People have been getting tattoos since before recorded history. It has always meant different things to different cultures and individuals, but one thing is undoubtedly true…
Aesthetically speaking, humans clearly love tattoos.
And they’ve made a massive and stylish resurgence, especially among my generation.
Not very long ago, the common saying was that tattoos were “for sailors and prostitutes.” Oh, and don’t forget prisoners. Basically, getting a tattoo was not going to make your parents proud. They were symbols of irreverence and sexuality, two aspects of nonconformity that were disliked on men, outright hated on women.
If your background is anything like mine, you were probably discouraged from the idea of tattoos to some degree. Because tattoos and piercings weren’t becoming of a good Christian lady, of course. How much would you like to bet that the girl in this photo got a disapproving talk from a few relatives?
There’s actually a lot of history behind the Christian dislike of tattoos. To sum it up, though, essentially it’s because of that age old conflict with pagans–like the Vikings–who were often covered in them from head to toe.
But it’s well past time to put that nonsense behind us, and current fashion agrees with me.
I’m actually one of the only people I know who doesn’t have a single tattoo. Delicate little ones like these are especially popular, even among the sweetest, most church-oriented ladies I’ve met. Tattoos simply aren’t the mark of shame they once (wrongfully) were.
And with that freeing thought in mind, the possibilities are endless. Because art is limitless.
Depending on your own tastes, as well as the style and flair of the person tattooing you, your skin could bear a design that’s entirely unique. It’s like you’re merging with a painting or a sketch, walking around as a living, breathing canvas. I find the concept exciting, if not a little daunting.
For some people, tattoos are all about personal significance. Given their permanent nature, many choose images or words that commemorate the things that matter most to them. A religious figure. A lost loved one. Something along those lines. Not to mention the cultural significance tattoos can have to people all over the world. (I’m writing from a limited perspective, obviously).
I definitely understand this mentality. It’s closest to my own. For me, if I were get something permanently inked onto my body, it would absolutely have to be full of meaning. Especially given that I have a fairly low pain tolerance.
But some people are out there doing it for the aesthetic, and I certainly respect that. Art for art’s sake is intrinsic of the human condition. They want to enhance and beautify their skin, and that’s fantastic. I, myself, often flit from one look to another. Dedicating yourself so avidly to whatever style you’re tattooing on…I admire that, though I’m not sure I could ever commit to it.
So for the people who get asked the question, “What do your tattoos mean?”, just know you can reply with, “They’re pretty,” and that’s totally valid.
But I can’t be objective unless I mention the negative, too.
Since tattoos are, in fact, permanent (or expensive and painful to remove), please take some care if you decide to get one. Talk to people who have gotten tattoos, seek out a reputable parlor, have a conversation with the artist…You have to play it smart and do your research if you want ideal results.
And if you have any urge whatsoever to get a tattoo of something disgusting, like a swastika, squash it. Hatred already makes you ugly on the inside. It will look absolutely hideous on your skin.
Chances are most of your favorite celebrities have tattoos. No surprise there; you know the Hollywood crowd doesn’t shy away from anything aesthetic. Lady Gaga is a great example. I really love hers.
Zoe Kravitz has a ton of them, but all of hers are really delicate. If I’m remembering right, she even has a super tiny one right in the middle of the palm of her hand. If I were to get any tattoos myself, I’d probably do like her and keep them small.
Rihanna, however, has some very bold ones. I especially love the Egyptian symbol splayed just below her chest. This is an example of real dedication to a look, because that happens to be the most painful place to get a tattoo.
Although it’s definitely true that some famous people overdo it and end up looking crazy, nine times out of ten I find their tats to be really pleasing to look at. And it’s always interesting to see what people choose.
I’m forever going to be in favor of self-expression. If you have the money and the pain tolerance, I encourage you to explore tattoos. It’s a true art form. A beautiful and ancient one. For every relative that disapproves, you probably have about a thousand ancestors who were covered in them. Better still, it’s becoming more and more mainstream and acceptable right now. And I foresee their popularity only increasing in the years to come.
Like me, I’m sure you’ve heard the phrase “Your body is a temple.” I agree wholeheartedly. But what we all need to understand is that it’s your temple. For you. Ruled and decorated by you, for your own enjoyment and benefit. You belong to no one but yourself.
So if tattoos interest you, there’s simply no reason at all not to look into them.
And have a beautiful week.