My daughter is 15 years old (16 in August) and wants a piercing job below her lip to add to the nose ring and earrings. The place that did her nose job now say that she must be 16 years old. Apparently between 16 and 18 she would need parental consent.
The peer pressure for piercing (not to mention tattoos) is immense and the application of legal guidelines ( at least here in Italy) seems very loose.
There are no shortage of my daughter’s friends, below 16, who already have holes in various parts of their face and one is even planning a nipple piercing – I have no doubt he will find a place which will do this no questions asked.
We had a big battle over the nose which, it now seems, was actually done illegally. The risk of infection is one of the worries but also making irreversible changes to the body (particularly the face) is something we are concerned about. Obviously to a rabid teenager who knows EVERYTHING, we are outdated, ill-informed squares who know nothing.
Parenting is a constant battle and piercing/tattooing is one area where fashion trends have escalated so rapidly that legal and ethical arguments are finding it hard to keep up.