’ health.
The goals of the project:
to learn the history and development of tattoo and piercing;
to find out the teens’ attitude to piercing and tattoo;
to analyse the influence of fashion on teenagers health.
Fashion has a negative influence on teenagers’ health.
“A fashion is nothing but an induced epidemic.”
George Bernard Shaw
Relevance of the problem:
The older I become, the more I think about the place of fashion in my life. All my friends try to follow fashion and beauty trends. Tattoos and piercing are very popular at our age. But are these fashion trends always healthy? In order to answer this question, we should find out what health is.
Health isthe natural state of the body, which is characterized by its balance with the environment and the absence of any painful changes (Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Health).
What does our health depend on? According to scientific research,
10% - on health care
20% - on the environment
20% - on heredity
50% - on the person, their way of life, habits, addictions, hobbies.
So, on the basis on this statistics, I have come to the conclusion that tattoos and piercing, being addictions or hobbies, have a great impact on teenagers’ health.
Young people's health is often complex and requires a comprehensive, biopsychosocial approach (NSW Dept of Health, 2010). It is especially important as they form the basis for future population on our planet. Some young people engage in risky behaviours that affect their health and therefore the majority of health problems are psychosocial, like tattooing and piercing. These behaviours are established as a young person and go on to become the lifestyles of adults leading to chronic health problems.
Teenagers often lack awareness of the harm associated with risk behaviours, and the skills to protect themselves as well as the lack knowledge about how and where to seek help for their health concerns. By intervening at this early life stage, many chronic conditions later in life can be prevented. That is why it is especially important to inform teenagers about all risks they can face beforehand, and therefore prevent many health problems.
The main interest of this project is to analyse the influence of piercing and tattoo on teenagers’ health. Teenagers tend to follow the examples set by celebrities they admire. Many of them wear tattoos.
What is a tattoo?
A tattoo is a form of body modification, made by inserting a special kind of ink into the dermis layer of the skin to change the pigment (Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tattoo).
The history of tattooing.
The word "tattoo" was brought to Europe by the explorer James Cook, when he returned from his first voyage to Tahiti and New Zealand in 1771. Tattooing has been practiced for centuries in many cultures.
The Ainu, an indigenous people of Japan, traditionally had facial tattoos, as did the Austroasians. Tattooing was popular among certain ethnic groups in southern China, Polynesia, Africa, Borneo, Cambodia, Europe, Japan, New Zealand, North America and South America, the Philippines, Iron Age Britain, and Taiwan. In 2015, scientific re-assessment of the age of the two oldest known tattooed mummies, identified Ötzi as the oldest known example. This body, with 61 tattoos, was found embedded in glacial ice in the Alps, and was dated to 3,250 BC.
Patterns of primitive people were a constant fighting colouring, an indicator of valor and a social standing of the owner. With civilization development the tattoo began to be applied as punishment. The Christian church treated drawing tattoos with condemnation. Since the 1990s, tattoos have become a mainstream part of global and Western fashion, common among both sexes, to all economic classes, and to all age groups.
Consequences of tattoos
While investigating this topic, I have learned that tattoo is not a harmless thing. In some medical articles I read about its complications. They are as follows:
The process of drawing tattoos is unsafe;
It is very difficult to remove a tattoo;
Fashion is changeable, whereas tattoos are for the rest of your life;
Tattoos can prevent your career in many fields;
They are dangerous to your health.
The above-mentioned reasons persuaded me that getting tattoos is really harmful to people’s health and can cause many problems with it.
Why are tattoos dangerous?
They can cause different kinds of allergy;
They sometimes cause various inflammatory processes;
They promote a disease of kidneys;
They increase the risk to catch hepatitis C by 9 times;
The risk of infection with HIV infection is great;
It is possible to catch other infectious diseases.
Some teenagers think that tattoos can be easily removed. But it is only partially true. Sometimes it is possible to remove them with laser treatments. But the expense and pain associated with removing tattoos are typically greater than the expense and pain associated with applying them.
Another fashionable thing, which is also popular among young people, is piercing.
What is piercing?
Piercing is aform of body modification, the practice of puncturing or cutting a part of the human body, creating an opening in which jewellery may be worn. (Wikipedia https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_piercing).
The history of piercing
Ear piercing has been practiced all over the world since ancient times. Mummified bodies with pierced ears were discovered when the 5,300 year-old Ötzi the Iceman was found in a glacier in Austria.
Nose piercing also has a long history: about 1500 BC. Nose piercing has been practiced by the Bedouin tribes of the Middle East and the Berber and peoples of Africa, as well as Australian Aborigines.
Lip piercing and lip stretching were historically found in African and American tribal cultures. Pierced of the lip were sported by the peoples of Papua New Guinea and Amazonia.
In ancient times the body piercing was considered as sign of manliness and courage. By the early part of the 20th century, piercing of any body part had become uncommon in the West.
Why do people get piercing?
The reasons for piercing or not piercing are varied. Some people pierce for religious or spiritual reasons, while others pierce for self-expression, for aesthetic value, to conform to their culture or to rebel against it. The display or placement of piercings have been restricted by schools, employers and religious groups.
Dangers of piercing
Body piercing is an invasive procedure with risks. In a 2005 survey of 10,503 persons over the age of 16 in England, complications were reported in 31% of piercings, with professional help being necessary in 15.2%. 0.9% had complications serious enough to require hospitalization. (Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bodypiercing#Risks_associated_with_bodypiercing)
Risks of piercing:
Using rings in lip piercing can hurt the gum.
Wrong tongue piercing can cause ageusia (the loss of taste).
Eyebrow piercing can cause bad swelling.
Piercing can cause infection diseases, open sores, bleedings.
Piercing can bring up to deadly diseases ( hepatitis B and C, AIDS, sepsis, TB)
In order to reduce harmful consequences of getting piercing, the following precautions must be taken:
Piercers are expected to sanitize the location to be pierced as well as their hands, even though they will often wear gloves during the procedure.
These gloves must be changed multiple times, often one pair for each step of setup to avoid cross contamination. Wearing sterile gloves is required by law for professional piercing procedures in some areas.
Tools and jewellery should be sterilized in autoclaves, and non-autoclavable surfaces should be cleaned with disinfectant agents on a regular basis and between clients.
If all piercers follow these recommendations, the risks of body piercing can be considerably reduced.
When I studied the history of these fashionable manias and learned about their consequences, I tried to share this information with my friends. My teacher helped me to interview the students from 7-10 forms (38 students). I wanted to know their views on the following questions.
What do you think about tattoo and piercing?
40% of the students said that they disliked it.
20% of my schoolmates like it.
40% of our students have never thought about it.
What is more popular - tattoos or piercing?
32% of the students think that it is tattoos.
8% of my schoolmates prefer piercing.
60% of our teens don’t think about it.
Do you want to get piercing or a tattoo?
32% of my schoolmates want to make a tattoo.
8% of them would prefer to make piercing.
60% of the students don’t want to do anything.
Do you think these things are dangerous?
66% of the “Zhukovka” students think that these things are dangerous, but 34% do not share this opinion.
The opinions of students from Great Britain
The same research was done in Great Britain among the teenagers of a private
school. The points of view of the British teenagers are as follows:
I want to share my opinion of piercing. Personally, I don’t really like piercing. I won’t evidently get it on myself. There are many dangers of getting a piercing, such as: getting a disease from dirty tools or even getting bruising. Here in London piercing is very popular. Many teenagers have them. I think piercing looks unattractive and quite cheap. Piercing can stop you from the job that you want.
I would like to share my opinion of having a tattoo. So, even though tattoos can be seen as cool and fashionable, I don’t think that getting one is a good idea. First of all, by getting a tattoo you put yourself at risk of getting a serious disease carried by blood, such as HIV or hepatitis C. In addition, tattoos are inerasable, so if you ever regret about your tattoo that you got when you were young, later on in life, there is nothing you can do about it and you have to keep it forever. Finally, although tattoos can be seen as a form of expression, they can also limit your career parts, and so, make your life harder in future.
So, I draw the conclusion that people of my age in Great Britain share my attitude towards tattoos and piercing. They also think that they are dangerous for health and can badly influence teenagers’ life and career.
While analysing the history of tattoo and piercing, I tried to understand why they have such a great influence on teenagers. I came to the conclusion that teens admire models and famous stars and they often want to look like them, want to feel as grown-ups. Fashion has a great influence on their minds and even their health, either positive or negative. But tattoos and piercing have more negative consequences than positive sides. Teenagers should be more natural and have their own personality. They should be interested in more important things than fashion.
To sum up, I want to give some important recommendations for those who still want to get tattoos or piercing.
1. Think twice before you get a tattoo or piercing. Take all consequences into consideration.
2. Ask your parents’ permission.
3. If you are determined to do it and your parents are not against it, consult your doctor and do allergy tests.
4. Choose reliable salons and masters.
5. Avoid covering all your body with tattoos or piercing. One or two will be enough to express your individuality.
6. Take care of your health. If something goes wrong, apply to the doctor.
If teenagers follow these recommendations, they will considerably reduce harmful consequences and complications of tattooing and piercing.
Questions for the survey.
1. What do you think about tattoo and piercing?
a) I like it.
b) I don’t like it.
c) Never mind.
2. What’s more popular: tattoos or piercing?
c) Don’t know.
3. Do you want to get a tattoo or piercing?
c) Don’t think about it.
4. Do you think these things are dangerous for health?