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Last Updated on February 28, 2018

What’s The Story Behind Those Tattoos and Piercings?

What’s The Story Behind Those Tattoos and Piercings?

Some people are wild about body art. They become living canvases of tattoos and piercings. We were curious to find out what drives people to get such modifications.

We talked to two people who turn heads when they walk down the street because of their obsession with body art. Regina is covered in tattoos. Sam has oh-so-many piercings. What are they trying to say, and what’s it like to walk through the world in their skin?

When you become living art

Lifehack: Why did you get so many body modifications?

Regina: I’ve always liked tattoos. I’m an artist, so it fits. I didn’t intend to get so many, but I got hooked.

Sam: When I was younger, I got into metal music, and the musicians had piercings. Music was like my lifeline, and those guys were my role models. I got my labret (lip piercing) when I was 16, and I haven’t looked back.

Lifehack: What have you learned from having so much body art?

Regina: It’s OK to be different.

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Sam: I’m not afraid to stand out. Whenever I go somewhere new, I always have something to talk about with people. Most people aren’t so bad.

Lifehack: How do your loved ones feel about your tattoos and piercings?

Regina: I don’t really talk to my family. By the time my friends met me, I was already inked. The tattoos were just part of the package.

Sam: My family doesn’t mind at all. My mom took me to get my first piercing. My grandparents don’t really understand why I do this to myself, but they are ok about it.

Lifehack: How many piercings/ tattoos do you have?

Regina: I have 7 piercings and 37 tattoos.

Sam: I have 30 piercings, but I’m not done yet.

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Lifehack: How much do you spend on body modifications?

Regina: A lot. The key when you’re getting this much ink is to go to a good artist. My guy doesn’t pick up a tattoo gun for less than $150 an hour. The more color and detail, the more expensive it’s going to be. I have about $20,000 wrapped up in these full sleeves, and there’s still more that I want to do with them. I can only get a little work done each year because of the cost.

Sam: I got a few of these – like my ears – done for less than $50 a piercing. These dermals were $150 for the three of them. It just depends on the area.

Lifehack: What kind of identity are you expressing with your tattoos/ piercings?

Regina: I’ve always gone against the grain, so it makes sense that I’d do it with my body too. The tattoos are my way of carrying art on my body at all times.

Sam: I’m not going for a specific identity. I just don’t want to be like everyone else.

Lifehack: Do you get shunned by society? Do people give you weird looks or comments?

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Regina: I definitely get looks. My first few tattoos were small, so it didn’t matter, but once I got them on my neck, people started to stare. People do say things, sometimes. Just today, a woman screamed out her car window that I needed to go to church. Go figure.

Sam: The piercings on my face and head are pretty extreme by most standards. People might stare, but this hasn’t stopped me from doing what I want to do.

Lifehack: Is it acceptable for you to have this body art at work?

Regina: The tattoos are part of my work, so it’s fine. I know if I wanted to get a job in an office, I’d have trouble.

Sam: I’m a barber at an edgy shop downtown. It’s completely acceptable there.

Lifehack: Do you need to hide your body art?

Regina: It’s a tough for me to hide them now, but when I first met my fiance’s parents, I did cover them. I was afraid they’d be alarmed by my appearance.

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Sam: I can’t cover them anymore. There’d just be big holes all over my face. It looks better when they’re in. People just have to accept me.

Lifehack: Did it hurt? Which one hurt the most?

Regina: Of course it hurt! Have you ever had someone dig a needle into your skin for several hours? The tops of my feet and my rib-cage hurt the worst. It felt like the needle was hitting bones the whole time.

Sam: My nipple piercings were the worst. They hurt so freaking bad! My dermals hurt too. It was totally worth it though.

There’s more than meets the eye with body mods

We enjoyed having Sam and Regina answer our burning questions about body modifications. Our interviewees reminded us that you can’t judge a book by its cover.

More by this author

Sam Aloysius

Self proclaimed chai expert

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Last Updated on September 20, 2018

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

How to Stay Calm and Cool When You Are Extremely Stressful

Being in a hurry all the time drains your energy. Your work and routine life make you feel overwhelmed. Getting caught up in things beyond your control stresses you out…

If you’d like to stay calm and cool in stressful situations, put the following 8 steps into practice:

1. Breathe

The next time you’re faced with a stressful situation that makes you want to hurry, stop what you’re doing for one minute and perform the following steps:

  • Take five deep breaths in and out (your belly should come forward with each inhale).
  • Imagine all that stress leaving your body with each exhale.
  • Smile. Fake it if you have to. It’s pretty hard to stay grumpy with a goofy grin on your face.

Feel free to repeat the above steps every few hours at work or home if you need to.

2. Loosen up

After your breathing session, perform a quick body scan to identify any areas that are tight or tense. Clenched jaw? Rounded shoulders? Anything else that isn’t at ease?

Gently touch or massage any of your body parts that are under tension to encourage total relaxation. It might help to imagine you’re in a place that calms you: a beach, hot tub, or nature trail, for example.

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3. Chew slowly

Slow down at the dinner table if you want to learn to be patient and lose weight. Shoveling your food down as fast as you can is a surefire way to eat more than you need to (and find yourself with a bellyache).

Be a mindful eater who pays attention to the taste, texture, and aroma of every dish. Chew slowly while you try to guess all of the ingredients that were used to prepare your dish.

Chewing slowly will also reduce those dreadful late-night cravings that sneak up on you after work.

4. Let go

Cliche as it sounds, it’s very effective.

The thing that seems like the end of the world right now?

It’s not. Promise.

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Stressing and worrying about the situation you’re in won’t do any good because you’re already in it, so just let it go.

Letting go isn’t easy, so here’s a guide to help you:

21 Things To Do When You Find It Hard To Let Go

5. Enjoy the journey

Focusing on the end result can quickly become exhausting. Chasing a bold, audacious goal that’s going to require a lot of time and patience? Split it into several mini-goals so you’ll have several causes for celebration.

Stop focusing on the negative thoughts. Giving yourself consistent positive feedback will help you grow patience, stay encouraged, and find more joy in the process of achieving your goals.

6. Look at the big picture

The next time you find your stress level skyrocketing, take a deep breath, and ask yourself:

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Will this matter to me…

  • Next week?
  • Next month?
  • Next year?
  • In 10 years?

Hint: No, it won’t.

I bet most of the stuff that stresses you wouldn’t matter the next week, maybe not even the next day.

Stop agonizing over things you can’t control because you’re only hurting yourself.

7. Stop demanding perfection of yourself

You’re not perfect and that’s okay. Show me a person who claims to be perfect and I’ll show you a dirty liar.

Demanding perfection of yourself (or anybody else) will only stress you out because it just isn’t possible.

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8. Practice patience every day

Below are a few easy ways you can practice patience every day, increasing your ability to remain calm and cool in times of stress:

  • The next time you go to the grocery store, get in the longest line.
  • Instead of going through the drive-thru at your bank, go inside.
  • Take a long walk through a secluded park or trail.

Final thoughts

Staying calm in stressful situations is possible, all you need is some daily practice.

Taking deep breaths and eat mindfully are some simple ways to train your brain to be more patient. But changing the way you think of a situation and staying positive are most important in keeping cool whenever you feel overwhelmed and stressful.

Featured photo credit: Brooke Cagle via unsplash.com

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