Body Art

Body Art

Apr 24 2017


Sometimes, you want to be a little different than other people. You want to make a big change. You want a body modification. This means you’re going to use your body as art. Maybe, you’ll try a different hair color. Perhaps, you’ll get a piercing. Or if you want a more expensive commitment, what about some ink?

But there are consequences to body art. It can be painful. You need to take care of it. Other people might judge you for it. Also, if you get a tattoo, you can’t take it back very easily. On the other hand, maybe, you want to someday be an 80-year-old person with a dirty little secret... a colorful tattoo! So, will you get some body art?

Body art is all the rage where Jessica lives. Listen to this English lesson to find out if Andy thinks it’s a good idea for her to get some ink.


Jessica: So, Andy…

Andy_H:  Yeah, Jessica?

Jessica:  I have been thinking about getting some ink. My very good friend is a tattoo artist and she just opened up her own shop. So, I don’t know, I’m weighing the consequences of getting something beautiful on my body.

Andy_H:  What’s stopping you? I mean, tattoos, body piercings are all the rage.

Jessica:  I know, but I can never take it back. I mean, I guess I can do laser removal, one of my friends had a tattoo removed, but I’d be so nervous about hiding it if I had a job interview. People judge sometimes.

Andy_H:  Do you want to know a dirty little secret?

Jessica:  Oh, yeah!

Andy_H:  I used to have a nose ring.

Jessica:  A nose ring?

Andy_H:   A nose ring!

Jessica:  Oh my gosh, that’s a huge body modification! I can’t even believe…

Andy_H:  I got it, actually, to better understand a role that I was doing in a play I loved it! It was so cool. You do have to do some hygiene, make sure that you keep everything clean, and that’s just the price you pay. It looked amazing but I ended up taking it out permanently as a little birthday present for my mom, who hated it.

Jessica:  Wow, that is some commitment to a role. I’m impressed.

Andy_H:  Thank you.

Jessica:  Well, maybe I’ll consider getting a tattoo. If you did a nose piercing, I think I can do a tattoo.


Andy has a dirty little secret. Once, he had a nose piercing. Jessica is shocked! Andy was working as an actor in a play, and he pierced his nose to be more like his character. He doesn’t have the nose piercing anymore. He liked it, but his mom didn’t.

Jessica is thinking about getting her own body modification. She wants some ink. Andy agrees that tattoos are all the rage right now. Can Jessica make such a big commitment? Will people judge her if she gets a tattoo? Jessica isn’t sure. But if Andy was brave, she can be brave, too.

What are the consequences of body art? Do you have any piercings or ink?

Grammar Point

Present Perfect Progressive

Jessica and Andy are talking about body art. Jessica tells Andy, “I have been thinking about getting some ink.” Jessica uses the present perfect progressive tense.

We form the present perfect progressive (sometimes called the “present perfect continuous”) with have/has been + main verb + ing. We use this tense to talk about an on-going action that began in the past, is still in progress, and may continue into the future.

For example, Jessica says, “I have been thinking about getting some ink.” She first thought of getting a tattoo weeks ago, she’s currently thinking of getting one, and unless she gets one or decide not to get one right now, she’ll continue thinking about it.

Which sentence uses the present perfect progressive, “She has waited here for 3 hours,” or, “She has been waiting here for 3 hours”?


  1. What did Jessica’s good friend do?

  2. According to Andy, what’s the price you pay for having a nose piercing?

  3. Information that you don’t usually tell other people is a __.

  4. Which sentence uses the Present Perfect Progressive?

See the full English lesson at English, baby!