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Image consciousness

Ways of changing your look

Do you have any friends or family, or do you know anyone who has changed their

appearance, or look, by doing any of the following?

1. Getting a body piercing (getting a navel ring, piercing your tongue, lips, etc.)

2. Getting a tattoo

3. Dying their hair a weird colour

4. Wearing an earring

5. Wearing glasses as a fashion accessory

6. Wearing coloured contact lenses

a) Note down their name or who they are beside the examples above so you

can tell the class about it.

b) Which would you consider doing?

c) Are there any you wouldn’t consider doing? Why not?



Back in the late 18th century, the upper classes were queuing up to get tats.

Nowadays, tattoo trends are often led by celebrities. Tattooed VIPs include Ben

Affleck, Jennifer Aniston, David Beckham and Eminem. Even Barbie (yes, the doll)

had temporary tattoos at one point.

But fashion isn’t the only reason people get a tattoo. For some, it’s a statement

about what kind of person they are or where they’re coming from. Others just love

the way tattoos look or see them as a way of expressing their individuality. If you’re

considering one, here are some essential facts.

Getting a tattoo

• In the UK, you have to be over 18 to get a tattoo. Even with parental

permission, most tattoo artists will refuse you if you’re younger than 18.

• At 18, you might regret something that you did when you were 16, as our

opinions change as we grow older. Think about getting that tattoo – it might

seem like a good idea at the time, but you might end up hating it in 2 years


• Tattoos can cost anything upwards of £10.

• A tattoo is created by injecting ink into the your skin. Some people find

tattoos painful, some describe it as an uncomfortable or weird sensation.

• After you’ve had your tattoo, keep the bandage on for two to 12 hours. Gently

wash it twice a day with an antibacterial soap and pat dry, then use

moisturiser. Keep it uncovered as much as possible, and avoid sunbathing,

swimming, soaking in the bath and exercise until it’s healed.

• Tattoos can be removed using laser surgery. However, this process is

expensive and doesn’t guarantee complete removal – you might be left with

marks or some ink left.

• If you’re not sure, you could try a (temporary) henna tattoo (a mehndi). The

henna mixture is pasted onto the skin and then scraped off, leaving behind a

deep red design. A professional henna artist can create amazing designs that

last several days.