Image by @isswhoiss on Instagram
Image by Kesha via @isswhoiss on her Instagram

With the 2016 Elections creating all uproar on every media platform known to man/woman, we thought we’d put the fun back into media with our very own voting that does not involve Donald Trump, Hillary or Bernie…unless of course, they decide to go get somebody and facial piercings to weigh in out hot topic

In this article, we’ll discuss a hot topic of our own that has been plaguing the body modification industry for ages : at what age can someone make the sound decision for body modifications? At what age should they require consent? Is there such thing as too young, even when parental supervision and consent is provided? Let’s examine…

Photo by @VanessaHudgens on her Instagram
Photo by @VanessaHudgens on her Instagram

Laws and Bylaws

Although each state is governed by their own set of laws and regulations, the general rule for what is considered to be a minor for body modification, including body piercings, tattoos, transdermal implants and branding is considered to be the golden age of 18. Each body piercing studio and tattoo parlor may also have their own subset of limitations on age and consent in conjunction to the state legislature, however, 18 is the age for self-consensual body modification across the board, at least for the United States.

For the state of Florida, those laws also apply. Minor between the ages of 16 and 18 have to obtain consent from a guardian or parent. Most body piercers know that letters of consent can be easily forged, so the consent also requires the presence of the parent or guardian.

Too young? Is there such a thing?

In the state of Florida, the answer is yes. Anyone under the age of 16 is prohibited from obtaining any type of tattoo or body piercing, regardless of whether they have parental or guardian consent. The only circumstances where this would not apply is if the minor under 16 obtained a medical necessity to have the piercing or tattoo. I am not sure what medical condition would call for the requirement of a tattoo or body piercing, but if there is, it is the absolute exception to this law.

If you are a minor or a body modification practitioner, be sure to check your state and city laws for best practices. Staying up to date and following proper guidelines may be boring, but it is absolutely necessary in order to avoid penalties and legal repercussion.

Image by Justin Bieber @justinbieber on his Instagram

Factors to Consider

Are you done growing? Did you know that dental implants are not given to patients until they have finished their growth process? Generally speaking, females tend to finish the growth process a bit sooner than males, for the recommendation for the earliest age to consider dental implants is 15 for females and 17 for males. If these are the medical guidelines for necessary procedures, then should we also consider developmental growth for elective body modifications?
Do you remember you favorite piece of clothing or song or actor from your pre-teen years? Take a moment to look back. Now, ask yourself if you still feel the same way about this pre-teen fave. 9 out of 10 times, our choices have changed over time and the person, place or thing that was was your pre-teen fave may make no sense whatsoever. Are we capable of making sound decisions below the age of 16 that is long lasting?

Image by Willow Smith via @willowsmith on her Instagram


The presents laws certain don’t prevent those who desire a piercing under the age of 16 from actually getting one…or do they?

Remember the controversy with Willow Smith, daughter of Jada Pinkett Smith and Will Smith? Willow posted a photo on her Instagram account when she was just 11 years old with what appeared to be a tongue piercing. The comments, ridicule, and general outrage, mostly from adults was quite negative. Most expressed that she was too young to sport this piercing and that there was no reason for an 11-year-old girl to have a piercing so closely tied to sexual pleasure. Do you agree?


Advice and Alternatives

If you are a minor under the age of 16 reading this article, be weary of body piercers and/or tattoo artists that disregard your age and offer to provide you service anyways. A great body piercer and tattoo artists don’t need a minor’s money to survive and will show integrity by offering alternatives, not bending the rules.

When you turn 16, discuss your desires with your parent or guardian and be honest about why you want a body piercing- sharing your honest reasons, whether it be to help you express your creativity or be more accepted among your friends- they may be able to further understand why you want what you want and willingly help you on your path, remembering a time when they were young. Share with them our article on how to choose a qualified body piercing and the proper aftercare to show that you are willing to do some research and preparation. Choose to be safe over urgent. You can achieve the look of a piercing with non-piercing alternatives, we have an extended Non-Piercing Idea Book below to get your inspired express your style while being safe and following guidelines and laws designed to protect your best interests.

Non-Piercing Idea Book