Of Ink and small mindedness

Sunday, 22 September 2013

To those that follow me on Twitter it will come as no surprise that I recently added to my ever increasing, albeit slowly, collection of tattoos.  Sorry Dad. Sorry God.

There seems to be such a divide in attitudes to tattoos, take my parents for instance they find them utterly abhorrent.  When getting my sixth The Father implored to The Mother 'Well?! what are you going to do about it?!' to which she replied resignedly '[The Father], she's in her thirties and besides, she's bigger than me...what do you expect me to do?'  Do you see what I have to deal with?  They have yet to have the pleasure of seeing number seven, yet.  I find it terribly irksome when those who are anti-tattoo's seem intent on preaching about their utter disgust of them to those with them yet I know not of a single inked person who tries to convert and admonish those against them.  I don't expect everybody for one moment to appreciate and like tattoos yet what gives them the right to openly criticise them?  It reeks of self-righteousness and is reminiscent of street preachers desperate to convert you.  If one is so convinced by their belief and choices and confident within it why feel the need to have everyone agree with you?  Is your own opinion that fickle and weak?

Body modification is such a personal thing, believe it or not the majority of us don't do it to irk society or sleight their parents.  It's a form of self expression when one can claim their body, their skin, as their own.  It's empowering.  Even amongst those with ink one persons beauty is another's ugliness with the spectrum of the inked ranging from those with the small subtle hidden fashionable flash designs to those with what can only be described as works of art, from the obvious to the obscure.  It's not always about making a statement or a visible rebellion, often it runs deeper than that with many tattoos embodying and representing meaningful events and feelings.

It's no longer reserved for criminals and tantrumming teenagers with the likes of professionals and  respected individuals within social power sporting them too.  So that old adage of 'you'll never get a decent job with those' is not only grossly outdated but also utterly incorrect.

Tattoos hurt.  Yes, really.  Some more than others granted yet to those with more than one they must be invested in it to get them.  So people saying 'yes, but what will you look like when you're older?!' is a mute point.  Few people get multiple tattoos merely on a whim, it is insulting to assume we neither think about them nor understand their longevity.  Nobody is terrifically pretty when old, we all have bits that go south, we all wrinkle and resemble crepe paper, we all sprout hairs in places we really shouldn't and lose hair in the places we'd quite like to keep it.  Tattoo's aren't a fashionable accessory they're an extension of self; an exhibit of our soul.  A pictorial autobiography of our soul.  Each one tell a story or represents ourselves at a point in time.  To regret it all would be to regret oneself; to regret life.  So what? we'll look old and tattooed, others will be old and fat or old and stooped or old and hairy.  The Mother In Law only started getting tattoos a few years ago, small token tattoos that she loves, is she going to regret them? No.  She's had a lifetime to contemplate them.

Being tattooed doesn't maker you less of a person or a substandard member of society.  It is neither a reflection of your morals, ability nor intelligence.

Most of all it's not a reflection of you.  They're neither for you nor about you.  Taking them as a personal sleight is merely a sign or your own arrogance and egocentricity. If you don't like them that's fine, really it is, you don't have to get any.  You don't have to like them yet you have no right to judge them or worse, the person beneath them.  Tattoos on others have no affect on your life.  One day, the person who saves your life, may have tattoos.  Bare that in mind.....


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