Are Tattoos Taboo?
Yes and No. It depends on the extent, location and your employment. Yes, they are body art, self expression, freedom to do what you want to your own person, but in the end, it is public. Unless it is under clothes, it is meant for public consumption. No different that wearing a T-shirt with something pornish or nasty that becomes the wearer's main attraction, which is intentional.
While most strangers in public will not say a word if it bothers them, some might. That could spark a fight of some sort because both sides have the Freedom of Expression. At the workplace, it is an entirely different issue and this is wear such body art usually must be very limited, if at all. if a business loses customers because its employees have offensive tattoos or body art, the employer can rightly demand it be hidden under clothing. If the employee refuses, maybe they should look for another job.
Tattoos are generational. It was not more than 15-20 years ago, if that, that a person with a tattoo had a negative stigma attached to it. It was viewed as bad, or, the person was trash, a criminal, a low life. So even relatively young adults of 35+ yrs. may have these opinions, and most older adults do. It is really only those under 35 that deem them cool to do and to show off in public is suggestive places. Having tattoos has been adopted by all in Hollywood as a "status" symbol of some sort.
Having tattoos the cover large sections of the body, many consider as disgustingly weird. Also, tattoos may look cool and all when the body and face is young, but when it is old and wrinkly, the coolness is long gone, IMO.
Personally, small tattoos are okay where not seen in public. The stigma attached to a tattoo will always be there.