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Outrage over 14-year- old's nipple piercing

David Landes · 8 Jul 2009, 16:42

Published: 08 Jul 2009 16:42 GMT+02:00

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“They asked my teenage daughter to pull up her shirt and then they put a metal rod in her nipple,” said the mother of the 14-year-old girl to the Göteborgs Tidningen (GT) newspaper.

“What sort of joker operation is this? […] My daughter’s body hasn’t even finished growing yet.”

The mother’s comments come after her daughter had her nipple pierced at the Salong Pelos piercing studio in Gothenburg.

According to the girl, no one at the establishment inquired about her age on a recent visit to the shop where she paid 400 kronor ($50) to have her nipple pierced.

“I’d heard from friends that it was easy to get pierced at this place,” the girl told the newspaper.

But the owner of Salong Pelos claimed otherwise, claiming he always asks young women seeking to be pierced how old they are.

“We’re not some public agency and are not required to ask for proof of age from young people,” the store owner explained to GT.

While the store owner said he is normally open to discussing disputes with concerned parents, the behaviour of the girl’s irate mother, who claimed “it’s obviously a sex thing to get your nipple pierced”, led him to instead throw her out of the shop.

Sweden’s National Board of Health and Welfare (Socialstyrelsen) classifies piercing and tattooing alongside other body modification procedures such as plastic surgery, recommending that such operations only be carried out on minors who have permission from a legal guardian.

But the recommendations have no legally binding consequences and are not seen as a prohibition against someone under the age of 18-years-old getting pierced, something which Moderate Party Riksdag member Lars-Arne Staxäng would like to see changed.

“I think that anyone under the age of 18 ought to be required to present written permission from their parents before they get pierced,” Staxäng told The Local.

Staxäng previously submitted a parliamentary motion calling for an 18-year-old age limit for tattoos and believes the same reasoning applies when it comes to piercing.

“These procedures are fads that young people may come to regret,” he explained.

“While it’s easier to take out a piercing than to remove a tattoo, there are still a number of health risks involved.”

Story continues below…

Sweden’s Association of Safe Piercing (ASAP), a group of piercers working for awareness of issues of hygiene when it comes to piercing, also supports age limits on piercing.

The group is currently working on legislative proposals which would require parental consent before anyone under the age of 18 could be pierced and also completely prohibits minors from getting their nipples or genitals pierced.

While the group also advocates that no age limit be placed on ear piercings, it proposes that a parent or guardian must be present for anyone under the age of 18 and that other “surface piercings” be restricted to people who are 15-years-old and older.

In each case the young person, as well as the parent or guardian, would be required to show identification confirming their age and guardian relationship.

David Landes (david.landes@thelocal.se)

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Your comments about this article

18:23 July 8, 2009 by ggrocks
By the time I was 14 I had way worse piercings than my nipple. My mother took me in to get my nipple done when I was 14, she knew that if she didn't I'd just do it myself and she knew there was way less health risks getting it done at a clean shop compared to a friend's basement at a slumber party.

I agree with having an age limit on piercings, you should have to be 18 with some piercings (or have a parent or guardian sign for it). The thing that I believe needs to change is the parent's point of view... yes your 14 year old daughter got her nipple pierced, at least she went to a shop and didn't do it herself. Have your children research a piercing before you take them to get it and if they get sick of them they can always take them out.
21:26 July 8, 2009 by berserker
this makes the news ? seriously I agree with ggrocks , " had way worse piercings" If adolescants want to do it they will . Which if it gets outlawed now then they will just do it at home which can much more bodily damages than getting it done in a studio. Seriiously people wake up , get a grip . This isnt 1939.
22:39 July 8, 2009 by voiceofreason
"Start the way you want to continue, and

Continue the way you want to end."

Most adolescents are like goats, sturbbon and foolish. They need disciplined and principled parents to inculcate the right sense into them long before they get to that age when they fail to listen again.

I was my mother's child who taught me the dangers of weed and that was why I could seat with 12 weed smokers and NEVER tried it once.

Fads come and go but our body parts cannot be replaced. What happens if you grow up and don't want them again.
03:33 July 9, 2009 by slickscott
Interesting that the Swedish government has time to consider such inconsequential motions as nipple piercings. Shouldnt they spend their time trying to prop up the Krona's plunging value and making their secondary school system more rigorous like Western Europe?
06:26 July 9, 2009 by hjoian
voice of reason.....if you sat with a bunch of 12 weedsmokers,you wouldnt NEED to actually smoke it yourself!Talk about a passive high!

As for the piercing thing,i dont have any interest in that kind of thing,but i can understand the mother being a bit miffed....normal teenage behaviour i would say.My only thought is how young can you be to walk into a place and have it done..12..10? Ok,ears are one thing,but nipples....
06:34 July 9, 2009 by Harding00
If a person pierces someones nipple who is only 14 years old, can't that be considered child molestation, even if the girl "wanted it."
08:36 July 9, 2009 by Uncle
ggrocks - did your mom buy you weed since you were 13, because otherwise you would smoke crack? Did she bring you sex partners with a note from a doctor because otherwise you would sleep unprotected with every hobo in town? It is sad when parents are submitting to the blackmail of their children. It exposes some grave mistakes earlier in the education. I am sure that the inflammation that you would get in a slumber party would teach you a better lesson.
09:04 July 9, 2009 by Eye_Witness
"Infants can aspirate on the jewelry and the metal of the jewelry can cause trauma to an infant's lips, palate, tongue and gums...." but no compromise on styles...hahahahaha.... what a progress!!!!!!!!
09:17 July 9, 2009 by ooh456
I am constantly amazed by what The Local considers news.
10:31 July 9, 2009 by justanotherexpat
Pictures - or it never happened. (I'm kidding!!!!!!)
11:50 July 9, 2009 by DidiE
Yeah, this probably doesn't seem like an important news story to you, UNLESS you are the mother of a teenage girl, like me. Didi Jr turned 18 yesterday and announced that finally, finally, she didn't need my permission to get a tattoo. She's relatively new to Sweden, and can't speak so much yet, so I had her convinced that nobody could get inked or pierced without their mamma's approval before adulthood. Hope she stays away from this site.

Her brother, Skate Punk, is heavily inked. My favourite of his tats is a small pine shaped one, like the deodorizers you hang up on your rear view window, with the words Sex Freshener underneath. Won't his girlfriend's dad be happy to see that one? He had one of a broken skate board and a broken heart that I liked, but every one else thought it was a broken, erm, male appendage, so he changed it to Big Foot. You can see now why I took a hard line with his younger sister.
12:02 July 9, 2009 by Marc the Texan
This is what happens when you raise your child to rebel against you. Raise your kids to respect your values by becoming a parent and a role model. Don't try to become the peer of your children. The mom can blame herself, for years of following poor parenting theory.
12:25 July 9, 2009 by DidiE
Huh? Are you saying tattoos and piercings are the result of poor parenting? Seriously? Then there must be a huge group of poor parents out there, in every country of the world. Based on two of our nine (three his, five mine, plus my foster daughter), we are 22% bad parents, then.

Naw. I'd say tats and piercings are just self-expression, but I side with this girl's mom, who stated that her daughter's body wasn't finished developing, and that mom's permission should have been sought. I call for age limits for tats and piercings just because the teen age mind can't possibly foresee all the artistic ramifications of a Slipknot 4-Evah tat throughout his or her life. The thoughts and bands you want permanently attached to your body at age 14 are NOT likely to be what you want at age 35 (although a tasteful Mom tattoo is timeless).
12:53 July 9, 2009 by Kieruk
I dont think Marc was sayign all tattoos and piercings mean bad parenting...just when the child goes against the parents wishes and does it anyway.

If the offspring is old enough, or has the parents support, there can obvioulsy be no blame on the parents.
13:13 July 9, 2009 by DidiE
Yeah, you are prolly right in your interpretation. I am always quick to assume that people want to blame parents- trust me, we have far less influence than peers when it comes to tats and piercings. Refer to recent news story of the girl with 69 stars on her face- she only got worried about what her father would say AFTER she did it.

Maybe the way around this is a mandatory two day waiting period from the time you first contact your inker, to the time your tat is done? Wouldn't hurt none, would it?
13:58 July 9, 2009 by 7
i'm not sure i'd agree to an 18year old limit requiring parental permission -certainly not as a law. it would be a nightmare to enforce on all sides.

it seems that many places shy away from inking or piercing younger kids as this place was described as "easy for minors". better to get parents to react and start examining the tax paying practices and other "issues" the shopkeeper might have.

as for "it's better for a person to get pierced in a shop"...why? piercings only require sterilized instruments and hands. it's less painful to go to a shop, but that's about it.
14:10 July 9, 2009 by Kieruk
...how would this be any harder to enforce then the age limit on cigarettes or alcohol?
14:25 July 9, 2009 by Stüpid
Is there anything left? I think sex organs are left. If they are also replaced by different kinds of piercings then nothing to worry about as no area in the body is left.

another piercing to close the two lips.
14:52 July 9, 2009 by 7
one of the reasons that only "light" alcohol is sold outside of the systemet is the difficulty to best enforce that people under the legal age aren't sold alcohol. these are specific products which make up only a part of a shop's products for sale. so if an ID isn't available or there's a reason to not believe in it, it's better to refuse service.

a tattoo/piercing studio has only that. they'd be forced to turn away customers who couldn't produce an "acceptable" ID or run the risk of losing their license, putting too much responsibility and adding too much risk on small businesses.

cigarettes and alcohol are more serious threats to a person's health and need more restrictions. tattoos and piercings are just more "permanent" and objectionable by a parent. not really the same need to "police".
14:59 July 9, 2009 by Roger O. Thornhill
I want to understand the peer pressure dynamic for a 14 year old to do such a thing. Why do some kids succumb and others don't?
15:05 July 9, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
I have to laugh with Didi. There cannot be anything worse than being 40 some years old and walking around with a, "Sex Freshener" tattoo. No need for Ms Didi to hand down any form of punishment. He did that on his own.
16:14 July 9, 2009 by Paulo +fab muscular than Jonnhy
It wasn't a female *vaginal* piercing.
19:00 July 9, 2009 by spy
I'd be pissed off too that someone had altered my child without my permission.

The child and the parents have a right to be protected by the law.
20:54 July 9, 2009 by Uncle
Didie - are you serious? The parents have less influence than the peers? Parents shape the child's character. Their reactions to the child's behavior from when the child is one day old, shape the child's understanding of the world and the difference between acceptable and unacceptable behavior. That is why there is one person in a group of friends, who does not drink and drive. That is why some kids are coming home earlier than others. That is why some kids have sex later than others. That is why some people that hanged in ghettos all their lives, did not commit one crime and strive to help others. The child must have INTERNAL discipline and this is the job of the parent.
21:08 July 9, 2009 by 7
that means when your son is 40 embarrassed by his sex freshener, he gets to blame you rather than his own dumb ass.
21:40 July 9, 2009 by High Priestess Kang - Slut
Good one, 007.
12:02 July 10, 2009 by DidiE
Uncle- there are times in kids' lives where parents have very little influence, particularly when a teen is out in public with peers, all of them lacking common sense. This is why in most Western countries, legal records for juvenile crimes are sealed when people hit adulthood- even the law, stern judge that it is, recognises that kids do stupid shizzle, which mortifies their parents, and that behaviour does change as people mature.

You're sharing your opinion, I'm sharing mine, and in the matter of opinions, there is no way to say I'm right, or you are. I would say that during adolescence, the evidence of peers having more influence than parents is pretty solid- think of all the metal headbangers who have parents who have never heard of the band du jour...
13:17 July 10, 2009 by spy

Having children is easy, bringing them up properly is the hard part.

If one looks hard enough one can always find an excuse to hide behind. . .
14:03 July 10, 2009 by The Opinionator
I'd hate to see my soon to be 13 yr old daughter come home with piercings and/or tats on her body without seeking my parental advice first. I'm all for the age limitations. Most ppl under the age of 20 don't even know how to wipe their own ass yet.
14:06 July 10, 2009 by DidiE
DidiE is the mother of five, plus a long time foster daughter, and step mother to three. Well do I know how hard it is to bring them up properly, and even then, when you've done the very best you can, they will still, each one of them, bless their souls, end up doing something so astonishingly nit-witted that it takes my breath away. I always breathe a sigh of relief once they hit thirty or so- things do seem to start clicking brainwise at that stage in their child development!
18:12 July 10, 2009 by Uncle
Didie - they also like ketchup, although their peers had probably little influence on this preference. Head bangers have political and religious beliefs, personal morals, view of what is right and what is wrong, hopes for the future, job preferences. In short EVERYTHING that makes their head banging hardly 3% of their personality. It is just music preference, while what makes them people - is the responsibility of the parents. Of course when the parents are lazy and do not fill the gaps that their children require - they will turn to whoever is there. It is ALWAYS the parents fault whenever their kids end up in jail or become violent or uneducated persons.
01:32 July 11, 2009 by iamanaccount
Boo hoo. A child is not the property of its parents. Let it do what it wants.
17:47 July 17, 2009 by goerre
Can boys under 14 years of age get their penises and scrotums pierced in Sweden?
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