That's my ear shortly after getting two additional piercings back in 2011.
Being under the age of 18, I had to have a parent signature to even get the extra holes. My little sister was shocked that both of my parents agreed to let me do it. I had to pay for it, but they "gave me their blessing" by signing the permission slip.
After about 10 months of having the extra piercings, I decided I was done with them. I took the extra earrings out and did not put them back in for over two years.
You see, I realized after about 10 month that I fell into The Trap. The "Body Modification" Trap.
It's not a new trap. It's been around for thousands of years, actually. Many cultures have promoted it in different ways. Many different tribes do piercings or tattoos. Egyptians wore heavy amounts of make-up. European women wore corsets and wigs.
We've done some crazy stuff to our bodies over the centuries.
All of the ancient practices (and more) have taken root in America. Not just piercings, hair coloring, and tattoos, but also liposuction and plastic surgery are popular in our nation. 14.6 million cosmetic surgeries were performed in 2012.
I fell into The Trap once again this past summer. Since my job did not have any hair color requirements, I decided to color some of my hair purple. I had partially purple hair for about five months.
I loved the attention that both of these changes -- the ear piercings and the hair color -- gave me. It was fun to post pics on Facebook or Instagram and enjoy the compliments, hearts, and likes. It was also great when people realized the change in person and exclaim, "Oh my gosh! I didn't know you had ______! How cute!"
But then it was over. The compliments died down. And then what's left?
If I wanted to keep getting compliments, I'd have to do something else. Another hair color. Another piercing. Another change to my body.
Maybe that's why some girls end up with an ear looking like this:
Image found here.
Now, I will be the first to admit: these earrings are pretty. Her ear looks chic and trendy. I kinda wish my ear looked like this.
But what's the motivation for putting five or six extra holes in my ear?
Attention. Satisfaction. Love. Acceptance. Uniqueness. Rebellion. (click to tweet)
The list could go on.
Please don't hear me wrong. I'm not saying piercings, tattoos, hair color, or plastic surgery are sins. They aren't morally wrong. But the motivation for having them could be. We make ourselves an idol wanting praise when we make changes to our body in hopes of the attention it will bring. Yes, it feels great to receive compliments. We all love it. But is our worth measured by the compliments we receive? I hope not, or I'm afraid none of us would be worth much at all.
Rather, we should find our value in the value that we give others. Instead of asking "How do I look?", we should be asking "How do I live?".
It's not about what our body looks like but rather what we do with the body we have. Will we use it to aesthetically please others, or serve others? To fish for compliments, or build other people up? Should we try to change the outside, or focus on the inside?
I'm breaking away. I'm saying no more to The Trap. (click to tweet)
What about you?