What I don't get is reactions like
First, we walk in and look for the maps. There aren't any, so I figure that we can look around before going to guest services. Sometimes zoo shops have cute (overpriced) stuff. So I'm looking at some nifty binocular/flashlight/compass thing when these two employees who have not asked me if I needed help, but only talked amongst themselves start looking at me in HORROR or something.
Then they whisper amongst themselves some and the questioning starts.
Girl 1: *pained look on face, points to septum piercing* DID THAT HURTED? (yes, she really said hurted)
Girl 2: IS THAT REAL?
Me: *politely, but quickly* No, it didn't, yes it is
Girl 1: "giggle giggle *points to ears* Are those real? Did it hurt? What is that?"
Girl 2: *mumbles something about a tribe and giggles*
Me: "No, it didn't hurt" *starts looking at stuff that is obviously more interesting than questions I've been asked 100 times*
Girl 1: "Cuz this guy came in before and his were bigger and metal and he said it hurt"
Me: *wondering why they feel the need to ask someone these questions if they've already seen these piercings before* "Well, if it hurt, he was doing it wrong."
At this point, my boyfriend is trying to lure me away. I'm sure that he saw I was turning bright red, and he knows that I get anxiety talking to people I don't know outside of a familiar work environment. I go to look at some mock African instruments they have made, and I can still hear the girls discussing my piercings for a good 10 minutes after I walk away.
Once again, I never got asked if I needed help finding anything, and the girls did ask other people if they wanted help. I was only treated as a spectacle.
I know some people think that when one modifies their body, they are "asking for it", but I do expect some common decency and to be treated as a paying customer too, you know? I could have spent a good amount of money there, my boyfriend too. I considered complaining, but in the end I was too flustered and nervous due to the questioning.