Friday, April 13, 2007

Tattoo Culture

In the Don Imus flap, one thing that seems to have escaped everyone is the fact that he referenced that some of the Rutgers women's basketball team members had tattoos. Then, as Paul Harvey/Fred Thompson might say, you know the rest of the story.
I think that the real issue should be the fact that young women as well as young men feel that it is cool to have a body full of tattoos and even piercings.
The truth is that tattoos and piercings are disgusting and show that these predominantly young people really do not care about their bodies.
The reason I have such a harsh view about this so-called body art is for one thing, most of it is not art. It is intentionally putting a design on a part of the body to have people look at you. Why then do men have tattoos all up and down their arms and legs? Or young girls who put tattoos on their backs right above the butt crack and wear tops that expose it? Or on their legs and even now a days, their feet? Men seem to put piercings everywhere, but women have special spots. Most predominate these days is the belly button. So, a young girl can have a two-for-0ne, a belly button piercing and that goes with the tattoo right above the butt crack.
Clearly, tattoos and piercings are a sign of immaturity. It shows a lack of self control which is rampant in the modern culture. It is also a sign of young people wanting to draw attention to themselves and then crying when someone does, particularly young girls that are ogled by young boys.
All that is true. But where does this come from?
When I was growing up not to long ago, there were several signs that were, rightfully, negative about tatts and piercings:
* Tattoos were usually on criminals or gangbangers.
* Tattoos were also on members who served in the armed forces, got drunk and many years later wish they never had gotten it or them in the first place.
* Tattoos were usually on people who were in the lower echelons of society.
Now I know that the last one is a harsh assessment, but it is accurate.
Now, if a young person DOES NOT have a tatt or a variety of piercings, they are seen as outcasts.
One of the reasons that young people will offer as to why they got the tatt or piercings in the first place is free and self expression. Well, once a slew of people do the same thing, it is no longer free and self expression but a matter of trying to fit in.
I also admit, I do not look at someone with a tatt or slew of piercings in a positive light. Usually they are tough and angry looking. Not all, but many.
One positive thing that happened recently is the Marines now have guidelines as to how far a tatt can go. There was some criticism, but they are right. The Marines have standards and this is where they apply them and if you don't like it, then you should not have joined in the first place.
That leads to employment. If a company has a certain dress code, what if they say no tatts or piercings can be showing? That is and should be their right. But of course, activists would say that there should be no standards in the first place. Some business, like being a lawyer or doctor require and certain look. Having your lawyer come to see you in a slew of tatts and piercings may make you think twice. And, you should.
Parents, the religious community and others must impress on young people to treat their bodies with respect. They will then treat others with respect and there may not be as much hostility between young and old.
Maybe this can be talked about and that would be a good thing about the side story of the Don Imus controversy.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

such a blind little sheep. how sad