Thousands of years ago, humans tattooed their bodies with runes that were believed to ward off illnesses and evil spirits. After that, the Maori used tattooing to record their life stories on their bodies and symbolise what clan they belonged to – and for every single year of every millennium since, tattooing has continued to be an incredibly traditional art form, used to symbolise lifelong commitments to certain circles, cultures, groups; to express personal values; to remember loved ones; and to personalise the body.
Every day, people alter how they look with body art such as henna, or makeup to accentuate their features and artistically coordinate their outfits. They get piercings to accessorise their bodies and wear personalised outfits which make them feel good. How is tattooing any different? Tattoos don’t change who you are. They don’t change your personality, they don’t change how intelligent you are, it is how people choose to view tattoos that changes their impression of you, and that’s their problem. There are many employers who won’t hire staff because of tattoos, why?! It isn’t unprofessional to have tattoos and piercings, what’s unprofessional is turning down a strong applicant due to superficial traits rather than experience and skills.
One of the obscenest arguments against tattooing is that you’ll regret it when you’re older. How in the hell can anyone predict whether someone else will regret some decision 50 years down the line, and besides, look at this guy, he looks fucking dope:
All right, fair enough, he isn’t that old, and his skin isn’t sagging… but check this out, do you really think that you’re going to care what you look like when you’re 80 years old, walking with a stick, and have a hearing aid? When your skin is sinking you won’t be looking great anyway, tattoos or no. Most people care about what they look like when they are younger, and that may include a love of tattoos, but no one cares how they look when they get to that age.
The truth is that gang culture has ruined tattooing for everyone. Just because a tiny fraction of tattoos are used to symbolise gangs, that doesn’t mean that everyone who gets a tattoo is associating themselves with that lifestyle – the Maori were around way sooner than the cartels were. Criminals also typically come from deprived backgrounds and wear all black – does that mean that every person you see in Castlemilk wearing black should instantly be charged with some crime?
At the end of the day, this social issue is just the same as any other – homosexuality, gender stereotypes, etc. If you don’t like it, then don’t partake in it, and shut the fuck up.