Debate on Body Piercings

Debate on Body Piercings September 28, 2016


Photograph by Sara Marx, from Leipzig, Germany (4-7-07) [Wikimedia Commons Creative Commons Attribution 2.0 Generic license]


This took place on my public Facebook page, with a meme that I put up. It stated: “Lip rings do not make you more attractive. They make you look like a fish that got away.” Someone (just one person on the thread) quickly objected to that. Her words will be in blue.


Being a jerk does not make you look good. It makes you look like a self righteous moron with nothing better to do with your time than to point out things that are literally none of your business…. if you don’t like the look of a lip ring don’t get one… funny how that works, without need of putting down those that have one.

I agree! Being a jerk does not make you look good. It makes you look like a defensive, hyper-sensitive, thin-skinned person with nothing better to do with your time than object to the free speech rights of someone else to express their objection to something that you like.

If you don’t like my right to express my opinion, then don’t read it. I don’t agree with your opinion, either, but I’m happy to host it here, and to host your blast against me. Funny how no one can disagree with anyone anymore without it being taken personally. No need to put down someone who dares to disagree with your opinion.

You have the perfect right to think it is attractive and to do that. We have the perfect right to think it is unattractive. Sorry, but that’s the nature of reality.

So calling someone an animal is perfectly fine but calling out that fact isn’t? …and a “proper” nose ring? Is that to be worn with “proper” clothing? As chosen by my husband I presume?

So calling someone a “self righteous moron” is perfectly fine but calling out that fact and upholding free speech and the “right” of folks to object on one’s Facebook page isn’t?

Better than calling someone an animal for an aesthetic choice… I called you a moron for being unattractive on the inside… you know where it actually matters.

It wasn’t calling someone an animal. It was a tongue-in-cheek humorous observation (“look like a fish”). We understand that you don’t care for the humor or the opinion. That’s your right, just as it is mine to express my opinion through the meme.

Sense of humor is about as extinct today as tolerance is.

I’m glad you brought up the question of “aesthetic choice.” Aesthetics is, of course, a very subjective thing. If you think these piercings are attractive, on an aesthetic basis, by the same token, another person can have the opposite opinion, just as there are some who love the music of Wagner (yours truly) and others who detest it with equal vigor.

You don’t know what I am like on the inside. That is a judgment of my heart, which is definitely condemned in Scripture as very wrong.

I made an aesthetic judgment, which is perfectly acceptable, precisely because it is subjective by nature. You judged my heart and claimed that I “look like a self righteous moron.” I think Christians and other fair-minded individuals can grasp the huge difference there.

See the article, “Aesthetic Judgment” from the Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy. Excerpt (my italics):

The first necessary condition of a judgment of taste is that it is essentially subjective. What this means is that the judgment of taste is based on a feeling of pleasure or displeasure. It is this that distinguishes a judgment of taste from an empirical judgment. Central examples of judgments of taste are judgments of beauty and ugliness. (Judgments of taste can be about art or nature.)

Granted, you did say that I look like a self righteous moron” so it was qualified a bit on your end, too (though you didn’t qualify “jerk”).

The difference is that my observation is a humorous one about aesthetics, whereas yours is dead serious and uttered with seeming contempt (you are free to deny that in fact you do not feel contempt towards me as a person).

I have no contempt towards you as person but rather that people believe they can judge someone based on a small piece of metal in their lip…. there is no reason for it…. tongue and cheek or not.. it would be considered obscene if someone said such a thing about grey hair or a ponytail…. but go ahead and pick on a piercing .. it’s down right tiring and heaven forbid anyone speak up on behalf of those with piercings or tatoos ….. not like we are “good citizens” or anything.

Again, you are incorrect in stating that I have judged you. I have no opinion about you at all, except for that you seem overly sensitive (based directly on how you are acting here). I only made a judgment on the piercings, as unattractive.

This gets back to my earlier point about so many people today taking any criticism personally. Everything is personal. Something you do, that others may disagree with, is not you. You do the thing, or have the opinion, etc. There is a distinction between you and the thing.

I don’t care if anyone pokes fun at grey hair (which I have) or a bald head (which I do not). People have been doing so for centuries, and it is understood as humor, having to do with aging, just as there are plenty of jokes about beer bellies or wrinkles or sagging so-and-so’s. The healthy thing is to laugh about it, and engage in self-deprecating humor, because all of us will experience one or more of these things as we get older. But those are natural things, and the process of aging, whereas piercings are not (so it’s not a particularly relevant analogy).

You are free to make your aesthetic argument for piercings, just as I am to make arguments against it. I have, in fact, engaged in extensive prior debate about tattoos. I didn’t judge those people who took the other side in that debate, either. I simply disagreed with them. That’s how subjective arguments about the aesthetics of beauty are, by nature. Folks disagree.

Or is it your opinion that no one could possibly disagree with the notion that piercings are beautiful? All must agree with you, on pain of being called a “self righteous moron” if they do not?

Judging someone’s soul is not a mere joke about aesthetics, but what you wrote about the “drug dealer downstairs” on your Facebook page ten days ago, ending with this gem: “I also would like you to know there is a very special circle in hell for people like you.”

That is judgment, big-time. Mere opinions about body piercings are aesthetic opinions: by nature subjective, and thus, inevitably matters of perfectly legitimate differences of opinion.

I can see how the meme would offend someone, but I can’t see how all this follows that you claim follows, based on the posting of it.


Meta Description: Can one personally dislike body piercings? I say yes; my opponent seems to think that one cannot do so without being a “jerk” etc.

Meta Keywords: body piercings, piercings, tattoos, aesthetics, aesthetic judgment, artistic judgment, beauty, beautiful, free speech, subjectivism, sensitivity, personal opinions, thin-skinned, hyper-sensitivity, postmodernism

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