Tattoos are age-old techniques of self expression that have been used in many cultures over the course of literally THOUSANDS of years! Here in the good ol’ US of A, tattoos were taboo just as early as a decade ago: if you had one, you were a ‘rebel’ or a ‘bad ass biker,’ or an old sailor. People who wore tattoos were treated differently by society because it was believed that only those with a lesser moral standing would get them.
Nowadays, it’s a completely different scene!
So all of my readers know, I am a professional tattoo artist! I’ve been tattooing for about three years, and I also did a two-year apprenticeship (the equivalent of an unpaid internship, for those not in a trade industry), and I work in Colorado. It’s an extremely fun job, and I’ve tattooed an enormous variety of clients, from 18-year old girls looking to get that first tattoo of a butterfly or flower on their ankle, to the stereotypical bad ass bikers with their skulls and flames, to even customers aged 60+ who are either adding to their collection or getting a tattoo for the first time! They are also a great way to remember a lost loved one, to show pride as a parent, or to pay homage to one’s favorite hobbies. I see more and more of them wherever I go! I went in to the gas station near my house the other day to buy a beverage, and to my surprise, the cashier didn’t only have tattoos on her forearms, she also had a butterfly on the side of her hand! Years ago, you would be extremely hard-pressed to find such an employee of any business that wasn’t a tattoo shop.
Above is one of my recent tattoos! Surprisingly, this one was done on a petite, adorable young lady in a flowing striped skirt, and she was 20 years old and only had one other tattoo. The flowers, pink shading, and lace butterfly and spider webs definitely add femininity to it, but you’d never guess by looking at her right away that she would wear such a bad ass design (not to toot my own horn, but I really enjoyed drawing this)!
As liberal as we’ve somewhat become over the past half a century or so with our social tendencies, not everyone is as fond of tattoos as I am, and the people who wear them still get a bad rep from time to time. Some have religious objections to them (i.e. your body is a temple, given to you by God the way that it is for a reason). Some people just believe that art belongs on walls, not on your body, and to those, even a tattoo that is a work of art, comparable and even better than some art hanging on canvasses, no tattoo is a ‘good tattoo’ and they aren’t recognized as a serious art form. Unfortunately, many are still discriminate, due to their perceived morality of those that get tattoos, believing that the wearer(s) are less intelligent, less likely to succeed, less kind, worse parents, etc. It’s very similar to discrimination against people who are gay, male or female, fat or skinny, with one major difference: the decision to get tattoos is a conscious decision.
Personally, I love to see the types of designs that people choose to get, how much they choose to spend on them, and whether or not they put care into the planning portion of getting a tattoo. It says a lot about an individual’s personality and their ability to freely express themselves without the fear of what society believes about them! And that my friends, is awesome. And yeah, I’m probably biased, but I believe that to judge a person for their choices is narrow-minded and conceited: what makes you so better than me that you can decide whether or not the way I live is right or wrong?
What do you think? If you have tattoos, do you believe that people treat you differently because of them? Do you regret them for this reason or for any other? If you don’t have tattoos, do you dislike them or people who choose to get them? Why or why not?
(P.S.: If you want to see more of my tattoos, feel free to visit my website! www.wix.com/atomikcupcake/Tattoos)