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    A Discussion on Tattoos as a Form of Art and Self-Expression

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    Tattooing has been a form of art and self-expression for thousands of years. For the original tattoo artists many years ago, tattooing was used for a variety of purposes including rituals to the gods and medicinal purposes. In today’s society, tattoos are mostly a form of art and self-expression. Most people use tattoos to express social status, show affiliations with groups or gangs, and for various religious purposes.

    Television shows about tattoo artists and many famous people are constantly showing off their tattoos for the world to see, causing the number of people with tattoos to rise. The media clearly has a huge impact on a person’s decision to get a tattoo. Not only does the media affect the decision to actually get one but with current social media websites such as Pinterest and Tumblr., the decision of what to get is also affected. People are no longer getting tattoos with meaning instead they are getting the most popular designs found on the internet and in pictures of celebrity’s bodies.

    Placement of tattoos has moved to more visible body parts such as the face and neck. Increased popularity of these types of tattoos has caused tattoos regret to rise. Young people tend to get tattoos without good reason or thinking about the consequences. Most people with tattoos end up suffering from regret at some point in their life because of the problems that can result from having a tattoo such as embarrassment, trouble getting a job and health problems.

    Tattoos have become more and more acceptable in society in the last few decades. Fifty years ago tattoos were only for the most rebellious of people living on the fringes of society. If you walk around out in public today its easy to see that social norms have changed since then. People of all different ages, sexes, races and occupations have found personal expression in their tattoos. It is believable that the reason for this rise in popularity and social acceptance of tattoos is due to media and social networking.

    Famous people and athletes such as Adam Levine, Miley Cyrus, David Beckham and many college football players are sporting tattoos on the covers of magazines and TV screens across the country. People look up to celebrities and want to look just like them; their perfect bodies, hair, skin and success in life is enough to make the average person envious. When the average person sees a celebrity they like and look up to wearing a certain type of clothing, they go out and buy clothing similar to what the celebrity wears. Similarly, people go out and get tattoos when they see celebrities with them.

    Many people don’t realize what a huge decision getting a tattoo is. Once it is on your body, it is there forever. Just like any big decision, before getting a tattoo one must consider the pros and cons of having one. It is easy to come up with the negative things that would result from having a tattoo: regret, embarrassment, health problems, it might look bad when you get old, etc. On the other hand, coming up with pros for getting a tattoo is much harder to do. If you’re getting a tattoo just because you like the way it looks, chances are slim that you will still like the tattoo twenty years down the road.

    If I had gotten a tattoo ten years ago of my favorite thing I would have a picture of Spongebob on my arm. Ten years ago I would have thought that the tattoo was cool but now I would feel embarrassed being a college student with Spongebob inked on my body. If you’re getting a tattoo that has a deeper meaning to your life, chances are higher that you will still like the tattoo twenty years down the road. If I had gotten a bible verse tattoo ten years ago I would still like it because I was raised a Christian and religion is, has been, and always will be important to me. With that in mind, there are still other consequences to consider when getting a tattoo aside from regret caused by embarrassment or loss of meaning.

    A common argument for people with a lot of tattoos is, “It’s my body and I will do what I want with it.” This is true, we do live in a free country and we can do anything we want but there are consequences to every action we take in life and having a tattoo is no exception. Tattoos are known to affect a person’s ability to get a job. Employers find tattoos to be inappropriate in the work place. Most businesses and companies have an image that they work hard to maintain and in most cases a tattooed employee would destroy that image.

    Many people, especially professionals, think that tattoos are tacky and unprofessional-looking. If your tattoo is in a place where it can be easily covered up by your clothing, then this will not be an issue. If the tattoo cannot be seen then it will obviously have no impact on your ability to get a job. An employer cannot discriminate for something that isn’t even visible.

    So, before you go get a tattoo on your wrist or your neck, think about weather or not you’re going to want to wear long sleeves and turtlenecks to work for your entire career. If I ever get a tattoo I will make sure to get it in a location where it can be covered up at all times if I want it to be. Missing out on job opportunities is not worth having a tattoo; no matter how much the tattoo means to me my career will always be more important.

    Another thing to consider before you set up an appointment with a tattoo artist is possible health risks. Cancer is a common health risk related to tattooing. The inks used in tattooing contain harmful carcinogens that can cause skin cancer as well as leak into the bloodstream and affect organs within the body. According to Armstrong’s “College Tattoos: More Than Skin Deep”, there is also a risk of contracting blood borne illnesses from tattooing needles. Small amounts of body fluids can be passed from client to client if needles are reused multiple times.

    The more tattoos you have, the higher your risk factors are for both cancer and blood borne illnesses. If you already have a tattoo or are planning on getting multiple, this is definitely something to consider. Personally, my health is much more important than my desire for a tattoo. Even if the tattoo meant a lot to me and really expressed who I am it would still come second to my health.

    Tattoos might be a popular fad right now, but they are still permanent. Like any other decision that will permanently change your life, you should really think about weather or not you are ready to deal with the problems that come along with a tattoo before you get one. If the meaning of the tattoo is not enough to outweigh the negative aspects of having the tattoo then you probably should not get it.

    Too many young people go out and get tattoos because they like the way it looks on someone else on a TV screen or in a magazine. What the magazines don’t show is the problems that come along with having a tattoo. Someday, Justin Bieber won’t like the animals on his arm anymore because he will get older and his interests will change. Even though tattoos are more widely accepted, they are still partly viewed as tacky and unprofessional, which can cause problems in your professional life.

    For an actor, this isn’t a huge deal because modern technology and make up artists can make it look like they aren’t even there. Unfortunately, the working class population does not have that luxury. Next time you see a picture of a good-looking actor or athlete with a tattoo, remember that the ink in your skin is much more permanent than how it looks and how you feel about it now.

    This essay was written by a fellow student. You may use it as a guide or sample for writing your own paper, but remember to cite it correctly. Don’t submit it as your own as it will be considered plagiarism.

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    A Discussion on Tattoos as a Form of Art and Self-Expression. (2023, Mar 12). Retrieved from https://artscolumbia.org/a-discussion-on-tattoos-as-a-form-of-art-and-self-expression/

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