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Tattoos - an outsider's point of view
There is my boss, clean, shaved, dressed like a professional. And the girl in the back, a sweet young girl, shy, but friendly. Oh, and the teller at the bank, very polite, nice make-up, dressed well. Then I walk to the store - all types of personalities around me - sloppy, older, freaks, neat looking people of all ages. But....wherever I look I am seeing more and more tatoos lurking from under the sleeve, on the ankle, on the neck, shoulder or back (the shirt was a little too short) on the upper chest ( was too wide open). Imagination is left to yourself, where else you might find tattoos.
On TV you see tattoos on celebrities, everybody talks about and there is even a show promoting them. And people are interested, watching it, wanting it and some even go that far that they look like a piece of walking artwork, where it takes you a moment to realize that it is actually a face with eyes that you are looking at. But when did this all start, this craze for tattoos and why? What is it all about? Why does everybody want one? I can only imagine it hurts in addition that it is not cheap. But despite the economy and everybody crying that they don't have enough money - there seems to be enough for tattoos!
I am beginning to feel like a loner in this world, not having a tattoo, yet. But what for? Do I really want the name of my boyfriend or husband on me, just to separate a few years later? Do I want some words under my skin for life, in which I won't believe anymore in a few years? What if I don't like scary pictures in a few years anymore? What if I fall in love and my girlfriend hates my tattoo on my chest, because it is a skull....? What about my little baby boy when he grows older and sees all my weird tattoos? I am wondering about all those things.
It seemed to be more a certain type of people who used to have tattoos, but no more....My boss had one on his ankle, another one had one on her chest. Everybody is sharing their tattoos proudly....but not me, because I have none to share. They show off their new tattoo they just got the day before and talking about another one they want soon and where. And there I am, listening puzzled and startled how people spend so much money on tattoos.
What is it that makes people choose to have tattoos? Is it because everybody has one? Just to be part of society and to be cool, to belong to society? Or is it more? What makes you choose the picture/artwork? I wonder. - I asked a few people and the only answer I got so far is that it is "cool". Does it make you feel different or special to have a tattoo? I don't have all the answers, but it would be interesting to understand the decision behind it what drives people to take the painful procedure to have a tattoo.
Then there are also some health issues, though less severe and if you take good precautions and cleanliness you should be fine overall. Unless you have allergies - and I learned this is one more reason for me to stay away from it - a good reason to explain in 10 years when everybody will ask my why I don't have a tattoo, yet. Reactions to certain metals including nickel might cause a problem, since it is found in many colors. I am reacting to nickel!
I did some research on the history of tattoo and was surprised for how long it goes back. But the original purpose was mostly for "marking" ranks, relationships, codes etc....which relates to me more towards separating people into groups. There was also some of this art done in other cultures worldwide. But it was lesser known to the western world - much more common in tribal communities in form of artwork. Are we rediscovering something that our forefathers used to do? A tradition from our tribal origins?
I see clearly, that it takes some artistic hands to do some of the work and puzzle one picture after another on a body that is already covered here and there. There is some beautiful artwork, but I also feel a sense of distraction whenever I see tattoos and I am personally glad that my partner has no tattoo nor my son - so far and I hope he won't decide to get one. Will he still be my son if he does? Absolutely, but I feel that the human body is complete without any everlasting imprinted artwork. And what if you regret an artwork one day...?
Despite all that....I don't feel a need or urge to have a tattoo myself, but wonder if I will be a rare human body without tattoo in just 10 years from now. When I die one day everybody will stare and my plain body, hardly remembering what a body without tattoos looks like and expose me to the public in a museum? Please don't! I feel complete the way I am without tattoos and I don't think I will ever need one, I don't need to go through all that pain, either.