when you see parents with visible peircings/tattoos?

do you tend to stereotype them as being less than exceptional people and role models to their kids? i am a 24 year old mother of two, and 6 months pregnant with our third. I have noticed when we are out and about some people-especially the older generation- shoot dirty looks at me or make it a point to avoid eye contact and it makes me feel a little awkward, i can feel that they are judging my parenting based on my looks. i dont take it to the extremes, but i do have an eyebrow piercing (tongue also, but its not immediately noticeable) as well as a tattoo on my left forearm that extends from my wrist to the bend of my elbow. while pushing a double stroller containing my two boys, the tattoo is definately obvious and i get alot of compliments but i also get alot of nasty looks or shakes of the head in disapproval. the looks/head shakes get worse when my kids happen to be acting up in public, like its my fault my kids are babies and they arent always going to be happy in public,its just not gonna happen! so just for the sake of conversation, when you see a parent out with their kids and the parents have visible tattoos or peircings, do you (intentionally or subconsciously) judge them and their parenting based on their looks? example:: there is a "grungy" looking father with ripped jeans, a band tshirt, tattoos, and long hair... do you immediately think he is a bum or a drug addict dad?

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19 Comments: Trackback URL | Comments RSS

  1. Ashley ?Aislings Mum? {09.25.08} Says:

    Well, I am a parent with visible piercings (I have 4 on my face and 1 in my tragus) and non-visible tattoos (unless I’m wearing a spaghetti strap shirt, then one is visible).

    So no, I don’t judge parents like that when I see them. I just assume that, like me, they happen to like piercings and tattoos.

  2. momma snell Says:

    Nope. My husband has 13 awesome tattoos, each one means something. He has “All Gave Some” on one forearm and “Some Gave All” on the other. He also has our daughter’s name in cursive…among others. I have two tattoos, I’d like at least one more (a family tree) and I’m a sunday school teacher and a Bible study leader…I don’t think it’d be wise to put people into a little box for something like tattoos.

  3. Ever Says:

    Yes, the majority will always be that way because that is our society, our grandparents etc… teach us. You look at some people with tattoos and piercings and you think that they are not serious people but that doesn’t matter, what matters is that people will get to know and see how a great mother you are. What matters also are your kids, if you treat them well and they are happy with you then don’t bother with ignorant people. People not only are that way with piercings and tattoos, they are that way with teen pregnancy, black people etc… Just be yourself, be happy and treat your family well.
    Congratulations with your baby! =)

  4. Baby Leah Says:

    I understand I do feel like sometimes most of the older more proper parents judge me, but the younger ones don’t really care.

    I try not judge people based on what type of tattoos they have because I do believe tattoos are personal

    I have three tattoos (only two are visible)

    I have a tattoo on my left hand in between my thumb and my wrist that says dreamer.
    I got it because I did what I dreamed about doing with my life not what other people wanted for me.

    I have one going down my right forearm that says Laugh now cry later
    i got this in memory of a friend of mine who committed suicide

    And one on my right hip that says Baby K
    Reminds me of my childhood cause thats what I used to be called when I was little
    Cause my full name is Baby Katheryn Leah

  5. Vicki Says:

    I would never judge someone for that. I don’t have facial piercings anymore, and my tattoo isn’t visible, but i find my partner gets judged a lot. He’s a tall, broad guy, with the long hair, beard, and tattoos up both arms, and there’s been a fair few times went we’ve been out and having to talk to more “official” people, where they immediately think we’re living on benefits because of how we look (i’m 24, but look more like 18 too which doesn’t help). They always seem surprised that he is able to provide for us. That offends me more than looks from other people on the street, because should at least hide the fact they are judging you.

  6. Londron Says:

    I don’t stereotype nor generalize because 80% of the time those generalizations are wrong.

    I would probably ask what his tattoos and such mean to him. I mean they can mean something for a son that has died. For the deity he worships or on the other hand. It can be from a gang.

    You don’t judge a book by it’s cover applies surprisingly well here.

    Don’t got any of that now but I might get a yin/yang tattoo one day simply because it fits with my philosophy of life.

  7. Ms. Yenta Says:

    it’s their body

  8. .hor. It's -still- home, folks. Says:

    Both my husband and I have visible tattoos. We both have facial piercings and stretched lobes. Half of my head is currently shaved, he has long hair and a beard. Our style could easily be described as grungy…with a tinge of earthy thrown in. If people want to think that we suck because of how we look, let’em go, whatever. I can’t personally see how appearances, something like a septum piercing or whatever, could be a deciding factor in whether a man is a good dad or an addicted slack-off. We live in a neighborhood of very like-minded people, so I don’t feel judged by my appearance, and when we’re in a more ‘mainstream’ neighborhood or area, I just don’t pay much attention to the walking j.crew ads who think that my cargos should be replaced with a pencil skirt. Oh well.

    Do I see parents with tats and piercings and automatically think ‘SLAG!’? No. But, as humans will do, I do sometimes find myself judging others based on appearance, and then I catch myself, tell myself to shut the fukc up, and remember that appearance tells me very little except the sort of clothes a person prefers.

  9. ??яazy diamo?d? Says:

    wow, that must really suck.. I have tattoos but they are not obvious and I can’t imagine being judged for them, as for me, I would not jugde a mom by her tattoos.. Now.. if in addition to the tattoos she looks trashy, slutty, angry.. I might make an assumption (hey, who doesn’t?) but it wouldn’t be because of the tattoos..

    Oh and for the guy, no, not at all.. I know tattoos and a grunge look don’t mean anything.. You don’t know someone by looking at them.. ever.. Honestly, I’d be checking him out, lol.

  10. Alyson M Says:

    I get where you are coming from.

    I have no tatts, but I do have visible percings and I’m Goth. (so clearly i sacrifice my child to Satan!)
    I always get comments and dirty looks. I had a teacher really be rude she was no to school and decided I was a terrible parent when she met me and chewed me out because my son tried to drink water in class and had also soiled himself one day. She hadn’t read his medical file which shows he has a registered disability and needs extra bathroom breaks and water .. so I took her down a peg or two.

    I don’t judge on appearance I jusdge on how someone raises the child.I get looks cos I turn up to parents night and Scout jamboree in goth gear, with pirercings and scarlet red hair.. but i apparently als0 make the bestest cupcakes on bake sale day so neh neh neh neh neh

    People are afraid of what they misunderstand just keep being you

  11. Milania calls me Mama Says:

    I mean in all honesty, when I see someone covered in thinkgs like that, with children, it makes me wonder. I just dont really understand why anyone would do such a thing to themselves. So yeah, people do think things like that. Does it make them right or wrong? No! Thoughts are thoughts and people will always judge other people based on their appearance because an appearance is the first impression. I wouldn’t even think so much as the tattoos are what gets the looks as more of the facial piercings. Ears are common but many (not all) facial peircings make a person look trashy.

  12. Michelle Almog Says:

    No. I tend to think they are raising their kids with different family values than mine. That doesnt make those values better or worse, just different

  13. Melyssa Says:

    it depends on their tattoos and piercings. If their face looks like a pincushion then I might look once or twice. Now I wouldnt automatically assume that it was an incompetant or bad or inappropriate parent, I would just look once or twice as I dont personally find piercings attractive.
    Theres a guy who I see quite a lot actually at the library, park etc. I have never really talked to him too much other than hi etc but he has several piercings, many visible tattoos ( even with a longsleeve shirt) and he has about 5 y old daughter. he seems to be one of the funniest and caring dads that I have seen around. hes actually playing with his kid, not just standing around bored.
    My husband has several tattoos and hes not done yet. Hes tattoos dont define his parenting skills. hes the same guy with or without them. I cant say I have never judged someone by the way they look but I try not to. And you can usually tell if someone is just grungy or a bum and a druggie. They just dont look healthy anymore once they have been on the drugs for a while.. a grungy person usually looks just fine once you catch a glimpse of their face under that hair lol

  14. jane collective Says:

    I think ” how original. NOT”

  15. Okie mama Says:


    I have friends who are covered in tattoos and have facial piercings, and they are good parents and good people in general. I’ve always been under the impression that having visible tattoos and piercings makes it harder to get a job, but I don’t automatically think they are bums or drug addicts.

  16. ?c?г?ѕ Says:

    Nope. It’s the norm around this way.

  17. Hayley Says:

    You must live in a Desperate Housewives neighborhood…
    My husband has a lot of tattoos and nobody has ever said anything to him or looked at him badly when hes with the kids.
    While tattoos and piercings aren’t really my thing I don’t judge people for them obviously.

  18. Tired and Cranky Says:

    well, i am 24 with a 3.5 year old, a 2.5 year old, and 4 months pregnant. i don’t have anything but my ears pierced but I do have tattoos, visible (especially in summer). I, like you, get strange looks and disapproving remarks often like my tattoos are any sign of parenting (seriously people get a clue!)
    anyway personally i do not judge people who have piercings or tattoos because I do not think those particular things are what makes a parent. now if the child is horrible and the parent doesn’t care or if the kids do not look like they are cared for, then I would make a judgment. but NOT over tattoos and piercings. i think people are just close minded, especially the older generation.
    one time i had an older lady actually come up to me in a grocery store and tell me that I should be ashamed of having children while i have tattoos (and all mine are tasteful, not vulgar, and can be covered if need be). some people are just stupid. anyway, i turned around to the old lady and asked her if she had children. she told me yes and I said well aren’t you ashamed of raising children when you are so closeminded and rude youself?

  19. KMS Says:

    Nope. I judge the parents that look stuck up!!

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