Tattooing: The Expression Of Individuality And The Significance That It Brings

1208 words - 5 pages

Tattooing is a well-known art that is controversially looked upon as an ancient tribal ritual that should no longer be practised in today's contemporary civilization. However the art is still commonly practised by many people who are seeking to establish individuality. The art of tattooing should be distinguished as a means by which an individual is capable of expressing themselves in an artistic manner and crossing the line from the social normality to social deviance. It is presumed that one would spend a substantial amount of time in choosing a tattoo in which they will feel attractive for the rest of their life, portray themselves as the individual that they are, or remind them of a ...view middle of the document...

The process of selecting a tattoo should be taken very seriously. One must spend a substantial amount of time in deciding what design they intend on permanently wearing on their body. As long as there is much thought dedicated into choosing a tattoo, and one is positive that this specific tattoo is something that they will not grow out of, there shouldn't be any concern as to whether or not the tattoo will loose its attractiveness.It is often observed that people will define who they are, as an individual, and what their interests and beliefs are by expressing self identity through this art. One critic writes that "[j]ust as clothes and hairstyles allow us to decorate ourselves according to personal aesthetics and identity, choosing how we will be perceived by others, so does the permanent decoration of tattooing" (Bell 54). This merely states that tattoos are used to decorate our body in respect to our personal identity. Often these identity tattoos will reflect certain hobbies such as scuba diving, music, or hunting. Other reasons for getting a tattoo may include group identities such as the military, gangs, or a sports team. One researcher states that, through interviews, many people have claimed to use tattoos as means to express religious commitments (Firmin et al. 198). This is another example of expressing one's identity. It is recognized, however, that often individuals won't be consistent with their status or image and therefore the meaning of the tattoo is no longer of significance. In her article "Tattoos and Piercings: Attitudes, Behaviors, and Interpretations of College Students," Horne offers the idea that this could be the case for someone who was a band groupie in their younger ages and then grew up to be a stay-at-home mother. If this person gets a tattoo while they are a band groupie to reflect what they do, the significance of this tattoo will not be as important when they have grown up(51). Although this may be the case, the tattoo is still a reflection of your past. It is not usually a bad thing to remember who you were in your youth.In addition to the choice of using tattoos as a sign of beauty or as a personal expression, many individuals will use this art form to remind themselves of a previous event in their lives. In his article "Tattooing: Mind Body and Spirit. The Inner Essence of the Art," Frankie J. Johnson states that tattooing is not only a way of expressing...

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