Let the flames begin…

This may not apply to everyone, but I figure it still needs to be said. It’s going to be very personal to me, but I’d like you all to read it, as I’m sure this has happened to everyone at one point or another, in some form.

If this sounds like a rant, it kind of is.

I’ve been called all sorts of names over my years in the body mod community. Stuck up, arrogant, know it all, bitchy, pretentious, among others that I should leave out of this polite conversation. I try not to let it get to me, but sometimes, that hurts more than mean comments on my mods themselves.

I like to think I know what I’m talking about. I would never give anyone bad information or bad advice, I go out of my way to know the proper ways and terms so when people do ask for help, I can help the best I can. That was really my entire motivation behind this blog, to share my knowledge and experience with people who ask for it. I’ve been there, I’ve done most things, and I’ve learned quite a bit from it. I would have LOVED someone like me around to tell me good and bad things when I was new to the body modification community. I didn’t, so now I’m trying to do for others what wasn’t done for me, to make the world a better place.

But many times this seems to backfire on me. Someone will ask for advice, I give it, and then they spit in my face. You asked me why your piercings were infected when you had your friend pierce you in their bedroom, you let your friends touch them with their dirty hands, and then you “clean” them with alcohol. I instruct you on the reasons why it’s infected and ways to help, and then you tell me “What do YOU know? You’re just stuck up, you’re no professional! Why should I listen to you?!”

You just ASKED ME FOR HELP. I assume you asked me because you wanted my thoughts and suggestions on what should be done. I gave them to you. Why get mad at me when I tell you what you’ve done is wrong? If you had known the right way, you wouldn’t be asking for help. Do you get mad at your mechanic when he tells you you’ve been using the wrong oil in your car, because you listened to your untrained and uneducated friend instead of talking to a mechanic? No, you take his advice and get your car fixed based on what he says. Do you talk back to your doctor when he tells you that if you had washed your hands all the time in the winter, you probably wouldn’t have caught the flu? No, you take his advice and wash your hands before touching your nose, mouth, eyes and face and you take the medicine he gives you.

I may not be a professional, but I like to think that I’m at least getting there as far as knowledge is concerned. I’ve gone over in a previous post why I’m not a professional tattoo artist or piercer, and I won’t do it again here. You can go back and read that if you’d like to know. I also like to think that people ask me for help and advice because they at least think, if not know, that I’ll give good advice and guidance and not lead them into more destructive habits, ways, or information. Excuse me if I’m wrong here.

When in conversations about body modification, I’m often singled out as being the only “serious” one, because I do take it very seriously. I know when to joke, I know how to recognize sarcasm and facetiousness, and I know when to not be so serious. But just because I don’t feel like joking at the time, doesn’t mean I’m stuck up and “can’t loosen up”. It just means I don’t feel like playing along with the joke. There’s nothing wrong with that, at least I think so.

I don’t try to come off as stuck up, and if I do, I’m sorry. I didn’t realize that knowing what I’m talking about makes me stuck up. Or that when people ask for help and I don’t validate their bad practices that it makes me a bitch. Does that mean I’m going to stop? Probably not, because the majority of people honestly want the help they’ve asked for. But like all other forms of negativity, the bad ones overshadow the good.

Like I said, it’s hard to not let this sort of negativity get to me. But it does suck. I offer help when it’s asked for, there is nothing wrong with that. I don’t walk up to people on the street and say “That’s a crappy tattoo, here’s my blog, with how to recognize a good tattooist from a bad one.” I don’t point to people’s piercings and say “That’s incredibly infected. You probably let your boyfriend stab your face with a rusty needle, huh? You’re stupid, and I’m the best, here’s how you can fix it.” I don’t do that AT ALL, but that’s how people seem to be receiving my help, even when they ASK FOR IT. If you didn’t want to hear better ways to take care of your piercings and tattoos, then why did you ask for better ways to take care of your piercings and tattoos?

If we’re having a conversation about body modifications, in any way, and you don’t like what I have to say, don’t jump down my throat about it. I expressed my feelings and opinions on the subject, just like everyone in the conversation is doing, so why are my feelings somehow “less” or “not as relevant” as someone else’s? That’s not fair.

I shouldn’t have to say all this, but apparently I do. It’s one of my biggest pet peeves at the moment. It’s so frustrating that all I’m trying to do is HELP. I’m not trying to talk down to anyone, I’m not trying to make anyone feel stupid or dumb or anything, I’m just trying to offer advice and help and all I get in return is negative responses and name-calling. I really am sorry if I come off as anything but helpful, but that’s not my intention at all. You really have to see it from my end as well.

Imagine that your friend has asks you what you think of their new dress. You don’t like it, so you say something like “I don’t like sleeveless styles or that many frills. And you really shouldn’t be wearing something that short to a very formal dinner with your new boyfriend and his parents, it’s a little inappropriate. Maybe if you got something a little less colorful, a little less flamboyant, maybe a little more modest but still pretty and cute?” Then your friend starts going off “I don’t care what YOU think! I got it for myself only! Screw you and your thoughts. Who asked you anyway, you’re no fashion professional! Why don’t you go screw off, you uptight loser!” It’s the same thing with me and body mod conversations.

I don’t give validation very well. I don’t think it’s helpful to any situation at all. If I agree with what you’re doing, I’ll tell you. But if I don’t, then I’ll tell you that, too. Never forget that YOU ASKED FOR MY THOUGHTS on something , if you didn’t actually want to hear what I thought, then why did you ask in the first place? If you ask for opinions, for thoughts, for advice or for guidance, do not spit in the face of the person offering those thoughts and advice. People are less likely to help you in the future if they know you’re not going to be receptive to anything they have to say anyway.


1 Comment (+add yours?)

  1. Stephanie Guillory
    Jul 15, 2011 @ 13:12:10

    I just read your whole blog (not just this post but the whole thing). First I want to thank you for all the information. It was very helpful, informative, and professional (though I know you technically aren’t one). It was a lot of information but condense enough that it really sticks.

    Second, a comment on this post specifically. I’m sorry human’s can suck so badly sometimes. I definitely know how you feel about people spazzing about getting answers they don’t like while asking for help (not about mods but it’s the same general idea). Thank you for powering through the negative and helping others to reach their dream mods in healthy ways. Without your and similar minded people’s help I couldn’t be working toward the “true” me as I am now! So thank you. ❤


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